My Suby Tale
So I was 20 when I came to Montana for the first time. My best friend and I got jobs as “cabin girls” at a ranch in the Crazies. I started seeing a boy from town and he lent me his Suby so I could drive down the long bumpy road and see him on my days off. I remember there was a Fleetwood Mac album in the tape deck and the songs became sort of the soundtrack for our adventures. We stashed the car in a campground a short walk down the hill from the ranch.
My best friend and I would sometimes pretend to be going for a hike, walk down the road and drive off to freedom. We’d go to Livingston and check out Mark’s In and Out or drive all the way to Bozeman to shop. That car took me floating down the Yellowstone, to Reed Point for some street dancing, through Yellowstone National Park, and even to see Willie Nelson in Big Sky. One night we camped out by the car and burned pages from a road atlas to keep warm and roast marshmallows.
I’ll never forget that Subaru. I took a picture of it and me before I returned it to its owner- tears streaming down my face. So, that’s my story. Here’s to Subys and freedom!
My mom bought her first Subaru in 1978 after she graduated from college. In 1982, she traded her ’78 in for a 1982 Subaru sedan. She and my dad drove it until they bought my grandparents 1987 Suabru wagon. After my oldest brother learned to drive, he was handed the silver Subaru wagon to drive to and from school until he totaled it one sunny morning. We replaced the "silver rider" with a red 1988 Subaru DL wagon, aka "el torro".
We drove el torro to Whitefish, MT from Denver, CO in 2000 when we moved there. I learned to drive a stick shift in that car, as did my other older brother. My brothers and I shared el torro throughout high school. In addition to el torro, my parents added to the Subaru collection with a 1992 white Subaru legacy. When finally el torro and the white legacy had been driven into the ground from years of various mud bogging excursions and the abuse of three teen drivers, my parents decided it was time to upgrade. We replaced el torro and the white Subaru with a 1998 red outback and 1999 silver outback.
My oldest brother now drives the 1998 which currently has 250,000 miles on it and my other brother is the owner of the 1999, which has 210,000 miles on it. Both cars are still running great! My grandparents also own a 2000 Outback with over 100,000 miles on it that they drive to and from Montana and Colorado. It came as no surprise that when it was time for me to buy a car I chose a 2003 Subaru Outback. I proudly drove my new Suby around Whitefish for the summer and was excited to begin my sophomore year at MSU with the car, "Ginger". The fall in Bozeman was fun with Ginger as it created more opportunity to recreate just about anywhere around Bozeman and further.
My room mate and I even made a few spur of the moment weekend trips to various destinations around Montana. When it was time to head back to Whitefish for Thanksgiving I had a car full of people. My oldest brother, my room mate, a friend from high school, and I all piled into Ginger for the 5 hour drive north. The four of us set out for Whitefish with my brother behind the wheel. We drove through the Seeley/Swan to get to Whitefish and it was getting fairly dark out. The combination of dusk and lots of cars on the road created little visibility.
There was a semi coming towards us in the other lane and from my shotgun seat I saw a deer standing about 50 yards in front of Ginger. We were traveling about 75 mph and I just knew that the deer and my car were both about to meet their ends. I gasped and couldn't mutter the word "deer" out of my mouth in time for my brother to miss the animal. THUD. We nailed the deer, but Ginger kept going. I was about to have an asthma attack thinking about the damage to Ginger as my brother was trying to console me. He was sorrier about the car than the deer.
A few miles down the road we were able to pull over and assess the damage. Miraculously the deer hit the fog light and its guts and everything were now where Ginger’s fog light was supposed to be. Ginger was still more than drivable so we continued on. Not ten minutes later we saw another deer. This time my brother saw it and slowed down. Just as we thought the deer was going to the side of the road and we accelerated again, the deer turned around and ran straight into the side of Ginger.
We stopped at a gas station outside of Big Fork and the second deer did not even leave a mark. So, Ginger survived hitting two deer within ten minutes of each other, killing one and startling another, but she still smells like dead deer on really hot days almost 4 years later.
All she needed was a new fog light. This is one of the many reasons I love my Subaru. Did I happen to point out the great gas mileage, all wheel drive, and easy maintenance? Not to mention Ginger beautifully handles the versatility of my sporting life such as hiking, biking, skiing, running, camping, going to the lake and is the vehicle of choice for a road trip or an excursion up a snowy, icy road. Loyal, yes my family is loyal to Subarus to the end, with over 30 years of ownership. Once you drive an Outback, you will never look back because there is nothing but a smooth road ahead.
1997 was my endless winter. I skied at least 20 turns each month. In August there was a chunk of ice just big enough in Tuck’s to make a run. I graduated high school in Maine and moved out to MSU. It was September.
I figured Big Sky must be the place to go for skiing so I put my gear and skis in a pack and walked out of Mullen ‘Rehab Center’ Hall and stuck out my thumb. ‘Bozeman is awsome.’ I thought two minutes later as I saw an old white Suburu pull over in front of me. The guy said he lived in a ski-in, ski-out shack made of firewood at Bridger Bowl. He said “No, Big Sky doesn’t have snow this September. You need to go to The Blaze. I’ll take you there.” He drove me right up Spanish Creek, 20 minutes out of town and dropped me off. He said, “Walk up 8 miles then take a left and bushwhack up Blaze Mt. Have fun!” So I walked up there and set up camp just below tree line.
In the morning I was woken up. Someone was outside the tent trying to steal my skis! I looked under the rain fly and saw the claws and teeth of a brown bear a couple feet from my face! It was chewing on my skis! Did I have bear spray? No. A gun? No. I did have a jack knife though and I pulled that out ‘cause I was scared! I planned on how I would slice its nose if it came in at me. I worried about being quiet but I figured that it knew pretty well where I was at any ways.
Was this a black bear? I knew there were brown black bears around here and this was a small bear. I had just come from the East and I didn’t know about these things. Like, I figured if my food wasn’t smelly and I sealed it up real good I could leave it in my tent. I learned that lesson real well. I thought if it were a black bear I could make a bunch of noise and scare it off. Then I thought ‘If this is a grizzly bear, though, and I make a bunch of noise, this thing will destroy me.’
So I just watched, holding my jackknife out in front of me with both hands. The bear chewed up the metal tips of my skis. I chewed through my old Nalgene. It chewed up the grips of my ski poles. Then it took lashing from the tent where I had tied it to a tree into its mouth and pulled on it and jerked it violently so that the whole tent shook to its limits. I about peed myself. Then it sniffed around and just walked off.
