My Woman, Elizabeth
By Gordon M. Labuhn        








A First Place Essay

There is only a spark plug gap between the love and hate I have for a piece of tin that joyously gnaws away at my time and patience. My woman, at the age of ninety, stills limps along, trying to keep up with today's 45 mph speed demons. She's a little shaky on her wooden spindles; she's hump backed, and her front boasts two magnificent kerosene falsies, pretending to light the way.

My woman is cranky and tries to break my thumb when I wake her up. She dies often, but revives and lives again, with a loud and rhythmic heart beat. She's had so many surgeries that most of her parts belong to someone else. Her ribs of wood creak and her glass nose turns red when she's steaming mad. Supplies for a liquid diet are hidden beneath her seat. Shouting ooougaaa frightens chickens and makes children laugh. Occasionally she passes gas with a shattering bang. It's embarrassing!

She has a colorful personality even though her canvas top hat and dress are black. I spend a great deal of time on my back working on her bottom. My woman is a knuckle smashing, arm twisting, thumb breaking aggravating American icon.

The little old lady gives me grief almost beyond endurance, yet I truly love to escort my Model "T" Turtle Back Roadster in the Fourth of July parade. She is both my nemesis and my Queen of Hearts. That's my Liz!

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