Inherited Obsession, or Why I Will Someday Import an Italian Ape Car

Ape Car Climbs an Alp

Ape Car Climbs an Alp

They say that retirement is a time for reflection. A time to look back on your greatest accomplishments with a sense of pride. In this spirit, my father spent a significant part of his first year of retirement assembling a photo album of every car he has ever owned. Of course, this struck my brother and myself, his two human children, as an odd choice.

Then I found myself in Italy falling deeply in love as American women so often do on European holiday. I fell in love completely and with abandon. I fell in love with a truck. A three wheeled truck. A three wheeled truck that was designed by the makers of Vespa. A three wheeled truck designed by the makers of Vespa that is small enough so as to easily be driven through a cardboard box that the average American refrigerator is delivered in.

Seriously Wonderful Truck

These are My Friends Who are the Size of Completely Normal Humans

I imagined our life together, me and my Ape Car. How he would become an extension of me. How we would circumnavigate the world with all the pluck and might an Arthritic lady and a 50cc engine can muster. How we would form a weird Italian tiny truck gang with other like minded individuals and really freak out the population of Sturgis South Dakota.

So, don’t tell him, but of course my father is right. That album isn’t simple documentation of consumption of fossil fuels on a grand American scale. It’s a visual love poem. A meditation on freedom. It’s a book that says ‘This is where and how my life was lived.’

So, as so many American woman do, I left my European love and returned home to what I knew. My steadfast American. My adventurous Ford named for a supreme court justice.

John Paul Stevens You Are Still Loved!

John Paul Stevens You Are Still Loved!

And when he passed I marked the transition as what it was. Not just a new vehicle, but a reinvention of myself. A time to reflect on what is valuable in the world. How I want to move and arrive. So, of course I picked the goofiest thing I could find that a short lady could sleep in comfortably if the weather gets rough. I picked it, and though it was never love at first sight, though it’s a silly toaster oven on wheels, as we’ve gotten to know each other a respect has grown between us.

As I drove around the American West this summer, I had to pull over. I had to pull over because I knew it was time. Jacques was ready for his close up.

The Might Jacques Pepin

The Mighty Jacques Pepin


4 thoughts on “Inherited Obsession, or Why I Will Someday Import an Italian Ape Car

  1. Alison says:

    Awesome! I’m famous!

  2. sprintexec says:

    Sara Benson, whom I know only through the medium of the internet (Google+ to be precise), was kind enough to share this post to a group to which I belong. For the second time in under a month I have been introduced a blogger with a voice that leaves me tinged green with envy and filled with admiration! I love your writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your inherited obsession. Like your dad I have reached an age where I spend a certain amount of my time looking back at my life. In that vein I commend you to acquire your Ape sooner rather than later. I Might also mention that as my personal motto is ‘Carpe Diem’ I am also still very much looking forward. With that thought in mind I await your next post. Andy

    • Hi Andy! Thanks so much for the kind and encouraging words. Carpe Diem is an excellent motto, I may have to borrow it, and have it stitched onto some leather jackets for my Ape gang. You are welcome to join of course 🙂

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