That day when I was skiing The Blaze for my September turns there was another dude up there. He was skiing with bear bells on.
I hiked out and when I got to the trailhead, what do you know, there was another old white Suburu parked there and the lady inside said she would be happy to drop me off in town.
Ruby (92 Loyale) has been a part of my life in Bozeman for the past 8 adventurous years. A true companion, reliable, not fussy, tough, yet with a feminine side, she motors on through 2 foot snow drifts, washboarded roads, potholes, and the open road with ease. She has done three trips to California, been my home and bed for weeks on end, and endured temperatures ranging from –30 to 105F with no complaints.
Her story comes from one particular road trip we had to the Sierra’s of California, home to the best spring skiing in North America. As usual, we (Ruby, myself, and friend Susan) hopped from one trailhead to the next, day after day, rejoicing in the cold nights and warm days in the high desert of the “East Side” of the range, seeking out our favorite lines on some of the ranges “classics”. We were camped at the Buttermilks, a climber’s paradise, below the mighty Basin Peak, anticipating tomorrow’s typical Sierra 5,000ft ski descent.
Now, part of what makes this the best place for spring skiing is it’s access, sometimes on nicely paved roads that are plowed to the trailhead the last weekend of April for fishing season (this particular weekend is labeled “Fishmas” by the locals, bringing in as much money as the Christmas holiday). The other access is via old mining roads, some in better shape than others.
We heard that the mining road to Basin Peak is not exactly fit for a two-wheel drive vehicle or one with low clearance, but I had faith in Ruby that she could handle the challenge. So after leaving our camp at 5am, we departed with high hopes and wishful luck. We were slowly making our way up the rocky road with no problems, until we came to a spot with a questionable size boulder. Susan and I looked at each other and said, “Don’t think Ruby can make this one.” But we wanted to ski, so our creative minds went to work. We looked at the large rock more closely and discovered we could possibly dig it out. Minor problem though: no shovel.
I started digging around inside the car, underneath the sleeping bag, food, cooking gear, and low and behold found my pooping shovel – you know, the one used for digging the daily cathole out in nature. We looked at each other with questionable eyes, laughing, and said, “Let’s give it a try!” So digging started and continued for a while, moving the mineral soil from around the boulder, taking turns with the little 4” gardening trowel. Once we were confident the rock was clear, we shoved and rolled the boulder to the side and exclaimed “Victory!” After grazing the boulder with the tire, we were back on the road, bumping along, excited with our intelligence in out-doing the road, and gave Ruby a “pat” on the dashboard.
We made it to the trailhead, well, where the road gets impassable by vehicle, parked next to a couple of SUV’s with pride, took out our skis and started on the journey up. Just another amazing day with Ruby, my little trooper, who knows very few boundaries, and is always up for the challenge. Thanks Subaru, for making such a great car!
Le Jazzy Crewmobile
In car years, Jazzy and I have not really known each other that long but it feels like she’s an old friend. I can count on her. And I think she sort of counts on me, too, to keep her feeling young. I met the 11-year old silver gal on Don Jones’ lot back in 2003. We’ve been road trippin’, camping and commuter companions ever since. On October 10, 2009, our relationship took on a new twist – Jazzy would crew me and two fellow runners of the Le Grizz 50-miler.
The day before, Jazzy conveyed us safely from Bozeman via MacDonald Pass to the little northern huckleberry-crazed town of Hungry Horse.
She didn’t make a peep of complaint on the journey – although, in retrospect, maybe we couldn’t hear it over the whistling winds of her leaky window seals. No matter, a shot of extra oil and the girl’s good to go and go and go. And go, we would - upon wheels and feet.
In the darkness of pre-dawn, Jazzy steadily cruised the mostly unpaved road along the Hungry Horse Reservoir – the same course we’d be running come 8:00 am. It was zero degrees Fahrenheit at the start, a fact that made parting with Jazzy’s heated interior a bit tough. It was barely fall by the calendar but Old Man Winter or the Wicked Weather Witch of the West had it in for us that day. Thankfully, the Sun had something to say about that! By the first two miles, the blood was pumping.
The cold became an afterthought with all future thoughts on assorted foods and miscellaneous gear compartmentalized within Jazzy.
Now, you have to understand, Jazzy is no looker. She’s rusty and her rubber door gaskets hang down low. She’s got chips in her windshield and paint missing from her exterior. But she’s got something way more important than glam. She’s got space and easy access with a hatch to boot. Jazzy was transformed into a veritable kitchen cupboard and his and hers and hers wardrobe. While other runners had Winnebagos, vans, and camper trucks, we had Jazzy, a Legacy in her own right.
That day, Jazzy became an oasis, a beacon of hope, a puppy dog. She came to represent chicken noodle soup and pickles, a way out – just in case, a friendly face. As the miles rolled by, Jazzy would appear in episodic intervals. Sometimes we’d stop to replenish our stores of gel shots and bars. Other times we wave her by, knowing we’d meet again sooner or later along the almost double marathon course.
The best thing about Jazzy is that she is not too persuasively comfortable. That is, none of us three were tempted enough by her worn-out velour seats not to finish the run. We all completed our first attempt at the distance, due in large part to the reliable crewing we had by Jazzy and her captain. Jazzy did not do Le Grizz for us but she supported us the whole way.
My Trusty Green Suby
My Suby has been with me since I was a senior in high school. It has been many places and seen many things. On one particular venture, my husband and I decided one late November day to take a weekend trip to Jackson Hole. Sounds like a fun place for any Suby loving adventurist, right? Well, the adventure extended a bit beyond what most would call "fun"... So we decide to leave town in the early evening hours of this particularly gloomy Bozeman day, and head east towards Paradise Valley, with the intention of entering the Park to get to Jackson.
So here we are, groovin’ to our favorite tunes, excited at the prospect of arriving at some new scenery for the weekend. As it is November in Paradise Valley, the sun quickly descends and we are now crusing along in our trusty green Suby in the dark, when, all of a sudden...WHAM!!! "What just happened?", we are wondering as we began to examine the giganta-saurus white-tail that just decided to jump onto the hood of our car for no apparant reason. So we ponder what we should do as we watch our poor little sedan mildly smoldering under the beast. If it were any other make of car, it surely would have given up then and there, crushed under the stress of the incident.
