Saturday, August 31, 2013
By the time I was sixteen, I was driving. Since daddy worked in Manhatten (the city) he and thousands of other men like him commuted in on the Long Island Railroad. As the car didn't need to sit in a parking lot all day, I often took him to the train station in the morning and then drove on to school. The first car I drove was a little white Pontiac LeMans convertible. It was a sweet car but didn't touch how I felt about the next one, an absolutely gorgeous rusty orange Firebird Convertible the color of autumn leaves. It had a black top. It has always been, by far, my favorite ride.
I took it to college after graduation and depended on it to ferry me back and forth from Hackettstown, NJ to the North Fork of Long Island. I got two tickets in that car...one for driving faster than was posted on a four lane out of Jersey and the other for "drifting" thru a stop sign on Shelter Island. It was the car I drove from the island, across the ferry and over to Westhampton for classes in the summer of 68. It even became the sanctuary for some illegal stuff when a friend I had offered a ride to hid his "pot" in the glove compartment. I very rarely, if ever, drove that car without the top down and a wide brimmed white hat on my head. While I didn't even resemble "Twiggy", the hat became my "signature look".
Unfortunately, driving that car from New York to Dallas and back again a couple of times, wore out the transmission and my father wanted to replace it. Knowing how much I hated to give it up, he told me that I could pick out whatever I wanted. Hmmm....well, I asked for and got a royal blue GTO with a baby blue racing stripe.
My, my! That car was the envy of a lot of guys. While not a snappy convertible, that car could move but it never did replace my beloved Firebird. My dad and my brother, Steve, drove it down to Dallas for me in the summer of 1970. It took me on to Atlanta where I went to graduate school in 1971 but I don't remember it lasting too long either because I ended up with my mothers yellow Buick with the brown vinyl top which my husband Allen and I drove until we wore a hole in the floor board and could see the lines in the roads beneath us.