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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, August 18, 2005


How well I remember my very first car. We lived in a rural area in the Northeastern corner of Mississippi and I chugged that car all up and down all the dirt roads near our house.

The year was 1947 and cars were very hard to come by, but this one was a Christmas present from my first grade teacher. The engine wasn’t much, in fact it didn’t have an engine at all – there wasn’t room for one in that small housing.

This was a small rubber car with wheels that actually rolled! It was the first Christmas present I remember receiving. The dirt roads I drove it on were created by my hand near our house, in fact, partially under the edge thereof, over near the back steps.

The first real live adult auto that suffered under my ownership came much later and that around the Augusta area. The year was circa 1958, the car was a 1948 Mercury coupe, semi inherited from my older sister.

The price was 200 dollars and a bargain for that. The color was black with a slight tint of earth tone, since it didn’t get washed very much. The motor was an old flathead V8 that must have been the toughest one ever made, because it endured much punishment at my hands.

Don’t think I ever changed the oil, just added some when it got low. Also don’t remember ever checking the gas mileage, just didn’t seem to be much of an issue when the price was around 30 cents a gallon.

There may have been a few close calls, but I never had an accident in the approx year and a half of my ownership. This would classify as at least a minor miracle considering the speed of my maneuverings around town. One particular member of the local constabulary took exception to my method of driving – too fast – and wrote up such exception after chasing me down.

This written notification cost me much consternation, not to mention the hard earned cash. Around our house, if you did something stupid, you were the one to pay the price, not the parents. In fact, I don’t know if I ever told Dad about that one, I figured I had suffered enough without him aiding and abetting the judge.

This wonder of automobile-dom was of the two-door variety and that was fine with me because I didn’t care if just one other person went with me, even though there was a rear seat. What I most desired was that this one other person be of the female persuasion. This seems odd to me now, since I was scared half to death of that particular gender back then.

When I think about this langsyne, I also think about the moral ineptitude and spiritual wanderings that were present as well. The only good thing I gained from those years was the realization that I didn’t know very much and it caused me to later turn to God for real knowledge. ec


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