DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Don And Shirley At Thomas Lake Native Prairie

December 12, 2011 3:00 AM

dyr minn DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Don And Shirley At Thomas Lake Native Prairie

“On trips we’ll get books on tape. Shirley had one book last time that was sixteen CDs.”

The Ride
The Driver: Don and Shirley 
Car in Question: 2009 BMW Series 3
Spotted at: Thomas Lake Native Prairie and Park, Eagan, MN 55122
Odometer: 44,200


Q: I heard that you love BMWs?

Don: This is actually my first BMW. I researched different cars and actually thought I would get an Audi. Then I thought I owed it to myself to try a BMW.

Q: What do you like about them?

D: I wanted a smaller, more compact car. I really like this one and feel comfortable with the size. It’s a very safe car, solid. With these cars being smaller, I always thought it would be more difficult to get in and out of, but it isn’t a problem.

Shirley: It’s a really nice, quiet, comfortable car. The doors are heavier, so you can tell it has solidness to it.

Q: Do you take a lot of road trips?

D: Yes we do. In February we went down to Texas and Louisiana. I think we put close to 3,000 miles on the car. We just got back from a trip out east, where we traveled the whole coast from Georgia to Virginia. We spent a week at Hilton Head, visited other places along the way and ended up in Washington, D.C. We drove about 3,850 miles that trip.

Q: Did you have specific stops planned or did you wing it?

D: We don’t like to structure every minute of our vacations. We don’t do a lot of museums or tourist things like that. We enjoy the scenery and the lay of the land.

Q: Do you like to take the interstate or scenic routes?

D: Both, I guess you could say. Usually, we sort of have a destination, so we’ll take the interstate to get there. If there is something we specifically want to see, like when we were going across Tennessee to South Carolina, we took the slower routes. When you get on the interstate, it all looks the same.

Q: What do you listen to in the car?

D: I guess talk stations or classic rock-n-roll is what I listen to most. On trips we’ll get books on tape. Shirley had one book last time that was sixteen CDs.

S: It was “Main Street” by Sinclair Lewis.

Q: I like how the books on tape put you in your own little world.

D: They do make the time go so much faster. I think that was the first time we listened to something like that. Usually we listen to the British comedies and mysteries.

Q: I hear you have a new BMW on the way.

D: Yes. This one is a leased car. The new car I ordered is going to be in next month. It’s in transit from South Africa.

Q: Are there any special features that you are particularly excited about?

D: One thing that I wanted that I didn’t have before was a manual transmission. The new car has one. A small extra that I was talked into is a heated steering wheel. The dealer said, “You will thank me so much.”

Q: That is deluxe! What color is the new car?

D: Black sapphire metallic with an oyster leather interior.

Q: That sounds so pretty. Would you consider the new one your ultimate dream car?

D: Pretty close to it.

Photos and interview by Michelle Leon

Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email with “Defend Your Ride MN” in the subject line for submission details.

View previous Defend Your Ride features and other great stories for people who love cars at

Watch & Listen LIVE