Here's mine and my car's back story:
I did a little research, and this would be my Car’s value $900 ish… IF it was in fair condition (the lowest Kelly’s Blue Book standard), and IF 175,401 were the actual mileage. . But.. it soo isn’t.
Full disclosure Preamble: My previous car was stolen and insurance didn’t cover full replacement, I took a mechanic friend with me when I bought the car I have now. Which was in clean condition and he said it was a good deal.. But I came to believe that it was so clean, because it had been totaled and was a salvage vehicle. I came to think that for a few reasons, but mainly, because shortly after I got it, the headliner literally fell down on my head… and when I stopped to fill up my gas tank and hit the reset button on my trip meter (so you can know how many miles you get on a tank).. Anyway, the trip meter reset to zero.. And neither it, nor the odometer, has moved since… and I’ve had this car for 4 or 5 years now, heck, maybe more .. So I know the mileage is WAAAAAY more than 175,401… But, I have no idea just how many miles are really on my car. Guesstimating well over 250,000...
Also, because, piece by piece, it’s been dying incrementally. The AC is dead.. No worries most of the time, I live on the coast, so, yanno, no biggy. And yeah.. It’s burning oil.. Have to put a quart in every time I fill up the gas tank. But I figured, that I could do.. So yep.. Kept it filled with oil. But, gets expensive after a while.
Doesn’t pass smog. More serious, but, again, not a problem, not a requirement in Mendocino county. Still, I try to not drive it much…. Then the fan died.. Ok.. so no defrosters, etc. I bundle up and use a squeegee to clear frost from the window.
Both front door seals leak like sieves and so does the moonroof… so.. When I have to drive whilst it’s raining, it’s basically raining on you inside. As a few of my intrepid friends can attest. (Sorry again) But yanno… I keep it covered when not in use.. So.. ok.. You make do with what you’ve got, right?
Then, I haven’t been on the coast 3 months, and friend Arlene sees someone hit & run the rear end of my car, in the parking lot downtown in Point Arena. Broke all of the lens & reflector covers on the left rear.. Looks like hell… but… guy had a sob story...in a new neighborhood, so I let it go. Could have sued him.. Anyway.. Cover it with reflective tape best I can, ‘cause it’s an old car and I can’t find the replacement parts, and I keep working.. Surely next month will get me a bit ahead… gotta keep the faith. Don’t complain, just keep working.
Emergency brake ratchet mechanism died. So yeah, I’ve been driving on the Highway that literally hugs the edge of the continent, windy roads to beat the band, with no emergency brake. Can’t tell you how many awesome photos I didn’t get to take in my travels, because I couldn’t leave my car without it rolling away...
Battery died. Electrical system has a parasitic drain.. So.. install kill switch.. And add popping the hood, flipping the switch, before you can get in and start the car. And MUST remember to switch it off whenever you stop, or will fully drain battery. Auto Locks stopped working long ago. But, was making it work until last night and again today.
Now it won't even start. It’s not catching at all. Could be the starter, or the starter solenoid.. Or the fuel injectors could be clogged… or mice, whose attempts to nest I’ve been thwarting almost daily, may have finally chewed through something essential. Heck, could be all of the above.
I have AAA and could have it towed to Elk Garage.. Already talked to them.. And it’s $100 per hour to figure out what’s wrong with it.. And then repair costs on top of that… It’s a 93.. Parts are getting harder to find and prohibitive in their cost, nd it’s just not worth it.
This car, my faithful sea turtle, has served me well. But alas, though it pains my environmental heart to say it, it’s time for new-to-me-wheels.
The nature of my work and where I live make a reliable vehicle a must-have priority.
I have fought, worked and struggled, tooth and nail for the last six years. If you remember, 7 years ago, the economy was only starting to recover from the housing and 401K crisis… and no studio was giving any photographers enough hours to live on.
So, I did the scariest thing I could think of. I started my own business, following my passion and what I truly feel called to do. With no deep pockets, or investors. As a single woman with no spouse or second income earner and no investment portfolio, No bank would give me a start up loan. But I was crazy enough to believe that I could do it anyway.
