First Cars & Other Ramblings

Nature’s humidity blanket got kicked off sometime last night.  Coolest morning temps since last spring.

Max, the Wonder Dog, agreed and went on our long walk this morning.  He made up for lost time by refreshing scent markings at every turn.  It was nice, not to be drenched in perspiration, for a change.

What do you remember about your first car?  Was it a hand-me-down old clunker or beater brought back from the dead?  Did you give it a nickname?  Perhaps Green Hornet, Silver Streak, Old Blue, or the Batmobile?

Only on television did older brothers hand down their classic muscle cars.  Latest rendition on “Bluebloods”–Jamie inherited his late brother’s classic, big-block, Chevelle Super Sport; sacrificed in the name of episodic wretched excess.

My first car was a hulking, full-size Ford, Custom four-door sedan.  Nothing sexy or dramatic about it–just good dependable, point A to point B transportation.  Wonder of wonders, it had power steering and air conditioning.  That was luxurious in those days.

The three-speed stick shift, “three on the tree,” had overdrive to go with it.  A single dashboard speaker blasted the latest top 40 hits from the AM radio.  Only bonafide car nuts, like myself, will appreciate the irony of Plymouth hubcaps on a Ford.


desotoThe former two-tone
Red and white, fifty-five
Desoto Fireflite, Detroit
Beauty queen, showed
Rusty, primered age spots
With only hints of red
Waited for reunion
That never came

Garish chrome plated
Toothy grill, rendered
Toothless, shaded under
The same tree, every
Day, since the dream
Of a retired steelworker
Formerly from Pittsburg

Sold, for a mechanic’s lien
Of five-hundred dollars
And trailer-parked into
Obscurity, somewhere
Along the vast barren
Stretches, of Route 66
In the American West

Grip loosened, whiskey
Glass, fell to the floor
With a clunk, nobody heard
Limp right arm, slumped
Over the cigarette burn
Tattooed, recliner cushion
Mini-tsunami of Kentucky’s
Finest, spread around
Shards of broken glass