“Get out of my dreams and into my car” sounds like something that would be muttered from the mouth of a serial killer if there was a white panel van involved. Yet, when blaring out of the butterfly door of a DeLorean, it sounds majestic. Like there would most definitely be a fog machine and tones of neon lights involved. So, when Billy Ocean croons the phrase, I am pleasantly drawn near instead of imagining Billy Bob Thornton’s character from Slingblade.
The DeLorean is most fondly remembered through the 1985 film “Back to The Future” as a time traveling machine that transports a young Marty Mcfly and Doc Brown between dimensions.
I am a Back to the Future fan, but as I have realized with a hefty response from the preview I posted to the video on Instagram, I am hardly alone in this. This cult classic has helped shape some parts of our existence as many of us are still looking for hoverboards, 88 miles per hour accelerants and a sweet guitar solo to Johnny B. Goode.
When I was working at the residential treatment center in Central Texas in what now feels like another life, another staff member was really into Delorean’s. Cody was a senior staffer to my green arrival. He had a 1/32 scale model of a Delorean and always planned to buy one. I didn’t get to know Cody all that well, but from what I gathered he seemed very caring and much easily cooler than I was. He was a bit older and pretty sure of himself. He listened to the Beastie Boys and Alt Rock. As someone approaching 20 at the time, I can clearly say a solid understanding of myself was easily something I was envious of.
But, before all of the other heartache and chaos of those times in that place, I should address the car accident that left Cody on life support.
To be clear; I was not included in the loss, as the three staff members who were directly affected, Cody being the most injured.
I couldn’t tell you specifics, but I know that on a late night, a vehicle swerved and possibly rolled. Cody was on life support and the two others had injuries treated at the scene.
I had traveled those highways late at night and can attest to the many times I saw deer dart out into the road. I once was the passenger in a friend’s Nissan 350z that had a doe run out in front of it. The car had some damage, the deer was a goner but thankfully we were ok.
I remember meeting Cody’s parents as he lay in that San Antonio hospital. A group of us went out to check in after a shift. I didn’t know what to say, and frankly I subsequently haven’t gotten much better at hospital bedsides. But, I hope that presence is felt, even if we don’t have answers. That Delorean model was actually in Cody’s hospital room as we prayed for his recovery and said our well wishes. It’s ironic how sometimes memories creep back up on us.
It wasn’t until I found that Humble had a Delorean Museum that the flash of Cody’s hospital room hit me. Even now, all these years later and maybe a bit more established in who I am, the value of a person’s contribution to our story is staggeringly monumental. I would like to think that in being around that community that Cody was well more familiar with at the time that I benefitted from more people reaching out and checking in on me. Lasting friendships benefitted from those times not having the answers but being around. Could it have been coincidence? Maybe. But I like to think that it worked out just the way it needed to.
I never knew John DeLorean, who quickly produced some of the iconic vehicles so widely accepted and endeared by many before the motor company quickly declared bankruptcy. Yet, the Engineer and Auto Executive who worked for not one, but many American Auto Companies was very successful before he branched off to start his own venture. Additionally, while not an automotive feat, DeLorean is also credited with successfully defending himself against cocaine trafficking charges using the defense of Entrapment against the government. That last fact may not be the most upstanding, but is a feat in itself nonetheless. DeLorean passed away in 2005, though the iconic DMC styling lives on.
Houston is a surprising area, filled with small suburbs that pack in museums and industry in hidden corners. You have to know where you are headed and sometimes still just stumble across treasures.
I’m looking for more of a theme this week than maybe I have used in the more recent past. I want to make sure that I am accurately and respectively remembering Cody, that I cite his passion for Delorean’s and the community that is built around that appreciation as a major reason I give the auto a second glorious look. And I also want to make sure that I am able to live in the present so that I can hopefully contribute more than just a few decades old stories. So, in addition to our regular take care of one another sign off, I will rely on the poetry of Billy Ocean (with or without the fog and neons);
(I will) “Get out of my dreams and get into my car”…