Back in the 80s, getting your driver’s license was as easy as writing a simple test the day you turned 16, driving around for 30 days and then taking a driving exam.
So, in April of 1987, I was a full-fledged licensed driver. And cruising around endlessly with your friends was the thing to do in a quiet coal-mining town with a population of around 4,000. Other than drinking in The Pits on a Saturday night, I mean.
My ride? It was a 1974 Plymouth Fury. It was dark green, that sparkly 70s style paint. Complete with an 8-Track player that would play only two tracks of the only 8-Track we owned….. “Vanilla Gorilla” and one other title that evades my memory by a band called Rubicon.
I’d drive down and pick up Lisa and Melissa (before she got her VW Rabbit, which believe me, we had some EPIC adventures in ~ like that complete 360 e-brake spin….. Dear god, how are we still alive?) and we’d head up to the Red Rooster (oh, yes, we had multitudes of cock nicknames for our local corner store) and buy a couple slurpees (which for some forgotten reason, we called Nurps) and we’d CRUISE.
Now, as I said, our town was small. So, hopefully you can deduce the obvious. A complete tour of the town took about five minutes, give or take. Unless there was lots of traffic… AHAHAHAHAH!!! Gotcha! Right. Traffic. *wipes tear from eye*
That car was HUGE. I didn’t park it, I docked it. I’m being serious when I say it could fit 16 kids in it. (I got grounded for that particular stunt.)
I loved that old beast. Why, The Plymouth even had her own theme song. (Sung to the tune of Greased Lightening, Lisa and I would sing Green Plymouth and laugh ourselves silly.)
She even took abuse, like a tolerant grandmother. One time I threw her into reverse while driving. She stalled. I had a brief moment of panic…. what would my parents say? I put her in park and started her back up, and we continued our endless cruising, much to our relief and utter delight.
Five bucks worth of gas would last for days it seemed.
Slowly, all my other friends got their licenses and the use of their parents cars or even their own rides. Cruising to Fernie on a Friday and racing home to beat curfew became the norm.
My parents finally caved and bought a new car and we had to say farewell to the Plymouth. They donated her to the high school mechanic shop. I got to drive the brand new Taurus. (Which Lisa barfed in about a month later….. sorry Lisa… you know I had to say it… it WAS funny.) That car provided fun too, but somehow it just wasn’t the same.
It never is.
(Oh, please feel free to laugh at the picture. Especially me and my hot clothes.)