This week of lost friends has also made me think of my lost cars. Take my 1973 MG Midget. This was a beautiful car just slightly larger than a suitcase. I drove the MG everywhere, including the sidewalks of Jacksonville, Fla. Sidewalk etiquette was different in 1978. I miss that old car. I miss being able to park in bike racks. I miss the looks the pretty girls would give my car. I don't miss the looks the pretty girls would give me. Sad story there, guys. A cool car can only help so much.
I also miss another car. I had a tortured former beauty of a car. It was a 1962 Fiat convertible, acquired for $400 in 1979. This car was a red rust bucket, the engine fresh from a junkyard. The lights didn't work. Instead of a rag top, it sported a shower curtain. You didn't need a key to start it. In other words, it was the perfect car. I "garaged" the Fiat in my fraternity's dirt parking lot. I worked on the car in that dirt lot. I learned most of my favorite four-letter words in that dirt lot. Finally, I cobbled together enough courage and engine parts to drive the car to my parents' house. My dad followed me for good measure. By the grace of God, we all made it home, and I parked the car in the backyard near our workshop. My plans were to "Restore this beauty to its former glory."
A few weeks later, while I was at Tech dreaming of new Italian seat covers, my mother sold the Fiat for $25. My love was gone forever. It's a good thing Mom is family. If anyone else had sold my red beauty...well... even a closet full of Armani formal wear and a spotless police record wouldn't have saved that friendship.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.