I Had to Say Good-Bye to My Subaru


Enjoying Baby Blue in the Sun

“Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.”

I doubted that statement. As I looked outside at my 1995 Subaru Legacy LS, I didn’t think too much about it. Perhaps, I thought I was going to have her forever.

So I thought.

I met my 1995 Subaru in 2002. I was a sophomore at Moon Area in Pittsburgh, PA. It was in the afternoon, and my mom called me into the basement to talk.

Ugh, a talk? What is it this time, I thought. I hated being cornered “to talk.”

I went downstairs, and my mom and I began to talk. About nothing. My mom seemed distracted, struggling to come up with something to talk about. I thought it was odd, but didn’t think too much else about it. Then the door opened and I heard my dad’s voice bellow from upstairs. My mom and I proceeded upstairs, and outside, where my dad was. behind his car, was a strange, blue sedan in the driveway.

“Is this one of your friend’s cars?” my dad asked me.

“No, never seen it.” I replied, puzzled.

“Oh,” Dad said, “then I guess it’s yours,” and tosses me the key.

My Subaru was a gift, a surprise shortly after I turned sixteen.

Immediately, our relationship started to form. I got my driving license in my Subaru. Bertha.

Baby Blue Bertha. Also, affectionately known as “the Tank.” It’s cool though, I like my girls tough.

I believe me, that toughness was tested. Multiple times.

In one of my first drives out I was leaving Wings, Suds, and Spuds (a wing place in Moon) and I had a car-full of girls. Naturally, my attention was elsewhere. I was backing down the steep driveway, and heard a RIIIP! But the kept going. It certainly didn’t sound good, but with a car full of ladies, I wasn’t going to be too worried. That’s until we got to the coffeehouse and one of the girls, Natalie, looked and said “Oh my God, Dwayne…that sound was definitely your car.”

Baby Blue had the front bumper ripped off. I’m sorry baby.

During one Fourth of July, same year I believe, we were leaving the park, and a lady in a SUV full of kids side-swiped Bertha. Didn’t even see us.

That bitch just hit Bertha! Aw hell no.

Incidents continued. Nothing major. A speeding ticket here, turn signal violation there, but one thing was constant:

I took care of her, and Tank took care of me.

Junior year of high school, I won Prom King. We all went to Prom in a stretch Hummer Limo. How did I leave prom? With my prom date, in my Subaru.

The summer that followed, I was invited to grad parties, house parties, and everything in-between. And I went in Blue Bertha.

It was good to be the King.

Then, in 2004, I left for Elon University. And I left Baby Blue in PA. That was a tough year.

No one leaves Baby Blue in PA.

But then, sophomore year, I brought it down to NC. Life was good.

Life was great, actually. Where didn’t my Subaru and I go? All around NC, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia.

After school, I met the love of my life. Mackenzie and I, during our first year, traveled a lot.

And we traveled in my Subaru.

Sometimes I wondered what my Subaru liked. Now, I think she was a woman’s woman. You see, I am a big fan of curves. They’re sexy. And I think my Subaru did too. Bertha would hug curves so tight, it would make me jealous.

You’re with me Bertha, let’s calm down.

But just last week, The Tank met it’s match. Totaled. I totaled my Subaru. But was anybody harmed? Of course not.

“I took care of her, and she took care of me.”

So this is just a thank you to Baby Blue Bertha, my Tank. As I was at the body shop, looking at Bertha- windshield broken, rear view mirror cracked, air bags hanging out like intestines- it was tough to look at. I lost you 70,000 miles too early. But the memories you gave me are worth it.

Love, it’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.

Love, it’s what makes a Subaru, MY Subaru. Thanks Bertha!


New Find: The American Time Use Survey

Who knew that the government actually collected interesting information?

I certainly didn’t think so. The Census is one thing, every professional communicator, urban planner, real estate investor would be interested. But how Americans spend their time? Not many would be interested to know. Because not many care.

But I took a closer look to it, and found extremely useful information from the survey.

First, the American Time Use Survey is done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It makes sense, for the survey concentrates on work and employment, leisure, sleep, volunteer activities, students, older Americans and the like. It gathers how much sleep certain populations receive, how much play time a group gets, and what kind of people work more from home versus being in the office.

Very interesting stuff.

Here are two takeaways from the survey:

-Multiple jobholders are more likely to work weekends and holidays than single jobholders
-Self-employed workers were three times as likely to work at home as wage and salary workers; multiple jobholders were also more likely to work at home as single jobholders.

It seems that the multiple jobholder and self-employed worker will have similar tendencies (let’s face it, many self-employed people now have multiple jobs!) so grouping these two populations, or least applying assumptions from one to the other, would work more times than not.

Search through the survey yourself, and feel free to share the insight you find.

Do You Hear Me Now? Good.

Statue of Robin Hood, in Nottinghamshire, England.

Image via Wikipedia

It takes a while for an organization to find its voice. It must really dive deep and decide what values it will support, the kind of businesses it wants to work with, and the kind of client or customer it wants to serve. Then and only then can a voice be developed.

Has The Charlotte Agency found its voice in its 3rd year? I would like to think so.

First, we came out blazing, “Good Ol’ Boys rest here“,  “Charlotte get your s**t together there“,”we’re tearing down the streets with an army of midgets” there, and the messages about down with the Bourgeois continued.

Then, we noticed all the glares and “tsks tsks” from the ‘established’ marketing and communications arena, and decided that maybe we should play nice, and get invited to all the fancy events, have drinks over at the club (or Blumenthal, whichever) and then meet a Bank of America exec who loves “up-and-comers” that remind them of themselves.

We took a step back and realized…we’re not really the play nice type.

So entering into round 3. The gloves are back off, and we’re feeling good.

Really good.

The organizations that we’re working with are artsy, edgy, but full of heart. They love Charlotte, and the people in Charlotte.  Our people don’t worry about the status quo. Or, for that matter, status in general. If they blow up (which most of them will) it will be due to the fact that they’re better than their competitors.

We agree.

There’s something in the air here in Charlotte. We’re trying to figure out how we can breathe it all in. Charlotte does have a boys club of folks controlling the BIG ideas. Cue Center City Partners. Enter Arts and Science Council. Release the hounds in the Charlotte Sports Commission. Add a dash of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

But that’s okay. Because that means, the people need a voice. Small businesses need a business-savvy, creative front group that will tell, nay, yell what this group needs.

And business-savvy, creative front group practically screams us.

The Charlotte Agency doesn’t take any prisoners. If you’re with us, great, if not, get out the way. We’re like the Robin Hood of marketing, giving a voice to the small folks while exploiting the fat cats.

And we’re only picking up speed.

Do you hear me now?