Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Memory Lane: My First Expensive Toy

I went into adolescence as some kind of freak.   I really wasn't interested in driving a car.  I did not mind sitting in them.  I like to stick my head out the window like a Cocker Spaniel.  I liked listening to the car radio. I enjoyed putting my hand out the windows and feeling the wind on my cupped hand.  My mother would holler back, "stop that. A car might come along and hit your arm and tear it off."  So I didn't do that very often.  As I think back on that, I do not remember seeing one person with their arm torn off.  If I had seen such a person I would say, " You didn't listen to your mother did you?"
I made it out of my adolescence without thinking about a car.
When I had my first "real" job,  I realized I would need a car.  I did not even have a driver's license.  I did not feel like walking 3 or 4 miles to work every day.
I went to the local Chevy dealer in town to start looking at cars. They had a huge lot.
I found my car in about the fifth row.  It was a sweet looking little car. A 1959 Austin Healy Sprite. The bug-eyed baby.  I got it home, licensed and registered.  Now I had to learn how to drive it.  That did not take long since I had taken Driver's Education in high school.   I loved that little car. I took my driving test on a very cold day.  I had the top down.  The examiner about froze to death but I think he enjoyed it. I had my license.  I had a lot of fun with that car for a while. But I was hit with a reality.  It is called winter in the Northeast.  The thing about Austin Healy Sprites is: No door handles on the car.  You had to slide the slide windows open and turn the door handle from the inside which may have worked if it hadn't been for that chemical formula H2O.
Yes, the H2O substance changed form and became frozen H2O.  (I hope I am not confusing you with all these chemical formulas and technical jargon.)
The bottom line is: The windows were frozen shut, I could not reach the door handles.
I could not get in the car unless I made it into a convertible which is not a great idea when it is snowing.  The car had to go.  sadly, I had to trade it in. The good news is: Gunther.  That is the name I gave my Volkswagen.  I had Gunther for seven years. A great car. Gunther was not pretty like my first car but he always was ready  to go.  If Gunther was a woman he would have been a nymphomaniac. ...uhmm, with a man's name. Nothing stopped Gunther.   Snow was not a problem unless it was over the bumpers. If it was that deep, you just put it in gear, got a shovel and shovelled in front of it. It would drive itself.  Cold:  It would start every time.   Heat: Hey, I had a sun roof and windows. Gas: It was cheap. Gunther got about 45 miles to a gallon.  I could drive half way around the world on $10.   It was finally time to get a new car.  I went to the local Chevy dealership.  I bought a new Lime Green Vega.
uhhhmmmm....Don't ask.  DON'T GO THERE. 
The color may have been lime but it was really a lemon.

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