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Old Cars and Memories

June 29, 2008

Last night, Bob, Nancy (Bob’s wife), Daren and I went to the Historic HastingsDowntown Hastings Saturday Night Cruise-In (Minnesota) Downtown Saturday Night Cruise-In. Hastings holds this event 10 times a year, May through October. On Saturday nights the downtown streets are blocked off at 5pm and classic and custom cars take over. It is a fantastic event full of food , music , and of course – great cars. Cars on both sides of the street and a row of cars down the center of the street. While walking through the show there are cars parading up and down the street displaying their “stuff'” including the low rumble of massive horsepower.

Seeing these cars brought back great memories. The ’63 Corvette Stingray brought me back to my father teaching me how to drive a 4-speed in his ’63 Corvette. I remember giving both of us multiple cases of whiplash jerking the car forward learning to drive in a school parking lot. I remember dad taking me on the street with his ’63 Corvette and coming to my first stop light. I was petrified because I was the first car at the stop light. “Just give it a little more gas this time,” so I pushed down on the accelerator one inch, popped the clutch and hit 30 mph before I crossed the intersection. I saw my life flash before me for what I just did to his Corvette, but Dad turned his head, smiled and said, “A little less gas next time.” The ’63 Corvette was sold just before I turned 16. With a family of four boys the insurance would have bankrupted my dad.

Seeing a 1966 Mustang reminded me of my first car – a 1966 Mustang with a straight 6 engine. That car took me to Montana for a few years and introduced me to a lot of new friends. Seeing the cars in Hastings that night reminded me of old friends and the cars they had. Friends that I haven’t seen in a while and friends that I need to connect with again. It also reminded me of a song that Michael Johnson used to sing. The song was written by Thom Schuyler and titled “My Old Yellow Car.”

An American boy with his hands on the wheel
Of a dream that was made with American steel
Though the seats had the smell of a nickel cigar
I really was something in my old yellow car

Somewhere in a pile of rubber and steel
There’s a rusty old shell of an automobile
And if engines could run on desire alone
That old yellow car would be driving me home

Yellow Car

Pictures from the show can be seen on my Flickr account:

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