Latest for The Wall Street Journal, I photographed AJ and his family and Dougie, a 2003 Subaru Outback, for the 10th anniversary of his popular column, "My Ride."
"I have profiled owners of special vehicles from around the country nearly every week for the past 10 years. The one question people always ask me is: What kind of car do you drive? They expect Porsches in my garage, but no. On the 10th anniversary of My Ride, I present my family’s humble Subaru Outback, which we call Dougie.
My wife, Michelle, and I found the Outback in October 2002 at a Subaru dealership north of Boston. We were newlyweds and nervous—could we afford a car?—but we motored off in a new, bare-bones 2003 Outback. After moving to New York, we brought fragile newborns home from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in 2004 (Clayton) and 2007 (Audrey), swarmed by honking taxis as we white-knuckled it up the West Side Highway at 5 mph.
As new parents, we knew we would spend a lot of time in this vehicle.
Cheerios and Legos got lost in the seats; baby teeth disappeared, too. We had “the talk” with each kid in this Subaru. We taught them how to drive in it, as well as how the Subaru’s 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine worked.
At some point, the car took on a name: Dougie. And at another, it shifted from the place where we taught our kids about the facts of life to where we became their students.
Dougie set an example of how to live a life. No matter what obstacles lie in the road, he keeps going. He’ll never be the handsomest car in the parking lot, but he’s dependable and adventurous. What makes him special is that he is not special at all. He is just a simple, beloved, family automobile."