I've seen this car in my neighborhood for several years. I've always loved it. My grandfather had one in Florida in copper until the late 70's. No flashy hardtop, like the one in the picture, his was a salesman's car that he had driven around the Midwest selling menswear, mostly sweaters, for a company called Robert Bruce, until he retired. The back seat was huge and had an armrest that folded down in the middle. Me and my brothers called it the king seat and sitting on it - no seat belt, of course - you felt pretty cool cruising around humid Sarasota. The giant car had ashtrays everywhere; in the dash, in the bulky door handles in the back, and there was one housed in the back of the front seat that contained a push-in lighter. One time, on the way to Busch Gardens or the Ringling Mansion - we were always going somewhere advertised in a colorful pamphlet - I pushed in the lighter and when it popped I removed it, saw the glowing red element and put my finger to it like an idiot. I'd say, "like a curious six year-old," except I still do this kind of thing.
This model of the 225 - a poor man's Cadillac, known as the "Deuce and a Quarter" - is from either '71 or '72, a couple years newer than my grandpa's more conservative version. I remember riding in it to St. Armand's Shopping Circle and going to Tail O' The Pup, a bar and grill that had great cheeseburgers and was dark and very air-conditioned, unlike the rest of Sarasota. We went to Florida all the time when we were growing up, from being little kids fighting to sit on the king seat, to getting crushes on granddaughters who were down at the pool at my grandparents' condo, all the way until I could drive. Unfortunately, by that time the old Buick had been traded in for some crappy late 70's car - I think it was a Dodge Aspen - so I never got behind the wheel.
The breakfast with my former fiance and her sister went as well as could be expected. Everybody was on their best behavior. The only truly weird part was afterwards when we took some pictures outside; one of her and her sister, one of me with my arm around my her, and one of all three of us, snapped by a waiter. I'm not sure what we were commemorating. "Hey, remember that awkward, overly polite brunch last January? In case you don't, here's some uncomfortably posed photos." Doing something familiar like that and realizing it feels foreign is one of those things that tells you that you've started a new chapter, but goddamn it's impossible not to want to flip back a couple hundred pages. Afterward, I walked home and noticed the beautiful Buick was gone from the parking space where I had seen it earlier. I hoped to catch a glimpse of it again in neighborhood soon.