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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Cars and the Pacific Northwest

As a missionary, part of my job is to observe and learn about the culture I am entering. As many of you know I have been on a tour of the Pacific Northwest drumming up support for Oaxaca '06, our men's ministry in Oaxaca scheduled for September 9 - 16, 2006. (Yes guys, that's a plug!) This will be the first of a few snippets sharing some of the interesting things I learned while I was there.

It seems like the people in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho all drive regular cars! Being born and raised in So. Cal., home of the "Car Culture," I find that fascinating. Many folks here in Los Angeles live for their cars. It is my guess that the whole idea of renting your car, called leasing by the industry, was thought up with Los Angeles in mind so we could constantly have new cars. But I digress.

During my travels I saw one Hummer! Now perhaps that seems about right for the rest of the country, but I generally have to avoid about seven of those tanks daily on my trips to the store. They are common sights in Los Angeles. As are cars from Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, and even Ferreri. I did not see one of those other brands the entire time I was there. That is amazing to me. Here is what I was more likely to see. Passanger vans. Oh yeah, and maybe a few trucks. Actually lots of trucks. But not always the pretty ones we see here in So. Cal. Dirty trucks. With dents, scrapes, and peeling paint.

You don't see alot of that around Los Angeles. I once had one of those trucks. Some people call 'em beaters. But you know what? That truck was a Godsend. My little red 1986 Nissan became the backbone of our ministry when it was founded. It wasn't a glamorous truck. But it ran, and ran, and ran. I finally sold it in Mexico for $1000.00 in 2002. It had 280,000 miles on it, and it was time. Today we have a nice new truck. A 1989 Dodge Ram. Less than 100,000 miles. We call it the tank. As our ministry grew, we found that we needed a bigger backbone. It is still a beater, but it too has been a Godsend.

Lots of people in So. Cal. are convinced that they need their expensive cars and trucks. I wonder if they haven't just got needs and wants a little mixed up. It is something I still struggle with everyday. My trip to the Northwest helped bring that a little more into focus in my life.

Comments on "Cars and the Pacific Northwest"

 

Blogger CommuterJames said ... (7:48 PM) : 

hey...i have a "beater" 1986 Nissan! haha

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (8:42 AM) : 

Yeah james but as you know, it does not hold a candle to "old red"!

 

Blogger James Manning said ... (9:33 AM) : 

One thing that surprised me when I moved to LA was the number of people driving Benz's and BMW's. A lot of cars here. But I can understand it. the public transportation is crazier than a car. I work 25 minutes from the house and take the bus to work. I look at the schedule and the times they give are not even close to reality. The 7:34 bus shows up anywhere between 7:20 and 7:50. You just never know.

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (10:01 AM) : 

I go into downtown LA a couple of times a month for meetings. As a good citizen, I try to take public transportation as much as possible. Short of metrolink, which is $13.00 for a total round trip mileage of 40, it'll take me 2 hours to get there. And 2 hours back. It is unbelievable. I've been to Chicago and their system works. Why can't we get something like that here?

 

Blogger CommuterJames said ... (11:25 AM) : 

hey dave...you should check out my latest post (march 2nd) at www.commuterjames.blogspot.com and let me know what you think of my idea

 

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said ... (1:21 PM) : 

I would love to see the Pacific Norhwest.

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (1:24 PM) : 

It is absolutely beautiful. I would need more sun to live there but if you like clouds, rain, and gorgeous views, it is the place to be!

 

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