I couldn’t have a car on campus when I was a freshman in college. School rules said…NO, NO, NO. It was just as well…I had yet to have my own car anyway! I had never even thought about getting my own car. Having my very own wheels seemed like a very remote prospect.
Good luck came my way when I met a group of girls in my dorm from Waco…one of them had a Volkswagon convertible! Saved by the bell! Freedom! Of course, it was a bit uncomfortable when six or seven girls piled inside. But…who cares?
As the second semester was almost complete, a special something happened! My uncle worked for the Ford dealership in my hometown. Uncle Merton told my Dad about a FORD MUSTANG that had just arrived on the used car lot! A Mustang from one of the first years that they were made! I certainly did not mind that it was used! No problem there!
The car was blue. The car was fast. The car was…well…totally cool. But…most important…the car was a good price!
The blue Ford Mustang became mine!
When I took my Ford Mustang to college for the Fall semester, I was so proud that I drove around campus for at least an hour every day. It is a wonder that I had time for class. I kept that car spotless and admonished anyone who left a scrap of paper in the car. Actually, I must have been a truly problematic friend!
I bought a blue trash container to match my car. No litter in my car!
One day, I picked up a guy who I knew from the school newspaper staff who was walking back to the dorm. I felt sorry for the boy since he didn’t have any wheels. I must have been a show-off. Anyway, he got in my car and proceeded to try to light a cigarette. He might have succeeded except for the fact that I quickly grabbed the cigarette and threw it out the window.
So much for getting a date with that guy. He jumped out at the next corner. I made a “no smoking” in my car sign. I wrote it sort of politely.
And then it happened. My roommate wanted to go downtown to buy a sweater for a date that night. Of course, I agreed. Going downtown was another excuse for driving down Main Street while waving to people like I was in the Homecoming parade. It was slightly raining and a bit slippery. A car stopped in front of me to turn left…no brake lights…and we were both busy waving. So I plowed into the back of the other car. No one was hurt. I got the ticket…a big ticket. My Mustang was (or so they said) fixable.
My parents were not at all happy. My roommate’s parents were not happy. We never waved again…well, not very much. Anyway, she stole my new boyfriend the very next week. She lost the chance to ever, ever ride in my car again!
One of my college dorms! I parked my car in the very front!
Eventually, I calmed down about my car. I was just so excited about having it! And then…it started acting up. The wreck was too much for it. Or maybe my driving was too much for it. Sometimes, it would not start at all. Sometimes, the key would get stuck. Sometimes, the gears would not work correctly. The air conditioner stopped behaving. Everything was wrong, but I kept it until I graduated. I even drove it (barely) for a year or so after graduation.
By that time, I was working at a newspaper and decided to buy a new car! No! Not a Mustang! My new favorite car…
A BRAND NEW CHEVROLET CAMARO!
I paid sticker price…no haggling at all. Where was my mind? Today, I would argue for three weeks about the price!
However…that Chevrolet Camaro was one fine car!!!