With a little encouragement from friend and mentor Molly, and a gift of a small camera from Father Christmas, (no really!!) I began PawPawrazzi.
And after just 3 months, I’d had a photo published on the cover of International Basenji magazine! And was still alive after the first year, which, let me tell you, as an artist, with no money for marketing, that alone was a sign from God that I have guardian angels. Of course, I wasn’t just praying, I was out there working it guerilla style. On the beaches, in the parks, shooting every dog I could, chatting up everyone… grinding it out to get better, learn and grow. Bay Area Pet Expo, Rescue Groups, you name it, I shot it!
Then my rent got tripled… yeaahhhh… so.. Basically I got priced out of the Bay Area.. but, that’s a choice I made when I decided to be an artist apparently. So, I took a realllly big breath and did a super scary thing again… I moved away from everyone I knew.. And where I’d spent 3 years building PawPawrazzi.. To strike out for my dream destination.. The Mendocino Coast.
Yassee… I’d done my homework… and Ft. Bragg had been named 5th most dog friendly city in America… and while there were no less than 40 professional pet photographers in the Bay Area, there were none serving the needs of the animal lovers on the Sonoma and Mendocino coast…
And then, through a series of magical and serendipitous events, I found my wee cottage in Manchester! And have managed to stay afloat, and not go under… mind you.. Only the barest of necessities have been met… but.. A roof over me haid..my animal companions and it’s paradise! Filled with wonderful warm hearted people. Lots of artists. But, it’s a small populace spread all over the county.. And no nearby neighbors... And so.. It takes a while to get to meet folks.
So, I’ve done what I can.. And things are growing slowly, but oh, everything takes so much longer than you ever think they will, don’t they? I’ve worked.. Made clients cry tears of joy. I’ve volunteered, and served my Manchester community center and Point Arena Merchant’s Association , literally helped paint the town of Point Arena . And I volunteer at the Arena Theater , because it’s so important to the culture and arts out here. I figure, you've got to bloom where you're planted and give back to the community you live in.
But.. do I have savings? Alas, no.
Do I have an independent and some would say, stubborn streak about a mile wide that tells me, I can do it all myself and I don’t want to ask for help? Ummmm… alas.. Yes.. yes, I do.
My business would be growing faster if I did more boots on the ground networking out here.. But, I’ve been babying this car so that it wouldn’t die and basically only driving it for work appointments and volunteering locally. And I miss my friends, and getting to the bay area more often.. And up to Tahoe..
But now, it’s left me no choice, because,
“He’s dead, Jim”.
Since I want to grow.
I find I need your help.
And there it is.
Hard working artist needs wheels to work.
I figure with 5K I could get a decent, reliable vehicle and also cover the insurance and registration. Though, I don’t want to put limits on the Universe, should it be more! I need to have my camera body cleaned and serviced. And a back up would be nice too.
But, my first priority is my freedom, my mobility, my ability to pursue my art and do my work.
And it has to happen fast too, because no work, means I can’t cover rent & bills. No dilletante here. I need to work.
Anything will help, heck, in theory, I have 1,100 Facebook friends.. If everyone would help with just $5, this would be a slam dunk.
So, if I’ve ever made you laugh with something I’ve said.. Or smile at my antics… or cry tears of joy at the photos I took for you.. Or appreciated something I’ve hopefully helped you with… or, if I gave you a Rescue Hero discount because I truly believe in paying it forward and rewarding folks who choose to adopt and not shop… or, if you're from one of the Rescue Groups I've helped raise money for, or, if you’re just my friend and want to help, that would be the bee’s knees.
Or, if you don’t feel comfortable donating, HIRE ME!
Book an appointment and you’ll be helping us both realize our dreams.
Come on Universe.
Amaze me anew.
Thank you in advance my friend.
Forever yours with gratitude and love,
- Veronika DESALGADO
- Kenneth Jowers
- C Westphal
- Amy McShefferty
- Maggie Secara
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