Thursday, February 7, 2013

Taking care of your Baby Girl

There’s nothing quite as exciting as your first new car! I was twenty years old at the time. I was away at a university some four hours from my home town. When I first left home for college, I didn’t have a car. Therefore, I had to hope that I could find a ride home with a college friend. I wasn’t always able to find a lift home as often as my parents wanted to see me, and so my dad sent me back to college one weekend with the family clunker.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was excited and proud to be driving that car. It wasn’t anything special, but it was better than walking or having to thumb a ride. That car lasted me a semester. However, that car began to have serious mechanical problems. It was always breaking down. My journey home wasn’t over any major highways. Frequently, I wouldn’t see any other driver for hours on the road. This was long before the days of cell phones, and breaking down on a country road with no means to communicate could be a scary experience. I had learned to always carry a bottle of water in case the car began to overheat, and I needed to add water to the radiator.

After trying to make it home one weekend on a song and a prayer and many expensive repair bills, my dad surprised me by taking me to get my first new car.

I can remember my excitement and anticipation! We walked up and down the dealership lot. I finally spotted a beautiful sleek, new, silver- blue 1972 Plymouth Duster. I can remember the new car smell and the shiny new paint on the exterior. My dad was more concerned about safety and dependability because I was his little girl. He also wanted a car that was easy to handle. He let me test drive the car. I can remember the new car smell and the way the sleek steering wheel felt in my hands. I loved the way the seats felt. It had features that we now take for granted in cars today like air conditioning and a radio. It also came with a V8 engine. Finally after looking at all the automobiles and after talking to the salesman about the specs, my dad bought me my dream car.

I couldn’t wait to get back to college and show my friends the Duster! Not only was it cool to look at, it handled like a dream. It was a smooth ride! I was thrilled to now have a car that I could count on. Previously, I never knew if my car was going to start or if it did, would it get me to my destination?  My Duster always started every time, and the motor purred making the boys envious! I had such confidence in my new car that I nicknamed it “Trusty.” That car served me well through my college years and was a welcome addition to my family even after I married.

Now I am in a position to help one of my grandkids out with her new vehicle.  The Duster stopped being produced in 1976, but I am looking at this Dodge Charger at Monroeville Dodge.  It is funny how history repeats itself.  This car reminds me a lot like my first car.  I am sure she will have as much fun with it as I did with “Trusty”.  I just wonder what she will name her ride.