A car post by Dr. Deb reminded me of my first car. A Datsun 210 hatchback, circa 1980, powder blue, stick shift.
I had driven a stick only briefly when I first learned to drive. I was probably 15 years old. I was on vacation in Louisiana. One of my aunts took me out in her little hatchback (AMC Hornet, maybe?). I jerked and sputtered my way around a high school parking lot until I sorta figured it out.
It wasn't until the summer before my junior year in college that my dad and I picked out my first car, the Datsun hatchback. Dad drew the short straw and we rode around my little hometown as I tried to remember how to maneuver a stick. Until that point, I had been driving my mom's 79 Monte Carlo (also powder blue, as it happened -- it was a popular color in 70's). The Monte Carlo was a standard so I was more than a little rusty on a stick.
I did fine as long as we were moving. You know how that goes. My dad was patient. I give him that. He gripped the passenger door handle and through gritted teeth told me to let out the clutch slowly while simultaneously and slowly giving it a little gas. It was no good. I stalled out at least a hundred times in front of the post office. We're talking very small town post office right smack dab on Main Street. Saturday morning. Entertaining the townsfolk as they watched the beet red girl try to pull out into traffic. I remember the sweat dripping down my arms and onto the stick shift. "I am letting it out slowly, Dad!"
But once I figured it out, once I got over the learning curve, that was all she wrote. I loved that car. I loved shifting gears. I loved the freedom. No more borrowing from the 'rents. I always had a ride. I was the ride.
A funny aside. I did my undergrad in Pennsylvania. It was spring break of my senior year when I visited Austin for the first time. I had never heard of Austin, barely knew Texas was on the map other than the fact that Astroland was located there (never mind that Astroland is now located in Coney Island. Or was. WTF?!?)
But back to Texas. Texas just wasn't on my map at that time. But I loved Austin and I bought this sticker in the airport.
The sticker stayed on my Datsun until I sold it, several years later. Prophetic, huh?
What was your first car?
First bumper sticker?