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The 53

Dodge Grand Caravan"I see you everywhere!" I hear that from my friends often. With five children in five different schools and only one working vehicle, we are on the road a lot. My response is almost always, "If the driving was bad, it was one of the teenagers…even if it was really me." Why would they notice us? We drive a white Dodge Grand Caravan. These white Caravans are so ubiquitous that you often have to look twice to assure you are getting in the correct one.

Did you know that Regal Entertainment Group is headquartered in Knoxville? Yes that Regal Cinemas. What this means is that b-flicks premier in Knoxville. When Herbie Fully Loaded came out in 2005, we took the family to see it. Turkey Creek was giving out lots of swag. We ended up with at least two 53 magnets. One went to a friend with an actual Volkswagen bug and the other lived on our refrigerator.

Herbie 53The day we got our white Dodge Grand Caravan, I thought I was being funny and slapped the 53 magnet on the hood thinking it would last 3 days. I was amazed at the number of people who smiled, pointed, and giggled as they walked past the van. They’d quiz, "Herbie right?" It’s a van, not a Volkswagen bug, so I’d reply, "Herbie hits middle age" (fatter in the middle) or "Herbie gets a family." I once tried to remove the magnet and found it bonded to the paint.

Last week, I noticed Herbie Van was showing its age. The freeze had cracked the 53 magnet. Now I’m left with some choices.

  1. Leave it as it..cracked.
  2. Try to remove the magnet which is bonded to the paint and risk tearing the paint off the hood
  3. Have a professional remove it and repaint the hood with an actual 53 (and perhaps a stripe).
  4. remove the magnet and repaint the whole van with daisies.
  5. Buy a new van. (okay.. that’s not a realistic option..)

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