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  • By: Douglas G. Goldberg
  • Published: July 24, 2020

I watched the Back to the Future trilogy last weekend. I know, it’s six hours long and took most of a day, but dang it’s a great story! I’m generally not much for science fiction films but these were different somehow.

The original film is my favorite. Michael J. Fox is 17 year old Marty McFly, who accidentally travels back in time from 1985 to 1955, where he meets his future parents and becomes his mother’s romantic interest. Yikes! Christopher Lloyd stars as the eccentric scientist Doctor Emmett “Doc” Brown, Marty’s friend and the inventor of a time-traveling DeLorean automobile, who helps Marty repair history and return to 1985. The sequel is a close second and the third, while different and a bit predictable, is still entertaining.

My favorite character in the movie is actually a car – the 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 – one of the most iconic cars in history. I love that it drives and flies and is fueled by garbage. I even love the vanity plate it carries – “OUTATIME.” Perfect.

As I was going through some things the other day, I discovered a manila envelope that had some old license plates stuffed inside. As I pulled them out, I smiled. “BERGMOM” was my wife’s last plate and she was truly that; the Mom of the Goldbergs, even me at times.

She used to have “KITSY,” her nickname. One Christmas, we gave all of the kids vanity plates of their choice. My youngest son Trevor opted for “BERGBAT,” named after his baseball bat company and my middle son Eric nabbed “GOALDY,” awesome for a soccer player. I’ve had a couple of vanity plates over the years; “DGG,” my initials, was available in 1980 when I had my red and gold, T-top Camaro. “ROXBIV” was fun – “Rock” was my nickname and “biv” was short for bivouac. Rock’s mobile bivouac. I think I picked that one after several beers with my college buddies. “XEXPO45” was my all-time favorite. 45 was the number I wore as a pro for the Montreal Expos, and X was short for “Ex,” meaning former.

Over the years we drove many different vehicles. Kitsen owned a sweet maroon Firebird when I met her and we bought a Toyota truck a few months before we got married. Being young and financially clueless, we traded her paid-for Firebird for a speedy little black VW Sirocco, the sports car that we sold after her second speeding ticket, and a car payment. We drove a few Durangos, several Jeeps, vans, SUVs and trucks. My plan for her birthday this year was to buy her a purple pickup truck with leather seats and a trailer hitch to pull her horse trailer. Unfortunately, I was “4MOSLATE.”

As a young lawyer, I used to practice “CARLAW.” At one point, I was representing about half of the car dealers in Colorado Springs and suing the other half. After five years, I had had enough and changed focus, but not before trying unsuccessfully to purchase a car dealership of my own – from John Elway. Yes, that John Elway. Looking back, I’m grateful that purchase never happened, but I gotta admit, meeting John Elway and his lawyer in an all-glass conference room on the top floor of a downtown Denver office building was pretty “BIGLEEG.”

To me a car or a truck is just a vehicle. A way to get people and things back and forth from one place to another. Of course I enjoy all of the bells and whistles but I’m really not a “CARGUY.” I drive a 2013 Chevy Avalanche but I’ve also had nice cars, sports cars, trucks and vans and SUVs. I’ve owned Pontiac, Mercury, and Saab, Toyota, Nissan, and Dodge, and Buick, Honda and Ford. I’ve even had two cars stolen – one they never found and the other they found in pieces, in the back of a truck after a short trip to a chop shop. My all-time favorite car is one I’ve never owned – a 1963 Corvette, split window coupe. Maybe one day I’ll get my “DREMCAR.”

In the estate planning world, you only have two choices when you pick a vehicle to be the foundational document of your plan – a Will or a Living Trust. Which one you choose ultimately depends on your planning goals and your budget. That’s a decision I help families with every day. “WILRTRST” or “PLANOW” would be appropriate today.

In the new world during the COVID 19 pandemic, the term “delivery vehicle” has taken on a new meaning. Everything we need or want can now be delivered to our door, by a guy in a mask, touchless of course. Food from every restaurant imaginable and even beer and liquor. It used to be delivery was a choice of pizza or Chinese. Now it’s pretty much anything you desire, in 45 minutes or less. “FSTGRUB”

God has also given each of us a spectacular vehicle to tote us around Planet Earth. We definitely don’t take as good care of it as we should but yet we survive. They are durable and resilient and, at the same time, delicate and fragile vessels. One wrong twist or turn and a body can be permanently damaged or destroyed. “SUPRBOD” for sure.

Each vehicle, in whatever context, is a one-of-a-kind creation. Each is different but somehow similar to the others in the community, worthy of its name tag. “UNIQUE”

The vehicle I have been craving since New Year’s Eve, over 200 days now, is a time machine. Like Marty and Doc in Back to the Future, I long for a modified 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 that can transport me to another time. A time where she is here with me, in my world. Or maybe to another time where I am there with her, in her world. Where matters not. Who is my only consideration. One day, just like everyone else on Planet Earth, I’ll be “ONMYWY” to “ETRNTY.” We all better “GETREDY!”

Douglas G. Goldberg, Esq.