Saturday, March 16, 2013
He’d spent years being handled by the city government before he came to me. His name was Thaddeus after one of the lesser known disciples. He was white with blemishes around the edges. We shared many experiences Thaddeus and I especially through high school and college. He was my first car---an AMC Hornet.
There was the time my dad found my journal in which I’d written, “Got car up to 105 mph.” My dad stared at me. Thinking I was dead I said, “I could have gone faster but the road curved.” My dad nodded and left my bedroom.
Being a heavy steel vehicle Thaddeus was capable of moving at high speed though it took a while to get there. The turning radius was good too which is, in part, how a fellow Boy Scout was thrown from the hood of my car while I was spinning circles in the parking lot. Many stupid stunts occurred in that car most of them at speeds exceeding the speed limit though not always. There was the time I tried to drive up the ramp of a truck not realizing that my tires were to low to clear the metal edge of the ramp. This resulted in a ding to the bumper but no additional damage save for my ego.
There is something special about your first love and your first car. I’ve had nicer cars but no other cars that I’d secured the window in place with a two-by-four. No other car taught me the fear and foolishness of beginning a tail-spin with a girlfriend in the front seat. As for the back seat I’ll save those stories for another time.
Life seemed simpler in those days---even down to the Hornet’s engine. I’m not mechanically inclined but I could fix those hoses and change that oil. Now I pay somebody else to do it.
Dragons live forever but not so ancient cars. Thaddeus was replaced by little red truck. We both thought we were indestructible in those days. Living raw and crazy don’t happen often now. The road curves and I can’t go as fast. Still; sometimes when I get behind the wheel…