We check things over and assess the situation and the condition of the car, which includes a giant crater in the hood, the headlights shining cross-eyed, and the bumper smashed into the radiator. "Ah, this is a Subaru, it can do anything, let’s keep going!" And so we do. We keep going through Mammoth Hot Springs until we get to a closed gate that says that Yellowstone had been closed to traffic, get this...the day before!! Well, our spirits are sinking but we have no choice but to turn around and drive all the way back to Bozeman, then go through Gallatin Canyon and on to Idaho before we will be able to arrive in Jackson.
And thus this is what we do. We did stop at home since we were back in town and switched cars so that our beloved Subaru could have some healing time, (though we weren’t doubting for one minute that it would have had the endurance to make it the whole way). And yes, we finally did make it to Jackson in the wee hours of the early morning, after traversing Teton Pass in a major blizzard with near zero visibility. But we were safe, thanks in part to our trusty Subaru, who just keeps going and is always ready for another adventure, come what may!
Every year in early November the ice-climbing bug hits me. This particular fall, my wife and I had just purchased our first new Outback. We bought it because we were taking the plunge into parenthood. We knew it would be safe for winter driving and have enough room to carry all the baby gear. With only so many weekends of non-parent freedom left, we loaded up the new Suby and headed for Crazies.
According to the guidebook, there was some good early-season climbing routes, so we thought we would give them ago. Things were looking a little depressing on the way over, as we didn't see a lick of snow and it really hadn't been that cold. We made the turn at Clyde Park and headed up Cottonwood Road. Suddenly it was full-on winter. The road deteriorated to deepening drifts and a snow-packed center berm. Fortunately someone had been up there recently, leaving two ruts to follow.
Snow continued to pile up as we drove along, and shortly we were committed as there was no possible way to turn around. Both my wife and I were a little concerned, as this car was only about three weeks old and we couldn't imagine leaving it back there until spring. Fortunately the Suby was doing great. It was working a little, you could smell the engine as snow packed up in the undercarriage and then melted from the heat of the engine. We continued on.
Coming over a rise, we saw a full on redneck hunting rig struggling through the snow. It was the classic old jacked up Ford with giant tires, dual exhaust pipes rising above the cab. We figured it must have been the truck's whose tracks we were following, and we could at least hitch a ride back to town with them if we ended up getting stuck.
We plugged along for a couple of miles when again we came around a corner to find a second hunting rig in front of our newfound friend. It was the same deal, jacked up, roll bar, extra big antenna, and extra tires in the back of the box. Even more help when the Suby get stuck! I was beginning to feel a little more comfortable about our situation.
Our caravan continued to struggle its way through the winter wonderland. We were about two miles from the trailhead when a pair of headlights caught my eye in the rear-view mirror. I couldn't believe it—a beat-up 80s-era Subaru was catching up to us. It was bumper-to-bumper traffic out in the middle of nowhere!
A few minutes later we arrived at the end of the road. The snow in the parking area was extremely deep, and everyone stopped to assess the situation. The first big-rig revved its engine, punched it, and started plowing through the snow. It hit a particularly deep pocket; its tires spun and the snow began to fly. Stuck! The second rig repeated the process with even worse results—two of its tires slide off of the road into the ditch before it even got to the first truck.
I was concerned, but there wasn't much choice; it was the only place to turn around. I started down the track, shifting from first to second, getting up a little speed and avoiding the bigger ruts left by the two trucks. I past the first truck, then the second pulled into the trail head and then completed a 3 point turn so as to be assured I wouldn't get stuck on the way out. A minute later the old subby was pulling up beside us. I turned and looked at him and could see he was smiling at me through his frost covered window. We got out and introduced ourselves. It was the author of the guidebook and his wife(or girlfriend) Meanwhile the hunters, had gotten out of there rigs and began assessing their situation. There were four of them. Big burly guys, manly men, guys probably named Buck, Junior and Tiny. They were outfitted in various shads of camouflage, hunter's orange, trucker caps and mentally they were in various states of intoxication. A couple had got into the back of one truck and began jumping up and down, while the driver floored it sending snow everywhere. but not budging.
We 4 subarians enjoyed the shenanigans for several minutes before deciding we had better offer to lend a hand. Actually the girls decided to wait in the car, claiming that they were going to get there gear on . Myself and the other suby drive combined probably weighed as much one them good ol boys. So I was hoping this wasn't going to turn into a scene from Deliverance. We walked over and asked if they need some help. They all stopped what they were doing looked at one another and then one of them said " No, we don't need any help!" Then he turned to his buddies and yelled "He next time I'm gunna bring my wifes car hunting too" They all laughed and started their digging and jumping. The other suby driver and I just shrugged our shoulders and headed back to our cars.
While working on stream surveys in the North Fork of the Clearwater country of Idaho, we had parked our 84 subaru in a pullout by the river and were working downstream doing a portion of the surveys. We noticed another suby drive by during the day heading downstream but thought nothing of it. When we finished work and were walking back to the car we realized upon arriving that we were missing a wheel, It had been jacked up and stolen by the blue suby earlier that day. They took the lug nuts too! My boss was in a fit, so I fixed the problem by pulling out the spare donut and poaching a lug nut from each of the other wheels to attach our spare. We limped out to the FS station where we reported the crime. Turns out most of the valley had seen these guys driving for miles on a flat. When they reached us they made their break for the new tire and were never seen again!
My friends have always told me "dude - why don't you just get a truck?"
Truck or a Subaru?....it's a decision I struggled with prior to purchasing a used 2007 Outback. As a skiier, backpacker, and flyfisherman, the Suby made sense. But as a hunter, a truck made a heck of a lot more sense. My decision to purchase the Suby was put to the test on opening day of hunting season, 2009. After harvesting a cow elk, I faced the dilema of getting the thing out - fortunately, the Outback had ample space to transport the elk (without quartering) safely home and eventually into my freezer. Who needs a truck?
Oh Ya! My wife and I love our Subaru. First of all, we have owned many different makes and models of vehicles over the years. We were looking for a new vehicle and checked out Honda, Toyota and Jeep and just could not find what we wanted in a small SUV. My wife then suggested we consider a Subaru. My response was, “a Suba what?” She said the Subaru, according an article she just read, it would be exactly what we were looking for.
