Stepping down from the lap of luxury

CLEVELAND — It can’t be helped for people to judge another person’s class and status by the car a person drives, but it happens. For the last year I’ve been driving a 2004 Cadillac De Ville, in addition to my trusty Chevy Cobalt. The Caddy belonged to my best friend and roommate, Gregg. On May 1, Gregg suffered a massive heart attack. He’s no longer a with us. In the days after his death and memorial service, I had to find homes for our dogs — two of them went to friends in Grand Rapids, Mich. I took advantage of embarking on a 3,000-mile trip driving the Caddy to deliver the dogs to Michigan, as well as network for a job in New York City, do a job interview in Philly, and have a meeting in Washington, DC.

Cdilalc De ville

This is similar to the Cadillac De Ville I was driving around for awhile.

The last few weeks I’ve been riding on a cushion of air; enjoying the acceleration rate to pass cars on the expressway, and just enjoying riding in a car with comfy leather seats. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The car had $9800 left on financing, and is only worth about $4Gs. Upon arriving back to Cleveland from my three-week journey, I have now surrendered the car to Gregg’s parents. The finance company will soon stop over to repossess it. (The joke’s on them, cuz I left the car with no more than a drop of fuel in the tank. They’ll be lucky to make it to the fueling station.)

Now, I’m back to driving my four-cylinder Cobalt that gives me lower back pain after driving for more than four hours. I gotta admit, I really love the 33 average miles per gallon in the Chevy though. I got 23 mpg at best in the Caddy. Au Revoir, oh Cadillac.

Chevy Cobalt

This is what my Cobalt looks like. I love the fuel mileage I get on this car. The motor strains as I try to pass cars at speeds 70+ mph though.

Not to sound trite on driving cars, though. Gregg was a fantastic, lovable, kind soul. He worked in nursing for 26 years –10 years at Metro Health in Cleveland where he worked in trauma, and the burn unit. The reason he drove a Cadillac was not for status or class. He observed from an ER nurse standpoint, the majority of people who ended up surviving a terrible car crash were those who were driving a Cadillac. It was a practical reason to drive a big car.

Well… Chevy Cobalt… where are we gonna go now? Rest in Peace, Gregg. The animals miss you. Your parents miss you. I miss you.

Gregg and Bonson

At left, Gregg Rehor and Bronson Peshlakai ready to puff a smoke at the Two Spirits Indian Gathering in Lake Osage State Park, Okla., in April. Two weeks after this enlightening experience, Gregg suffered a massive heart attack at home.