Thursday, July 07, 2016

It's Time now for Warren Sparrow's.....

                    The Weakly Reader

                     Vol. II, No. 3      Winston-Salem, North Carolina       7 July 2016

“Good evening” and “welcome” to those who have joined us for another edition of The
Weakly Reader. Today’s program is brought to you by Ralston-Purina, makers of the cereal that
can’t be beat: Hot Ralston. We have a guest today: This is not your ordinary guest. Before he
rolls out I want to tell you a little about him. When introduced to the public in 2002, our guest
stunned audiences with his style and grace. His energy and endurance were the envy of all who
saw him in action. After almost 16 years on the road, he is performing better than ever.
Please join me in welcoming the world renowned… the sleek and stout climber of Mount
Washington… let us give a hearty welcome to the 2003 Honda known around the world as
Accord One! (Thunderous applause.)

Accord One!
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. It is an honor to be here today. I want to
take this opportunity to thank the Honda Motor Company for taking a chance on me in 2002.
My design was a radical change for Honda. Thankfully, the public was ready for it.

Today I want to tell my story, starting with the early days when the Sparrows bought me
in December 2002 off the Flow Honda lot in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They took me
without a test drive. In fact, they never even kicked my tires. The Sparrows seemed excited to
get me. I know I was happy to get off the lot.

Within a few days I had forgotten about the Flow car lot. There I was, enjoying the
tennis at Amelia Island, Florida. Those were heady days. After returning to Winston-Salem, It
was not long until disaster struck. I shall never forget it.

Picture this: I am resting comfortably in the garage under an apartment building off
Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. I had given the Sparrows a smooth ride from Winston-
Salem to D.C. for a visit with Mrs. Sparrow’s brother Jac Smit and his wife Lee. They lived in the
building where Harry Truman had lived when he was a Senator from Missouri. What a treat it
was to be parked in such an historic place.

What happened next is hard to describe. On the morning of the “event,” the Sparrow
family prepared me for a trip to Mount Vernon. Being familiar with D.C. traffic, Mrs. Sparrow’s
brother Jac was chosen to drive me. He got behind the steering wheel while the remaining
three members of our party put their coats in the back seat but did not get in the car. They
thought it would better to wait to get in until Jac backed out of the narrow space in the garage.
So he started to back up. I heard this terrible crunching sound and felt a sharp pain in my left
side where the rear door was attached to my frame. I stopped as quickly as my driver would let
me. It was too late! The frame around the old garage’s bay was shattered. My left rear door
was clinging to its bent hinge. I was in shock. I was barely a year old, now maimed for life, I
thought. What was to become of me? Would I be left to die in a Washington junk yard? Or,
worse, would I be operated on by some opportunistic shade-tree mechanic? This nightmare
came about because some fool did not close my back door after putting in their coat.

Then a miracle happened. I should have known: The Sparrows are the luckiest people
on Earth. Brother Jac, the man who backed up without knowing my door was open, saved me
and the day. He manhandled the door, bending the hinge just enough to allow the door to shut
flush against the frame. “Do not try to open the door,” he warned, “maybe it will hold together

Seriously wounded, I carried on as if nothing had happened. I made to Mount Vernon
and back without incident and without anything to dull the pain in my left side. I bore the pain
but could not escape the mental anguish caused by what I believed to be a life-shattering
experience. The old wooden frame in Truman’s garage could be easily replaced. To repair
what happened to me would be expensive and life-altering.

As it turned out, the repairs were neither expensive nor life-altering. Remember how
happy I was to get away from that Flow parking lot? Well, the folks at Flow welcomed me
“home” when the Sparrows took me there after our return to Winston-Salem. The Flow body-
shop guys did a great job on me. They eliminated the pain in my left side. The door worked
perfectly. They gave me a “new beginning,” all for less than Three Hundred Dollars. The
Sparrows were very happy.

For the next 12 years I performed before audiences all over America. Like it says in the
Army song, I was rolling through hills, dales and dusty trails, getting 32 miles per gallon. In
addition to my climb to the top of Mount Washington, I appeared in central Florida, eastern
Kansas and southern Vermont. During June of this year I completed a 2,006-mile tour known
as The Odyssey. The trip took me to a few places I had never been. One was Allentown, PA.
Another was a sea-coast town south of Boston—Marshfield, MA.

The high point of The Odyssey came near the end. It was a dream come true. For the
first time in my 14 years on the road, I got to roll through the streets of Manhattan. Yes, it is
true: “Getting there is half the fun.” Getting out is the other half. The stuff in between was
boring, being stuffed in an underground garage, but it was a cheap price for being able to
“make it” in New York, New York.

After the incredible rush of my Manhattan performance, I needed a break. Heading
south on the New Jersey Turnpike, I quickly distanced myself from the tall buildings and the
Lincoln Tunnel. Though I enjoy showing off in crowded venues, I always feel better on the open

On the way from Manhattan to Winston-Salem, I spent the night parked in front of a
lovely brick home in Chevy Chase, MD, a Washington suburb. It was my 12 th night on the road
and I slept soundly. The next morning, the 13 th day of The Odyssey, I woke up early, eager to do
what I do best: Glide along at 32 miles per gallon. Off we went. It was about 9 a.m. Delayed a
little by massive traffic on Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, VA, it took me until 4:30 p.m. to
get home.

There you have it: My story from beginning to end-- from the awful moment in
Truman’s garage to the exhilarating Manhattan experience. Hopefully, it is not the end. I am
looking forward to many more miles of “Happy Motoring.”

My time is up. Thank you for listening. Thank you for letting me tell my story. I am sure
each of you has a better one. (Thunderous applause!)

That is all the time we have for today’s program. We hope you have enjoyed this
edition of The Weakly Reader. Until next time, please remember, “Hot Ralston can’t be beat!”

7 July 2016                                                             s/ Warren Sparrow