As a four-alarm fire raged through an old, vacant produce warehouse on Jan. 20, 2002, plumes of heavy black smoke filled the air in southeast Portland, Ore. Under spitting rain, 150 firefighters battled the blaze as it tossed large chunks of fiery debris onto streets as far as two blocks away.
We had to buy a new car recently. My wife’s car was 16 years old, and keeping it running was costing us almost as much as an entire car payment. It was definitely time to say goodbye, which created another problem—shopping for a new car.