The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second ChancesBook - 2009
An Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Men's Health columnist recounts a year during which several family tragedies and a career setback prompted a journey to Texas with his estranged father in pursuit of a vintage BMW, a trip fraught by wry misadventures that helped him to reprioritize his life.
In the course of one nine-month period, filmmaker Mark Millhone's youngest son nearly died from birth complications, his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, his mother had a heart attack and passed away, a freak illness claimed the life of one of his friends, and his career imploded. As a result of his membership in what he calls the "tragedy-of-the-monthclub," his marriage also began to fray. Millhone responded to the chaos as many men might: Late one night, he logged on to eBay and bid on a vintage BMW—his fantasy car, but not exactly what the doctor ordered when it came to his family's finances. As if sharing the news that he'd won the auction with his already-peeved wife weren't bad enough, it turned out that he had to travel from New York to Texas to collect the car. His estranged dad joined him, and together they embarked upon a dysfunctional road trip—a comedy of errors that would lend Millhone the perspective he needed to save his marriage and to understand what was really important in his life: his family. Acerbic and hilarious but with heart, this memoir will appeal to readers of Chuck Klosterman, David Sedaris, and Nick Hornby, as well as readers of Millhone's "Guy Wisdom" column in Men's Health. His male perspective on a troubled marriage, raising children, coping with loss, and rejuvenating a relationship with a parent will appeal equally to both sexes.
Blackwell North Amer
It was a one-owner car kept in a climate-controlled garage in Dallas for the CEO of a large corporation in case he ever felt like driving himself to the golf course when he was in town. Never driven in the snow. Never smoked in. Never crashed.
That newness inspired a sense possibility that appealed to Millhone after everything he'd been through. In one hellacious year, he nearly lost his son to birth complications, his father was diagnosed with cancer, his mother died. As a result of all the stress, his marriage began to come apart at the seams.
And so late one night, Millhone logged on to eBayMotors.com and bid on the dream car that had become his holy grail, his prayer to the patron saint of used cars and second chances to make his family "like new" again. His wife? Not feeling the magic. Not only had he bought a car without consulting her, now he had to travel from New York to Texas to collect the car while they were in the middle of a home renovation.
Millhone's dad - a stoic Midwesterner with whom Millhone had always struggled to feel close - joins him on the trip and together they embark upon a classic American road trip that brings father and son together and gives Millhone the perspective he needs to save his family.