The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


An ode to the car ride

Cathey’s Column: March 8, 2024
(c) Scott Peak Photography
Noah Cathey

There are few experiences like a car ride.

Everywhere I go, I feel bombarded by current events, political chaos, social downturn and the like. Between social media and the reach of the press, it’s nearly impossible to avoid what is going on in the world.

The car ride is different. It’s just you and the person sitting next to you. You can listen to whatever you like, set the temperature to whatever you want.

It’s the last version of true isolation from the world around you. The only other frame of reference you have for human life are the cars zipping by you on the left and the ones you pass on the right. From point A to point B, it is your little bubble.

And there is no person I would want in my little bubble more than my dad.

I’ve ridden with my dad more than anyone else on Earth. Going to Dallas Christian School, we rode to school together for the first six years of my primary education. Every competition and tournament I took part in, he drove me there and back. Because we are the only two morning people in our house, he’s usually the default to take me somewhere. Between Mavs camps in the summer and Mavs games in the winter, my dad and I have driven all across this city—our city—together.

Because I live on the other side of the Interstate-30, we’ve gone through and above downtown Dallas a lot. I’ve watched the world around me change sitting next to my dad. I’ve seen beloved buildings torn down, new ones erected in their place. We now drive on highways that didn’t exist when we started these journeys 15 years ago.

Over the years, I’d like to think that we’ve both grown and coversations have increased in quality. And while that is true in some cases, they’ve largely stayed the same. There is always a version of “Game seven, up one, bases loaded and you need a out, who you got?” or “Pick your starting five for the Final Four – one and dones only.” The mainstays used to be Jayson Stark trivia on Mike & Mike in the morning and Randy Galloway on the way home. Now, the Mad-Minute Prank Call on K104 and the Mavs postgame show are in the place (only if the Mavs win, though.) But the highlight (or lowlight) of our car rides was always the post-game talk.

When my basketball season ended a month ago in the SPC Final, I cried on the floor with my teammates because I was sad that my career was over. I would never play competitive basketball again, and I felt the weight of that.

I cried on the bus ride back to Dallas because I realized I would never get to ride with my dad after a game again.

In the 16 years I’ve played basketball, every post game conversation was the same. I got Coach Cathey for the first half of the ride and my dad for the second half, usually with I-30 being the line of demarkation. We talk about each game, win or lose, with the same uncanny realness each time.

In a few months, I’ll be hours away from home. I won’t be able to listen to my dad say “What you know about this?” or argue why Ray Allen is better than Klay Thompson.

And I’m going to miss it.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Noah Cathey, Design Director