SO, were took a Forester for a test drive, looked at each other, drove back to the dealership and wrote a check for the Subaru. With a tad over a 100,000 road miles under its belt, it has not cost us a penny (other than the periodic scheduled servicing), and the service has been outstanding. We plan to purchase another one and have two – a sort of his and her’s – I will get the old one of course. Of all the vehicles we have owned, we have never bought the same make twice. We must love our Subaru.
My 3 dogs Lucky, Freckles and Tuxi travel everywhere in our Subaru. This is not much of a story but when I get home from work the first thing they do is go to the back of the car in hopes we’re going on another exhibition. I’ve attached two pictures of them.
Now on to another story, which I’m not really proud of was when I went with my son, Brandon and his girlfriend to see my daughter, Katrina play soccer in Missoula. This was right after I purchased my Subaru. On our way back Brandon said that my car probably couldn’t go very fast. We had just entered into the town called Racetrack on Hwy. 90, it was straight and had just been resurfaced so I thought I would take it to the test.
I was going around 110 (never done this before) and on the other side of the hwy was a trooper. Well he saw me and turned around to come after me. I already pulled over and was waiting for him. He looked at me with surprise and asked if I was driving. He said he clocked me at 110. I told him what happened and he laughed. He still gave me a ticket which turned out to be a $100 fine, Brandon paid half.
I’ve been everywhere in my Subaru and would never buy another car!
On the back roads near Manhattan Montana, a sage green Subaru (“Emma”) can be seen loaded with eager high school kids, their fearless leader and their bright pink flamingos. These flamingos are no ordinary flamingos. Franz, Franchesca, Fritz, Fredricka, Fiztwilliam and Fraeda brave all elements, have traveled many miles. Each has their own plastic personality. The energy flickers in the air.
The team hastens towards their destination, on an adventure of sheer excitement and daring. Pulling onto the darkened streets, the students, armed with their flamingos, seek their target. Parking discretely nearby, Emma waits for their return.
Spilling out of the car, the kids sprint to a yard. Carefully, as to not make a sound, they plant the flamingos strategically in a prime viewing area, so to be on full display in the morning. Rarely are they caught, rarely do they make mistakes. When someone does spotlight them, they hit the ground, motionless, waiting to continue their plan. As quickly as they exit, they return to the safety of Emma, for a quick getaway.
They do this for a purpose: to raise funds for an upcoming mission trip to Africa. Each yard will help to fund this pending trip. Eagerly, this team waits to receive the phone call from the “victim”, which will determine their newest target.
As the next nightfall approaches, they anticipate the “flamingoing”. Driving through the fading light, the Subi creeps towards the neighborhood. Everyone, even Emma, knows the routine. Once again, the lights are dimmed. Circling the house, the kids pause, scoping out the yard. Scanning the neighborhood for cars or people, they make their move. A hustle. Tiny legs are sunk into the sod. The bribery note swings from the neck of Franz. Piling into the car, they laugh and shout for joy, quickly driving away back into the darkness, awaiting their next adventure...
Last year I bought a brand new 2009 Subaru Forrester. I had never owned a new car but it had to be done. The previous winter I had to be towed out of ditches 11 times in my 97’ Honda Civic and simply couldn’t take it anymore. Plus, the Subaru could hold the fly rods, camping gear and friends without having to tie something (or someone) to the roof. It was amazing.
My boyfriend Slade and I make frequent trips to Casper, WY. to visit family, hunt (he hunts, I tag along) and fish the Platte river. As we made our way back for Thanksgiving with guns, fly rods and yellow lab in the car things went terribly wrong.
We just made it through Billings and I was sitting in the back giving our yellow lab a hug when something like a shot gun fire rang loudly through the car. I had no clue what happened. The horn was blaring, the air bags were deployed, the car was filling with smoke and you couldn’t see through the windshield. I couldn’t figure out what happened. It didn’t feel like we crashed. No jerking movement, the car was still going, what the hell? I looked at Slade, completely stunned and asked him if he was going to pull over. He looked at me and said nothing but his face said, “What kind of a question is that?”
It turns out we hit a deer going 85 mph in the passing lane. The police officer who showed up told us we were lucky he wasn’t going to give us a ticket. Slade, very unhappy at this point asked, “What would you give us a ticket for, POACHING??”
The deer did $14,000 worth of damage to the Subaru. “So it was totaled?” you ask? Well, no. Since it was brand new it was not considered totaled. It took almost two months to repair and I was dreading getting back a car that the wheels would surely fall off of within a week.
To my surprise, I got back my car it perfect condition. I am asked all the time if it bothers me that I have a new car that is only worth salvage value.
Not really. As long as it can get me to the river and back, I love it as much as when it was new.
I don’t own a Suburu. In fact, I’ve never owned a Subaru. But I did more four-wheeling in my old Datsun 310 than most Humvies ever see. That was just driving home on Trail Creek Road, before it was paved, before it was graveled, when four-wheel drive trucks still got high centered in the muddy ruts. I was often thankful that those ruts held me on the road. I did learn some things about driving a front-wheel-drive on a 4WD road: always carry a shovel and towstrap, accelerate into the corner when you start spinning out, mufflers can be optional, and know your limitations when far from help. I also learned that it truly helps to shout “Monte Fiore” on icy uphills.
Now I have a Saab. I feel safe in it. I’ve been rear-ended by numerous 4x4 trucks, with imposing bumpers, who couldn’t stop in time at the stop sign. My car, which did stop, was never damaged. Ten miles after I bought the thing (I actually flew to Denver to pick it up) the check engine light went on. It was Saturday, everything was closed, the seller evaporated, and I had my two young children with me. Sometimes a check engine light means imminent catastrophe, others its time for regular maintenance.
I looked at my kids and said, “Let’s see if we can make it to the zoo.” Then, “Let’s try the baseball game.” Eventually we drove 700 miles with the check engine light on, and the car was dubbed the “Silver Goose” for the high-pitched honk it made when you pressed the horn. Once home my mechanic said that the marks on the undercarriage indicated my car had left the ground and landed off the road, but wasn’t damaged. It was a Saab.
But my un-suby tale involves the time me and my friend Bill stayed at the West Boulder Cabin. Normally there isn’t much snow on that road, but we had a blizzard. Bill dug out about 20 yards of driveway out so we could make it out. Luckily I hit the wind burnished drift at the end hard enough to explode out the other side. It was fun, exciting, reminiscent of the good old days.
