A brief visit with a neighbor chanced me into memory. Her daughter recently received a nice SUV for her 18th birthday. From her parents, if you can imagine that. It’s real shiny. Might just be the best car I never had.

In 1979, they didn’t have SUVs, but there were lots of Trans Ams and Corvettes..

And all you needed was the money.

Since the beginning of time, or at least the start of the cars era, kids have wanted a vehicle. Children get bikes, but later yearn to something with four Bridgestone tires. You can brag about it at school, and makes you look good cruising the strip. Such is life at 18, and a lot of my friends had them.

I grew up in a middle class neighborhood in Lake Charles.
University Place had a park with a pool and everything. It was the Disneyland of chlorine. In 1969, I got marked-down Radio Shack walkie-talkies; and in ‘73, even a brand new Panasonic black-and-white television set. It was on clearance. In ‘76, I got my bedroom phone, an old model dad found on sale at (where else?) Radio Shack. At the time, I thought he was being cheap. And actually he was.

He grew up in the Depression, with an Arkansas poverty I will never know. His motto to this day is “Save, Save, Save.” My motto is “A Day in the Life.” I didn’t get the the car because he’d given me everything else, things I took for granted. And he was kind enough to pass on several hand-me-downs over the years. They weren’t Corvettes or Trans Ams, but got me where I needed to go.

Being a slacker actually does pay off sometimes.

And now I ponder it 30 years later. I sit in a garage with the Beatles, wondering what my high school car would be. In the end, it doesn’t matter.

But still, it would have really been something.