Our school shut down for a few days (Monday – Wednesday), so I thought I’d use some of that time to take our Saturn Vue in for some maintenance. Monday morning I left our home and headed out, secure in the knowledge that my vehicle would be repaired, washed and vacuumed by noon or so, and I could drive back home happy.

As I exited Expressway 83 and made my way to the Saturn dealership, I noticed that it looked surprisingly empty. There were still many new vehicles parked and ready for new owners, but the metal bars that block access to the grounds were closed. The lights were off in all of the buildings, and there were no people anywhere in view.

I thought, hoping against hope, that maybe in some weird cosmic confluence of events swine flu had hit Saturn and they were temporarily closed. So I called their number – no answer. I called my wife and had her check their website – no more website. I could feel my hope draining. I asked my wife to go to the main Saturn website and look for a contact number; she found a Customer Support number which I promptly called (gotta love cell phones). (Though I have to say, arguing with an automated voice system to try to get a live person on the phone ranks up there as one of the few things that really irritate me in this life!)

The polite gentleman on the other end of the line informed me that indeed my beloved Saturn dealership was closed; the closest one was in San Antonio and would I like their number? I laughed and informed him that I had no wish to drive for almost three hours to get my vehicle serviced (my wife, upon hearing of that particular part of the conversation: “Doesn’t it take about 3 1/2 hours to get there?” and then remembering that I tend to view Speed Limits as guidelines instead of absolutes).

So I was put on hold while he searched for a local dealership that would be able to honor my still functioning warranty. A few minutes later (while I contemplated quarterly trips to San Antonio under the guise of “but honey, the car needs to get that oil change”) the polite service representative came back and informed me that there was a local Chevrolet dealership that would be servicing all Saturn vehicles in the area. I took their number and called them.

I was taken aback as I had to make an appointment to take my car in. I was used to royal VIP treatment at Saturn where I could freely waltz in at any time that suited me to have my precious Vue mended. I also missed the open construction of the Saturn building – no walls, only lots of open space and even a vehicle or two to admire as I waited. Instead of very comfortable couches (if I wanted to watch TV or read) or small round tables (if I wanted to work) I had to be content with a small, cramped waiting area. Instead of a nice selection of donuts and pan dulce to satiate my appetite I had to make do with some water. And instead of the people I had come to know at Saturn I had to walk into a new place, talk to people I didn’t know.

It hit me, as I was talking to my wife, that I was in mourning. Which was an interesting feeling for me. That particular Saturn dealership was a fixture in my life for about seven years. The man who sold us our first Saturn (Ben) passed away about 2 years ago, and it was a loss we felt (I still remember him telling us to go home and think about our first purchase for a few days – he was a gentle man who did not have a pushy bone in his body). A former students’ dad was the general manager there for a while, prompting a passing, causal remark (“tell your did I want a new car!”) to turn into “honey, so and so’s dad talked to me this morning when I took the car in for service – you want to go pick out a new one?”

So I pray for the people that worked at the Saturn dealership, I pray for Saturn, and I pray for my attachment to that place that sold us our first new vehicle and that sold us three more after that.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
RIP Saturn of McAllen – you will be missed.

Blessings & Peace,

6 thoughts on “Saturn

  1. Hugo says:

    Not sure yet – we drove by it a few days ago and it's still a ghost town 🙁 But we'll see – hopefully it reopens soon 🙂

  2. Hugo says:

    We love em too – but if we ever buy another one we'll have to travel to get it – hopefully this one lasts! 🙂

    Blessings & Peace,

  3. pecheur says:

    Oh no I loved our Saturns when we were in the States. I was not a fan until I had to buy another car and my wife convinced me. I was not ungrateful.

  4. Hugo says:

    Many prayers for your loss as well 🙂 I'd had a few different mechanics with our previous vehicle (a 1994 Chevy Cavelier that really lasted well), but just seemed to click well with all of the people there @ Saturn. Maybe this is God's way of telling me to buy a new car 🙂

    Blessings & Peace,

  5. Kc says:

    I sympathize and I’m sorry for your loss. I recently lost my mechanic of over 20 years. He struggled for a few years but eventually succumbed to retirement leaving behind a great many satisfied customers. 😉

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