The road out was bare of snow, except for the occasional wind-formed drift. As we reached each one we yelled “Monte Fiore” and I punched it. We bashed, downshifted, bogged and popped out the other side. Then we came to the last one, a long, deep, wide drift with pregnant black cows dotting the curve around a hill. I considered driving through the bare pasture to avoid this particular drift, but there were too many huge rocks. I took another long look. I thought I could do it. I gunned it and the Silver Goose leaped into deep snow that flew off the wheels as we bucked and shimmied into the curve.
“Why are you slowing down?” Bill screamed, as we began to bog.
“I’m afraid I’ll hit a cow,” I said.
“F--- the cows!” He yelled. It became our battle cry.
It truly was a dark and stormy March night. A friend of mine and I were visiting friends in the Bozeman, Mt., area but needed to get home to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Driving 191 South in the 1980’s was silent and void of traffic. The hour was early evening. It started snowing hard around the Island Park area. Because it was snowing so hard a decision was made to go by way of Driggs and Victor, Idaho and over the Teton Pass because time was of the essence. If we hurried we surely would make it to the pass entrance before they closed the gate.
No such luck. The gate was closed. In weighing our options we knew that no one would be awake in either Driggs or Victor Idaho. I decided to take another look at the gate. Upon further inspection I discovered it was not locked. I opened it and my friend drove my Subaru wagon through. I pushed the gate back to its closed position and walked to the car. I noticed that the snow was up around the top of my Sorrell snow boots. Mildly concerned we continued up the hill. After all I had a Subaru and studded snow tires as well. You can go anywhere, right? Slowly and silently we drove up the pass. There was some concern that we might lose momentum should we have to stop to clear the build up of snow and ice forming on the windshield and wipers. Not to worry. As the pass became noticeably steeper we were forced to a stand still. Putting in the clutch and the brake, having been in 4 wheel drive and in first gear the car stopped climbing upward and instead of sliding backwards the Subaru slid a complete 180 degrees. Now we found ourselves heading down the pass.
But wait; there is no place to go. No motels and we just could not go knocking on doors to spend the night. We could just stay in the car over night but should we be caught in the morning we might get a hefty citation. Never give up when you have a Subaru to drive. That was my motto. I wonder if we could back this up over the pass. At least we should try. I would get out and walk along side as it was snowing so hard one could not see the edge of the road. So here we go, the driver’s window rolled down and me holding on to the door walking guiding the way.
We slowly backed our way up the pass. The snow was nearly to the bumper. It was hard going and took nearly an hour and a half. Start and stop. Having the car turned around with the engine weight over the tires gave enough traction that we were able to inch our way up the Teton Pass. At the top I realized I was exhausted. I was tired from the walk and glad to get into the warm car. Turning the car back around, we literally floated down the pass. You could hardly hear the engine running as the snow was so deep. The air was filled with snow swirling in every direction. There was not a sound in the great space beyond. It was pure magic to experience such quiet.
We made it into Jackson, Wyoming and found that the Wort bar was still open for another half hour. What the heck, we deserved one drink after such an evening. Having just made last call we ordered our drinks. We talked to the bar keep about our experiences and my last words were “You can always trust a Subaru.” We were glad to be home. The bar keep interested in our story said that our drinks were on the house.
Well let me preface this story with a little bit of my own thoughts. Firstly this should be called "In Memorandum" as the Subaru that this story about tragically met it's end when it hit an elk going 60 mph. Second I don't want to glorify my actions (upon reflection I was very stupid but also very lucky) only to show my utmost respect and undying love for my Suby that not only survived all I could throw at it but kept me and my friends safe and alive.
This is my Subaru-a 1988 GL Wagon, 5 speed, silvery gold with rust accents and of course a few battle scars from the previous owner. It had no oil filler cap and I'm pretty sure that there were leaves in the engine. It was a great car it had the old tranny in it so I had the option of 4WD LOW making it just about unstoppable.
Early on of course the Gazetteer was pulled out and friends would pile in and we'd be off on a little rally. I'd practice my drifts, basically imitating the clips of Colin McRae that I'd seen. The first "Suby Tale" I can remember or that is worth mentioning actually is a good response to Mr. Clay Workman's thoughts on Subarus. The plan was to head to Billings go boulder in the Gregory Hills and hit up a really cool folf course in the rims. After Livingston I wound up the rubber bands really tight and got it up to around 110 mph (I have two witnesses to this feat) and blew the doors off a Vette. Not two seconds later the Vette is back and right along side us.
I don't know what he wanted but he didn't stay long when he got an eyeful of two full moons, the guy stepped on it and blew our doors off while we were going 90 (110 mph is gear 5 at 5500 to 6000 RPM basically burning everything up in the engine). So hows that for having a bunch of bumper stickers slow me down! Odds are I've followed more assholes in trucks or have seen them park sideways in four spots because they've got their heads further up their asses than their truck is lifted.
I've got lots of little stories like that but this is my story of all stories and I call it the Ronan Road Gap. Now the Suby had slowed down a bit after a half dozen trips to Colorado and a lot of abuse, but it still would get on down the road. My roommate and I decided we were gonna head up to Kalispell to play in a foosball bar tourney that night. Of course we planned it with the minimum of time to spare at the last minute so you know it was going to be a fun adventure. Everything went absolutely fine we stopped in Butte to see the roommates girlfriend and lost some time but eventually we hit the road and things were still looking good. But as soon as we turned North on Hw 93 the orange started popping up everywhere.
If you don't know what I mean by orange you have never driven in Montana during the summer or you are color blind. By the time we were outside Ronan it was really bad: one lane, pilot car going half a mile an hour, etc etc. Call up the guys we knew in Kalispell that were running the tourney and explained the situation and that we'd be late. They said they'd delay the tourney but put the spurs to it and get here quick. Ok, time to pull out the map and find us an alternate route. Pretty quick my roommate finds us a "long straight" that parallels 93 and actually is a pretty good looking short cut, off we go!
I pop the Suby in 4WD and floor it. We're going around 75 on a pretty normal gravel road and leaving the biggest rooster tail I've ever seen, it had to have been at least five miles long and a hundred feet tall! Now going 75 doesn't sound bad, that's how fast you drive on the interstate and the highways. Not the same on gravel, it feels like you are driving on ball bearings and shit starts coming up quicker than you would like.
What we didn't know is that our shortcut had a bigger more used road crossed up ahead of us and for some reason it was higher than the road we were on so it ramped up just like a jump. Me and my roommate see this at the exact same time but we're going so fast that there's not even a chance to even slow down just to say OHHH SHIT!
