We found it at a BECU used car sale. I needed an economical car to commute to the UW, and Dave picked this one out immediately, and never changed his mind. We took it home, and it took me through my bachelor's degree at the University of Washington, then took me to California and my first technical writing job at IBM's Santa Teresa Laboratory. Together we explored the Santa Cruz Mountains, California gold country, Yosemite, the California wine country, and the Monterey coast... driving a lot of back roads along the way. The Grand Am took me and Louise to San Francisco, to the Oakland Hills, and to a lot of yard sales throughout the Bay Area.
And when I moved back home, it took me to work every day, and it took us backpacking and skiing. When I moved on to a Ford Explorer, it took Dave to work for nearly 20 years. He intended to drive it to 200,000 miles, but when he retired and no longer drove a daily commute, the Grand Am sat.
Today it took its last drive, to the auto yard that bought it for $350. Looking back on all the miles we traveled together was a bit sad and bittersweet. But... no more sets of tires or oil changes, no more emissions tests or license fees, no more insurance premiums. That makes me feel a bit better.