We called him Jack Mullavey.
I’d always wanted a car the same as my sixth grade teacher’s car, a pale green 1964 Holden EH station wagon. He was a great teacher, Mr Mullavey, the sort of teacher you wanted to do your best work for and he had a car that I envied every morning that I saw him pull it into the schoolyard.
Our Jack was 30 years old when we found him. At first he had our name on it and my memory of sixth grade scarred all over it, even if a little rusty. That got fixed and we both agreed that he looked like a Jack Mullavey and so he got his name.
Jack cruised us around Sydney town in style, took us both home south and up north many times. Kids loved that car. We loved that car. I loved that car. My dog loved that car. That car cruised.
For about a year, I ended up living in and out of Jack. Well me and the dog did anyhow. I packed up the house, put everything into storage and the three of us took off for a year. First we went south, then west, all the way around to Adelaide and from there we ventured further north. By the time we got close to the Northern Territory border it was getting a bit hot for the three of us. Thing about old cars is that they overheat easily and you can blow the motor, and Lucy was starting to get a bit heat fatigued so we headed east again slowly through Western New South Wales and up to the Far North Coast where we stopped for the summer.
By the time I was ready to return to my Sydney life, Jack was starting to blow smoke and slip out of third gear. (I’d put my knee over over the column shift to stop it from slipping). Jack served me one last act of devotion and moved me and Lucy out of storage and into our new home. On the last trip from storage to our new home, Jack earnt himself a defect sticker for smoking too much. I pulled Jack into the carport and there he rested for six months until a young fella came along and asked to buy him. He’d always wanted a 1964 Holden EH station wagon.