Some men face their aging with equanimity, fortitude, and grace. The rest of us whimper, rail, and whine.

A friend recently brought over his new Brazilian rosewood guitar—his fourteenth guitar, so many that he has begun hiding them from his wife. But I have chosen the road more traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Last year I got this for us to use here in the South Dakota summer:


Ah, yes, a 1985 Jaguar XJS V-12:


I don’t know why I love so the shape and style of these Jaguars . The E-Type is certainly much preferred by collectors, leaving examples of the XJS a poor cousin (and thus affordable for the likes of me).

But there is about them a kind of sophistication, an artistic quality, that I’ve never quite gotten over since I first saw them: more powerful than the fun little British sportsters of the early 1960s, more graceful than the roaring American muscle cars of the late 1960s.

Of course, the car is a little inappropriate for some of the Black Hills driving we face:

sd dirt road

But every once in a while, the car finds a road’s perfection here in South Dakota—or, at least, as much perfection as those of us growing old are allowed:


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