Cars, Kisses and Kick Butt Stereo Systemsby Tyler Woods on Oct. 24, 2009, under Life
My nephew is almost 17, and he is experiencing his first real love. I am trying not to tease him too much, even though he doesn’t have a license, so in order to take his girlfriend out on dates he has to rely on a bus, a bicycle, or parents for transportation. In my opinion, that all just seems to make the romance fizzle a tad. I suspect that poor child will be 40 before he will finally go for his driver’s license. Still, I enjoy talking with him; it’s interesting listening to a 17-year-old pubescent boy. And it got me thinking….
In 1976, I was a senior at Santa Rita High School. 17 year olds, in my day, needed not only a driver’s license but a car. At 17, I had saved some money to buy some sort of used car. A friend of mine had a green 1969 Chevy Camaro with an awesome stereo system. He was going to sell it to me for $350.00. SOLD! I said; however, my parents considered it a sports car, and they believed that bad things could happen—like sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Oh yeah, they also thought that only sporty cars got into accidents. Not to mention that many parents thought that Satan’s spawn lived in the glove compartment of all sporty cars. (I wonder if Satan’s spawn lived in mini-vans?)
I finally settled for a four-door Mercury Comet. It was a nice little “family car” that was blue and white and looked very, hmmmm, well, looked like a family car. But for me, it was my freedom! I put an awesome stereo in it and blared The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, and Heart, and I did not have to listen to the radio stations that played the Bee Gees and ABBA.
Dating became very fun as a 17 year old with a car. I had heard the rumors that cars were a great place to make out, but never had made out in my own car before. It was always someone else’s car. There is something a little different when you owned your own car and made out in it. You kissed like an adult and not a 17 year old, whatever that meant and who knows, I was just 17.
It was fun being a 17-year-old car owner when you got mad. I would be angry at my folks, get in my car, crank The Who up, and drive off into the night. Old Spanish Trail and River road were fun to drive when you were angry or thinking. Just drive the curves and crank the tunes and it was every 17-year-olds’ escape mechanism. Well until you got home and got the lecture that cars are dangerous and at 17 you still needed permission to make a dramatic angry exit out the door.
But my parents didn’t worry to much because I owned a family car and not a sporty car, so they knew I would not get in an accident, or do awful things in that car like make out. Sadly, a few months later, my four-door family car and I got in a wreck. I flipped my car three-in-a-half times in front of my high school a few days before graduation. I was okay except for a few busted ribs and some cuts and bruises. More important I managed to save the car stereo and opted to get another car, this time one a little sportier. Who cares if Satan’s spawn lived in the glove compartment, those family cars were too dangerous for a 17 year old anyhow.
So what do you remember about your first car?