Obviously we went airborne. God knows what it looked like and there is no one more than me that would love to see it. All that dust following us and then just launch Dukes of Hazard style, that's what rally is all about, so awesome and so stupid. I still get a big grin when ever I think about it, probably more that I didn't total my car and kill me and my friend in the process than going off a jump in a car. Too bad my Suby isn't a rally car, as the saying goes it's not taking off that's hard it's the landing. The back side of this jump dropped off even more making our jump even bigger but to add to the excitement the road jogged about ten feet to the left compared to the other side and the road was flanked by two massive irrigation ditches filled with water.
Well we landed, thank God on the road, skidded to the left to avoid the ditch looming before us, skidded to the right to avoid the other ditch, then we were going straight like nothing had happened. Somehow we both managed to avoid crapping our pants, the car was absolutely fine and we made it to the tourney right when it started. PERFECTION!
That was probably the pinnacle for my Suby or any of my cars that I've had over the years. I only got it stuck one time-to all the people that can't drive (I'm thinking of a past tale of some girl who would get stuck and have boys pull her out)-the tow rope I had was really shitty and decided to break trying to get my brother's car out of a deep rut up Hylite.
A couple of years later I got a newer Subaru with more bells and whistles, not a better car that's for sure, so I sold it to my old roommate who had been with me at Ronan. Tragically later that fall he was heading to Ennis one evening and a little bull was hanging out on a curve about four miles from McAllister.
The car took out the elk's legs and sent it right into the windshield and caved in the roof. Luckily the Suby took all the damage and my buddy and his friend didn't get a scratch.(sometime that fall a woman had a buck go through her windshield and it killed her) Nothing much happened to the guts of the Suby, the grill wasn't even cracked but the windshield was gone and the driver's side visor could almost rub against your forehead.
So once again the Suby traded hands and graciously gave up its parts so that another Suby could drive the roads, couldn't think of a better ending myself.
U R a Bus
Subarus and canoes go together like water and whiskey. My wife and I are blessed with a 96 Legacy Wagon, and while it has had its share of issues - mostly rust from its midwestern roots - the Legacy lives on. It is affectionately known as U R a Bus. Astute readers can probably figure out how that name evolved.
And the canoe - a Mad River Explorer - was a wedding gift from all our family and friends, with all the gear, also in 1996, the year our Suby was hatched. Part of the wedding gift package was the Yakima Rack that we affix to the roof of the Subaru every spring, with fond hopes for many fine floats.
And fine floats we have had! A recent trip to Glacier made up for some of the desperate epics of past years, such as blizzards on Jefferson River and Shoshone Lake. This time the weather was with us, thanks to a glitch in my work schedule that forced Alaina and I to reschedule for late August. We dodged the dodgy weather last July and the hit the height of summer in late August on Bowman and Kintla Lakes, accessed by bumper-bashing dirt roads up the North Fork. U R a Bus took it all in stride, including the hitch hiker who regaled us with tales of getting banned from Yellowstone for five years for pot possession. Deep in the Glacier backcountry we swam, paddled and hiked the days away, impressing the backpackers with their spartan rations as we busted out the cooler and lawn chairs, fired up some burgers on the Coleman stove and cracked a couple of cold ones.
With a ride like U R a Bus there is little need to rough it. Who needs a giant RV when you can set up the Pleasure Dome car camping tent, folding chairs and grill and in twenty minutes be living like the king and queen of the Bozone. U R a Bus but U R one fine ride.
My Sube- the Chick Magnet
In 2006 I was living in Florida but found out that work was going to send me to Portland, Maine. I decided I needed a new car prior to the move.
One morning I asked Scott, my friend on the bike team, how he liked his little blue WRX wagon, and he said that it was great it but it was for sale. I was in love and bought it a week later. The first weeks were a bit of a challenge, I had never driven a stick before.
The road trip to Maine got off to a late start, I was supposed to leave at noon on that Friday to make it to Athens, Georgia, my first stop, in a timely manner. However, the wind was good and my friend Kari and I spent the entire day in St. Augustine kitesurfing. I finally had the car loaded up and was pulling out of the driveway at 7 p.m.
By this time I was getting better at driving a stick, but Florida is absolutely flat so I had no experience with hills. I finally arrived in Athens at around 1:30 in the morning. Of course there was a stop sign in the middle of the biggest hill ever. I stopped and a Porsche pulled up behind me. I calmly put on the emergency break, got out of the car and walked over to the drivers window and asked them to go around. He looked at me like I was crazy, but trust me, it was a good idea.
The rest of the trip was awesome, camping and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, stopping in Annapolis to see my old friends and sailboat, standard road trip. And the car was great, never got stuck, plenty of power, and all my gear and dog fit great. Oh yeah, the blue paint matched the blue of both my and my dog’s eyes.
However, nobody warned me that lesbians love Subarus. Especially Maine lesbians. My first, and most disturbing experience with this was one lovely spring day when I was stopped at a stoplight in downtown Portland. It was the first time in months that the air temp was above freezing, and I had the windows down, the warm air blowing in my hair and Tana, my dog, had her nose out the other window. What a perfect day.
That was, until I happened to glance at the giant, loud, gas-guzzling, bright red F350 next to me, also stuck at a stoplight. The lady (if you could call her that) next to me was wearing a backward baseball hat, flannel shirt with the sleeves cut off, and looked like she was a good solid 250 lbs. When she saw me glance over at her she looked me up and down, and then winked and gave me “the look.”
Horrified I gripped the steering wheel and looked straight ahead, trying to figure out if I could squeeze between traffic and the cars parked along the street. Even in the little Sube I could not. “Stay calm,” I told myself. Oh no, she had just turned up the music coming from the truck, and it was one of those “I want to sex you up” songs. I honestly thought I was going to die. Finally the light changed, but I swear that was the longest traffic light ever.
Needless to say, the rest of my stay in Maine was interesting. My best friend from work drove an Outback, and the lesbians at the dog park loved the two of us, it eventually got to be a running joke.
A few years Rebecca,later one of my friends from Bozeman, and I were eating lunch with my boyfriend and she was making fun of the “Chick Magnet.” Jeff, my boyfriend never heard about this side of the Sube, but had to borrow it that afternoon to run errands. While stopped at a stop sign a guy in a big pickup truck did a double take, trying to figure out why a guy was driving it. Jeff has not driven it since. The Hawaiian flower seat covers probably did not help much either.
