It was a beautiful morning and I bemoaned the fact that I had to take my car into the dealership to fix the infamous ignition switch recall issue, and would miss out on a walking opportunity. I thought about wearing my walking gear and traipsing along Telegraph Road instead of staying in the waiting room, but it is busy on that highway, so I just took a loss on the walking event and watched the “The Today Show” instead. Like you, I heard about that ignition switch issue from the outset, and even Googled around to learn more about it after I found out my 2009 LaCrosse was part of the recall. I could have sworn that the part was on the steering wheel and the two rings in question were part of the ignition switch where the key fits in. Well, I was dead wrong … for my car anyway. I arrived at 8:15 a.m. and I was greeted inside the service area, where my car was allowed to remain, basking under the awesome overhead heater. Instead, it was the keys that were carried to be fitted with new slots. Instead of a horizontal slot, it is now a round hole and the ignition key connects via two small rings onto your key chain. That was the two rings you keep hearing about! While I was there I prevailed on my nice service rep to reset the current time. In fact, driving home, I happened to glance over and saw the time and wondered why I didn’t just ask Chris to set it to Daylight Saving Time, since I don’t drive much in the Winter months anyway. Zubor Buick and I are no strangers to recalls. This might have been the first recall for the LaCrosse, but my previous car, my 1988 Buick Regal had several recalls and I was part of the brake litigation after getting multiple sets of brakes on the front and back. I loved my Regal, which is pictured above, and felt like a princess riding around in its rich burgundy velour seats, Landau roof and sides trimmed with mirrors and pin stripes. The color was officially called “Ruby Red”, but it was actually more like an iridescent burgundy. The saleswoman I bought it from had the identical car in a powder blue paint/roof combo. We often would see one another tooling around Lincoln Park and alot of honking would ensue; it was as though we belonged to a private club or something. I am surprised I didn’t wear the paint off, since I was always washing and waxing it to keep that new-car gleam and because I took the bus downtown, it spent most of the time ensconced in the garage, out of the harsh elements. But, though I loved that car, electrical issues finally exasperated me to no end and I had to get rid of it as it was not always reliable. Through the years, I lived through its honking issues, when the horn would start honking for no reason. “Mushy horn pad” and a manufacturer’s defect I was told when I took it to the dealership. They shrugged their shoulders as they could find no way to correct it, so I used to take the horn fuse out and kept a pair of tweezers and the horn fuse handy in a coffee cup on the car floor. It was a little tedious when I had an agenda of driving errands and had to take the fuse in/out/in/out, many times dropping that tiny fuse on the floor, so I always had to have a stash of new fuses in the glove box. I finally took it to a car repair shop that opened up around the corner from me and they jerry-rigged a horn button that worked, although I never ever used the horn, but going hornless was not recommended. One recall was for the passenger door which would not stay open; it would slowly close shut on its own volition. They put a special hinge and it worked fine. The gas gauge conked on three or four years after I got it, so I kept track of my mileage in a spiral notebook in the glove box. For still another recall, I had to take it in because the cars keys hanging down scraped the paint off under the ignition switch and they kept the car several days, painting the steering column with a more durable paint, guaranteed not to wear off – ever. I had that car for 21 years and it only had 64,000 miles on it when I decided to get the LaCrosse. I actually cried on the day I let it go … yes, a modern woman should not get maudlin over her wheels I suppose, but … I was heartbroken to turn it loose. I know I also broke the hearts of several neighbors who were eager to buy it from me, but I couldn’t bear to see anyone else tooling around town on what were “my wheels” all those years.
FIFTY FAVORITE PARK PHOTOS