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Letter From Home 1/19/11

January 19, 2011

I am not, by nature, an impulsive one when it comes to making large purchases.  I like to comparative shop, do my research online, and then after careful consideration James and I come to a decision about the item we buy.  We are pragmatic for the most part, and much more so, I think, than the average person.

Which is why a recent event is so unusual.

I took our car into the Zimbrick dealership for an oil change along with an overall vehicle check-up.   The Zimbrick  folks are ones I have known for almost a decade, and I trust them.  Several of the faces are ones I have come to know to the point where stories about family are shared along with the back and forth banter that makes an oil change less than just routine. 

I also like knowing that when dealing with the big items of life, such as matters concerning a car, that those hired to do the job will  be professional at every turn.  In today’s economy that is especially important.

As always James and I took along some reading material as we waited for what should have been about an hour as the work on our car was completed.

As I started to read I glanced up and looked outside the large dealer windows.  There on the lot sat a car that beckoned to me.  Telling James I was going to look at it and be back was the start of an adventure.  For both of us.

The car was a 2010 model that was marked down $4,000, as it had been on the lot for too long.  Though not an expert on cars by any means I know a bit about several models that have drawn my attention over time.  The one I walked around in the lot that afternoon was one of those that I felt comfortable in talking about.

What made the car so attractive to me was this model came as a convertible.  Which was another reason that the price tag more closely reflected my financial reality.  In January there are just not many roll tops being sold in Wisconsin.

Being a guy in America means I have wanted a convertible most of my life.   But being pragmatic about my car purchases over the decades always steered me to another version of a car.

But over the past weeks I have done a lot of thinking.

Not about cars.

About life.

A lot has happened which has sharpened the awareness for both James and myself about life and living.  Somewhere between family and friend’s medical issues, and the random act of walking to a store to visit with a Congressperson only to be shot comes the stark reminder again that life is way too fragile.

With that as a background I walked to the show room, conferred with James, and we agreed I needed to  talk with a car dealer.

It was then I met Stephen Spaite, who is proof that a car salesman can be very different from the stereotypical image we have of the industry.  That I was not pounced on when out looking at the car, and had to seek out a salesperson was most impressive.  Breathing room  at car lots are important.

Stephen Spaite never got ahead of my mental pacing as I asked questions and started to seriously entertain the idea of trading the car that was in for an oil change with the roll top on the lot.  When I wanted to talk numbers and expressed my financial parameters Spaite took them seriously.  When I told him I needed 5 figures for my trade-in he wrote it down and went off to make it happen.  That he delivered the numbers I needed to make a deal told me he wanted to sell a car, and that I also was pretty good at being the customer.  Both were essential in making the purchase happen.

I rarely promote businesses, or those who work in them on this blog.  When I do make note of them there is a reason.  It means that some pretty high standards were met or exceeded.  In the case of Zimbrick this past week I can say both are true.  I can only hope that all car buyers have their own ‘Stephen Spaite’ to make the experience a pleasurable one.

The next afternoon I drove the car off the lot and now can participate in the American experience that lots of guys seem to need at some point in life.  Driving with the top down.

I know some may say this is my ‘mid-life crisis’ being resolved by taking a rather large unplanned step.   It very well might be.  But I also think it was a smart move financially as we have a new car with another seven years of warranty.  I already have seem the smiles on James’ face, and I get to experience one of my dreams.

It also has proven to me, in a large dramatic way, that pre-thinking everything in life is not the only way to proceed.  I have never been good at stepping out of my comfort zone and making a play for long-held dreams.  It is nice to know that the first time I did so it worked.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    May 9, 2017 10:54 AM

    I have read this blog often–came here today from Cap. Times web site. But I never read any of your letters from home until now. How touching and moving. The letters provide a whole new side of you and they are so compelling. Thanks for sharing your emotions in such a sincere way.

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