The “Chick Magnet” is still the best car ever, and she has taken me on some great road trips, not to mention the daily trips to the crag and beach. Jeff is still trying to convince me to get a new car, but I am almost at 100,000 and I figure I have at least another 100,000 left before I even have to start thinking about a new car.
How to Live in Your Subaru
When new friends find out that I lived in my Subaru for 3 summers they look alarmed and then usually follow with “how did you fit?” This is easy to explain, I am short, 5’3”. There is a lot more to living in your Subaru though than simply fitting and I am here to let you know how it’s done.
Like most folks I started sleeping in my car by accident. I slept in the back seat or driver’s seat on road trips and I’ll tell you what, it was uncomfortable. I learned I get a better nights sleep in a tent or hotel when my car is packed to the gills.
Then it all changed, I quit my job in West Yellowstone half way through the summer and along with it went my employee housing. Luckily with in a week I found a new job in Big Sky. I didn’t really see the point in trying to find an apartment for a month. Then it came to me, I could live in my car! It worked out so well, that I lived in my car for the next two summers. So from one Dirt Bag to the next, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Get the right size Subaru for you. Yes I have known folks to live in a sedan, it is awkward, you have to sleep halfway in the trunk. As a small girl my Impreza Outback Sport is perfect with the seats folded down. I have more than enough room to sleep or sit up and read.
For anyone too much taller a full size wagon will work just fine. You just have to figure out the best sleeping configuration for you. Some folks crack the back and let their feet hang out. Others find sleeping diagonally provides more than enough room. Still others stick their feet between the front seats to get a good night sleep.
2. It’s not called living in your car, it’s called camping. It sounds more dignified.
3. You are a mini version of an RV. I doubled a memory foam mattress pad under my sleeping pad for sweet dreams. If you really want to live large and have a big enough Roo, get a Paco Pad or other cushy air mattress. Sleeping in a sleeping bag all summer gets a little smelly, so I opted for sheets and used my sleeping bag as an extra blanket on really cold nights.
4. Figure out what you really need in life. For me that was clothes, climbing gear, and a few books. The rest of my stuff was in storage and I really didn’t miss it. So pare down and donate or store what you don’t use on a weekly basis. Living in your little Suby makes you live the simple life. At the same time you are able to do anything at the drop of a hat, because all of your stuff is right there. Note: you are not set up to be the car pool hero unless you are superbly organized.
I never was good at this; other “neighbors” could miraculously turn their Subaru from home to full blown car in a matter of seconds.
5. It is the little touches that make a Subaru a home. The head lamp/reading light suspended from the handle above the door. A little nook to put your glasses and car keys while you sleep. The messenger bag doubled as desk for storing important documents such as letters from Mom.
6. Be aware of where you are and always have a plan. “oh, I’m sorry Mr. Ranger, I didn’t realize, I actually wasn’t camping here, I am on the way to visit my Brother in Pocatello and got tired, I will be on my way.” Always have a story and stick together with your fellow campers when possible.
“This is as good as this cake is ever going to look. Get it in the car.”
Most Suby tales are a bit of adventure. An off-road expedition; a flat in a snowstorm; a thousand-mile trip to see that band, on that night, at that place. Since this is Montana, and we own a Subaru, we have been off those roads, changed those tires, and parked next to you at that show. Our Suby has those tales to tell.
This is not one of those tales.
We are in the wedding cake business. Before our Suby can party, it has work to do. Its work is like the space shuttle: lots of travel, but the main job is keeping precious cargo safe. In our case, the cargo bay is usually holding someone’s dreams.
Montana weddings can happen anywhere and everywhere. Many lucrative events are held in places underserved by the industry, often for good reason. Calls come in from brides bringing the whole family out to Big Sky, up to Yellowstone, back to Twodot.
Out here we pray for the interstate. 75 miles an hour is the relaxing part. It’s those last two miles we worry about. That’s where the washboards, switchbacks and cattle-guards will be. But Suby has a perfect track record, delivering cakes safely through bison jams, over mountain passes, and around the occasional holiday parade route. Last August a delivery outside Dillon almost took away that record.
It looked good on paper. It wasn’t the longest trip of the season; that was Lake Hotel at 135 miles, with a half-hour wait for bison to clear the road. It wasn’t the riskiest trip we’d made. That was a tie between the switchbacks up Tom Miner, and the old river channel a certain Ennis venue tries to pass as a road. Dillon is a long trip, but all on wide-open highways we cross fingers for.
We weren’t sweating it; other cake makers had blazed the trail. One of our customers tells of her sister’s wedding cake, baked almost 90 years ago at Bozeman’s BonTon. It was loaded on the morning milk train to Whitehall.
As the cake came together we talked our way through the delivery: What’s the latest we can leave and still get there? What’s the weather? Whose idea was this anyway? I thought you booked this wedding.
Just after noon, Carrie leaned back, rubbed her eyes and said the phrase that signals go-time:
“This is as good as this cake is ever going to look. Get it in the car.”
Right on cue it started to rain. We hurried the cake out to our Suby and closed the hatch. No obvious bleeding or running. So far so good. Slowly over the speed bumps in the parking lot, the tall cake didn’t move, a very good omen. Quick as it started, the rain quit. Classic omen. Main Street turned into North 19th then the interstate without incident. Small towns passed; the one small pass went under our tires quietly.
We turned back onto two-lane road. The mercury was rising, but the cake in back had it made in the shade. We slowed down for a few more of those small towns to avoid speed traps and sudden stops. Another rain cloud cooled us. The cake held. As we pulled in we said a quiet thank-you for our safe arrival.
We might have said it a little louder. The bride sent out an Aunt or two to meet us at the C-Store and lead to the reception. I got out to stretch and call them, feeling pretty pleased with my driving. I was so busy congratulating myself it didn’t register when I closed my locked door and Suby didn’t honk.
I had three blissful minutes, ignorant of the fact which you may already suspect: I had locked the keys (and a few dollars worth of someone’s dream cake) in the car. Facing the sun. In the middle of nowhere on Saturday.
“Did I give you the keys?”
She knew; I was already checking the doors. The cake started to sweat, and now so did we.
