my life in cars, the early years
|You can say I was a late bloomer. Got my first car at the ripe old age of 27, after almost three decades of being tooled around town in one of my friends or family's various rides. My sisters Ford Escort with the automatic seat belts that made it impossible to not buckle up. We cruised around a lot in that compact red car, always on one of her rides to nowhere, she called them " the rides that never end " , laughing at my hopeless prospects of ever returning home safe again. She always took the longest way home through meandering country roads, slapping my hand away at any attempts to control either the radio or the climate system. Cranking up her favorite songs enough to blow the speakers, she blew them more than once. She always admonished other drivers and their driving, calling them 'dicklickers'.
My long time boyfriend Don had the coolest car for a while, until it got totaled by his very alcoholic neighbor Nancy, who plowed into it one night after getting wasted in the middle of the night. It was a 1970 Chevy Impala, four door. It got us to the fishing holes, Cubs games, down to the quarry for swimming on the super hot dog days of summer.
He had a floating compass mounted on the dashboard, a tow-ball mounted on the back bumper, and always had plenty of opium, pot or whatever else we could get. He was over 21, so my friend Jackie and I usually relied on him to buy us some Little Kings Cream Ale to throw in the cooler. Those times with Don were the best times, not a care in the whole world.
My best friend Jennifer had a car when she turned 18 on account of her settlement. She got hit by a car when she was a kid, and when she got the money she got an apartment, a car, started smoking Virginia Slims cigarettes, and became a waitress all at once it seemed. She would pick me up on a Friday night and bring me to a bar that served minors in a sketchy neighborhood off Interstate 57 called Jacks Or Better. On the way she cranked the Violent Femmes cassette tape, we knew every word of that whole tape in no time. Although we don't communicate anymore now, I will always cherish our times in her red Oldsmobile Cutlass, with the bumper sticker that read ' You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny'.