A hundred and fifty people applauded as the little red car tore off into a crisp autumn sunset. My son was at the wheel, and his new bride's fists pumped the air in celebration. My cheeks hurt from smiling, and a tear crept out of my eye. My MG TD wasn't just taking my son and his wife from the church to the reception -- it was conveying a new branch of our family on their first journey together toward a bright future.
I first spied the MG at our corner garage, where it sat sporting a "For Sale" sign for several weeks before I inquired about it. I was between jobs and uncertain of my future, and the last thing I needed was a major expenditure and another distraction. Then, unexpectedly, I found myself driving to see my father in the hospital after emergency bypass surgery. I guess it was inevitable that I spent the drive thinking about the fragility of life and all the "ones that got away" that littered my past. I called my wife from the car and told her I was making an offer on the MG. My offer was accepted, and the MG was in the driveway when I returned from visiting my father.
Hobbies can often be a solitary escape, and can steal time from family and friends. The MG has had the opposite effect -- it has become a source of enjoyment for all of us. It has transported my children on dates, including proms. My two married children each left their weddings in it. Now, several years later, there are grandchildren who delight in "Grampy's funny little car." Not long ago, work took us from New England to Southern California, and my wife and I have spent many sunny weekend afternoons exercising the MG on the "twistin', turnin' roads" of the Malibu Hills.
I've amassed quite a collection of photos of the MG in action, and in most of them, I'm in the driver's seat. If I had to choose a single one to convey the exuberant joy the MG brings to our family, it would be the attached photo of the happy young couple and the bride's two-fisted salute. I wonder how many other cathedral-length wedding gowns have ever had to be carefully stuffed into an MG TD?