I called the one locksmith in town and draw some cash from the ATM. Saturday service with a rush? Hope $100 would cover it. The Aunts had arrived and were pacing around checking doors and commenting about the temperature. The fuss drew a small crowd. Kids called their moms to lift them up. Someone texted a friend…Dillon’s first flash-mob. Another asked “what’s a cake like that go for?”
“Not much if we don’t get it there.”
The phone rang. “Hello? Yep. Where at? Make and model? There’s a what locked inside? Okay sweetie, he’ll be over in ten minutes.”
It took five minutes flat. The older gentleman got out his tools and started jimmying. He mentioned Subarus can be a little tricky. I started back toward the ATM when I heard the click. “There she goes. $30, please.” I could have hugged him, but thought twice.
The cake was still perfect, barely perspiring. The crowd, much disappointed, began to disperse. We (much ready to get back and spend the left-over $70 at the Cat’s Paw forgetting the experience) pulled on the highway behind the Aunts. Even dirt road and metal bridge at the end couldn’t phase us. This cake wasn’t going anywhere.
We experienced the classic cake-delivery nightmare scenario and drove away; courtesy of the good people at the Subaru corporation and our friends at Paradise Locksmith. The cake was flawless and the bride never knew a thing. The secret was safe with us. And the locksmith. And half the county who has nothing better to do on a summer afternoon than hang out waiting for something to happen. Just don’t expect a repeat. Now we bring both sets of keys!
A Tale of Four Subarus
Tara K. Alfonsi
The Year: 1992
The Subaru: A 1989 Outback
“Mom,” I huffed, “this is so embarrassing.”
“Nice grocery-getter!” taunted one of the most insolent boys in my class.
I sneered a retort as I popped the hatch on my parents’ forest green Subaru Outback. As an awkwardly permed 4.0 student on the unglamorous Knowledge Bowl and cross country skiing teams, I was enough of a dork on my own. Being picked up by my mother in a boxy station wagon only boldfaced my nerdiness.
“Why do we have this stupid car?” my 13-year-old self whined. “I hate Subarus.”
“When you start driving, you’ll wish you had one,” replied my mother. “And we wouldn’t get to Bridger every year without one.”
“We look dumb,” I sulked, tossing my Fischers and worn red JanSport in the cargo hold. Climbing into the backseat, I perked up as a familiar song came on the radio. “Hey, is that Richard Marx?”
The Year: 1995
The Subaru: The Very Same 1989 Outback
“Munger Trail, here we come!” exclaimed an uncharacteristically enthusiastic Jen, turning up the cassette and harmonizing.
We were seventeen, high school juniors, and I had inherited the detested 1989 Outback. I still hated it – publicly. But, now that I’d had to dig more than one reckless teenaged friend out of the ditch, I appreciated the wagon’s nimbleness in snow. And, even though some of the guys I dated presented their own crude ideas for the potential utility of the cargo hold, I loved having the extra room for gear.
Mom was right.
It wouldn’t be the last time.
The Year: 1999
The Subaru: A 1988 XT6
“…Of the cross I bear that you gave to me, you, you, you oughtta know!” Jamie and I screeched along with the well-worn CD. For my first car, bought and paid for with my very own money, I had – yessiree – chosen a Subaru. A “vintage” 1988 XT6, Subaru’s attempt at a sports car, it was a glossy, cherry red and rode on air suspension struts that cost about $300 each to replace. I know this because one by one, they all died on me, and the car rode lopsided until I socked away enough cash from my part-time retail job to pay for them.
Not that I cared too much. What throws you when you’re 20?
“Play it again!” yelled a voice from the cargo hold. It was Tracy, painfully fresh from one of those Alanis-esque disembowling college breakups. “Repeat! Repeat!”
The Year: 2002
The Subaru: 2001 Forester
Beaming, I pulled into my parents’ driveway, lept out the driver’s side and sprinted up their porch.
“Guys! Come out and look!”
I was 25, and I was rolling in the dough ($35K – a small fortune!) after landing a job as an advertising copywriter. I had just signed a bank loan for a gently used 2001 Subaru Forester. Red with grey trim. In the cargo hold, a leather folio and a hot pink pair of Brooks Adrenalines.
I had arrived.
I called the car Felix. For five years, we explored together. State parks. National forests. The Minne-apple. And out west, three times – twice to Bozeman, once to Jackson. (On the second Bozeman junket, the cargo hold doubled as a bunkhouse.) Each of these trips marked a transition in my life, and the open road helped me heal.
She wasn’t my best friend, exactly. More like my therapist.
A few tanks ahead of the 150,000-mile mark, it happened. I was on the way back from a camping trip on Lake Superior’s North Shore. My ever-brooding significant other was driving.
At a stop sign, Felix died. I was unperturbed.
Half a mile later, she died again. We pulled over.
We didn’t even need to pop the hood to discover what was wrong. Felix was losing her lifeblood all over Highway 61. Coolant.
Her tank was empty.
She would not recover.
A few days later, my relationship died too. A check engine light had been flashing for years, but you know how we try to ignore the subtle danger signs … right up until the coolant’s on the ground and the engine’s seized up.
The cargo hold held five years’ worth of memories.
As I cleaned it out, I cried.
The Year: 2009
The Subaru: A 2009 Forester
In late 2009, I found myself on a very familiar interstate. In a shinier Forester. For a more promising reason.
Not running away. Running … to.
In the passenger seat was the only person I’d ever clearly seen a future with. The one great non-Subaru love of my life.
On the radio was “Midnight Train to Georgia,” occasionally sung into a banana.
And, in the cargo hold, our skis, our bird dog, and a dream.
Tracy J Menuey
I wish I could say that this story is a blissfully happy one. In all actuality it is how you look at things really to determine if this is a sad letter or a happy one. My Mom happens to be the most wonderful woman on the planet (in my opinion) and she is my best friend. On October 19th when the call came that she had breast cancer you can imagine how scary that was for her and me as well. That Monday was one of the scariest days of my life.
I was, at that time living in the other part of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon. That Friday I flew down to Houston, Texas and stayed with my Mom for the next month helping her in what has seemed to be an unending fight! She recovered well from her surgery and the Doctor said that they got all of the cancer out. That was great news. Then began the long painful journey of chemo. It is completely indescribable how absolutely degrading and humbling this very powerful "medicine" is. So as each treatment came and went my Mom had the support of a different family member. It was so wonderful to have so much help and support during very hard times. So now the time has come for my submission to this story for your magazine.
My Mom needs me, which I h