Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Is It About Cars?

Today I drive into Indianapolis, get rid of my lovely rental car, check into the hotel, and then attend the SinC into Great Writing event featuring literary agent Donald Maass, Nancy Pickard, Hallie Ephron, and Chris Roerden. The Donald Maass workshop will focus on the novels-in-progress of the attendees. I have my WIP with me, so I'm looking forward to great writing tips and a burst of writing energy.

But here's why I've decided to talk about cars this morning. I hate to give up the rental I had on this trip. It's a nearly new, black Pontiac something or other, sits low, looks sporty, and makes me feel lots younger than I really am. It might remind me of the dark blue Firebird I owned (and loved) for a couple of years in the early 80s.

The first car I ever owned, however, was a blue Dodge Lancer with peeling paint. When the weather got very cold, it wouldn't start unless I opened the hood and used my rattail comb to prop open the little thingie in the whatchamacallit, get behind the wheel and start the car, then retrieve my comb and close the hood. It worked 95% of the time. I thank a nice man with a tow truck for showing me that trick and saving me a ton of money during an extra cold Oklahoma City winter.

I'm not sure why we form these attachments to our cars, especially the cool ones, but there it is. Do you have a story to tell about your first and/or favorite car?


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great story, Patricia! I somehow can't see you under the hood of a car, though... :)

Dumb story from me: I'd been to a sorority event in college. I had balloons tied to my car antennae. The car was covered with shaving cream, so I decided to go through an automatic car wash. The balloons were still attached to the antennae--until the huge brushes on the side got wrapped in the balloons, ripped the antennae out of the car, and started beating the crud out of the car with the antennae. I was trapped, too! On a conveyor belt. The car looked like someone had shot it full of BBs when I finally escaped. :( My parents were not amused...

Karen Walker said...

That's hysterical, Elizabeth, although probably not at the time,huh? Patricia, I agree with Elizabeth - just can't see you under the hood of a car. My first car was a 1965 Barracuda. It was silver and very cool. The next one was a '69 Dodge Charger, gold with a black top. Also cool.Those are the last cars I remember caring about. Although now I'm loving those mini-cooper's. Too darn cute.

Patricia Stoltey said...

A lot of people looked at me funny when I snorted as I laughed out loud reading Elizabeth's comment.

And if you two can't see me under the hood of a car, that may be because I call auto parts thingamajiggies and whatchamacallits.... :)

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I cheerfully admit Elizabeth's story made me giggle out loud. I love when I have to rent a car. They're new and shiny and let me pretend I'm living another person's life where they WOULD drive this sporty little roadster.


Galen Kindley--Author said...

That is a great story, Elizabeth. Like all good things I read...consider it stolen.

Uh, car stories. Hmmm. I'm between High School and Freshman year in college. Get my first car. Had it maybe 4 or 5 months. It snows. I take it out. Get stuck on a hill. Trying to extricate myself, I burn up the transmission. Car sits for 6 months...I can't pay to fix it. I go to Vietnam...never see car again. Mother disposed of it. Sigh.

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Jeanie said...

My best, but kind of sad, car story is about a very cool 1964 1/2 Mustang. My father had given it to me to take to college and he died shortly after I left. When I was home for Christmas some men with a tow truck came and took it away, because, of course, no one was making payments.
When did you live in Oklahoma City? I grew up in Tulsa, went to OU, and lived in Oklahoma City and Edmond before moving to Colorado 25 years ago.

Gary said...

My first car was a '41 Chevy that I fell in love with when I was a 13-years-old new driver. It was the worst car of the 50+ cars I've owned. I can laugh about it now, but it sure wasn't funny when it broke down five miles from home with the temperature sitting at -30!

My favorite car is the '64 Plymouth Valiant convertible that I drive now. Nothing like an old convertible to make an old man feel younger.

It doesn't get any better than cruising in an old convertible on a warm evening with a cup of Starbuck's in hand and Roy Orbison on the radio.