I haven’t always been a rule follower…in fact when I was 14 years old, I started to drive. This urge to drive took over my common sense like a speeding dart heading for the bullseye! Not having a driver’s license did not seem to bother me and I was even able to convince my best friend that I could teach her to drive, as well.
At the time, my Dad drove a white, ‘63 Chevy Impala, so logically that was my car, too. It was perfect! I could get three people in the front and four or five in the back. What could be better than taking your friends for a spin?
On this one particular day, my Dad had taken his ‘company car’ to work, leaving the Impala parked carefully in the garage. As soon as he left, I found the keys to the Imala and began making my plans. I’m not proud of this now, you understand, but for some reason, at that time I had no remorse.
My friend, Nitia, walked over to my house and we took the ole Chevy out for the day. Long, LONG ago, 50 cents would buy a lot of gas, so we came prepared to fill it back up if necessary. I can’t remember where we went, but I’m sure it involved ‘seeing and being seen.’ There was probably a boy or two and maybe a trip to the mall incorporated into our plan.
After our joy ride, I was making the turn leading back to my house. Unfortunately, it also went right by Nitia’s house. This would have been ok except her dad was outside watering the yard. When we noticed him, it was too late to turn around, and I instinctively yelled, “Duck!” For some reason, I thought that was a good idea, and I ducked too. It must have been a subliminal message or sheer ignorance, but surprisingly we crept safely by her house, ducked down in the front seat. When we made it to my house, we parked back into the garage and congratulated ourselves on having a great day and dodging her dad.
Later that night at dinner, Nitia’s dad turned to her and said, “The weirdest thing happened today. I saw Nancy’s Dad’s car drive by and no one was in it.” Of course, she acted like she didn’t know what he was talking about and miraculously, her parents never called mine, but that was a very close call.
All during my 9th and 10th-grade years, I sporadically took that grand ‘63 Chevy Impala out for a drive. I learned to drive in that car and finally got my driver’s license in that car. It was my signature ride until I went to college and had to leave it behind.
If that ole Chevy could talk, it would keep us entertained for days with stories of friends, secrets, near misses and more fun than should be allowed. I eventually told my Dad about some of my car adventures. He was shocked, to say the least, but managed to chuckle since it obviously was past the statute of limitations for being grounded.
There might be another story or two about that ole Chevy, but for now, just revel in its sleek, thoroughbred beauty, and imagine yourself at the wheel! It was a fine ride, yes indeed!