Thursday, January 29, 2009


I had a 1965 Navy Blue Chevy Nova that I inherited from my mother. I loved that car, and still to this day associate driving a car with a feeling of freedom that no other activity in daily life can match. I can still hear the songs on the radio, and feel the steering wheel. There was nothing fancy about it but it was classy and reliable and mine.

For sheer thrills, riding with my friend Shirley in her Red Mustang was the ultimate. In high school she sometimes drag raced the Vestavia cops behind the bowling alley. They showed me the trunk of their patrol car and how it was weighted somehow. The mustang did not have any safety net- it was sheer out there audacity.

Driving around town, going over the mountain by Vulcan with the view of the city- ah, it still is one of my favorite drives. Another was curving up Cliff Road, then going along Altamont and its beautiful view Birmingham. Another was driving from one end of Shades Crest all the way to 150. All you could see below was a sea of trees. Just driving along Highland Avenue was an adventure. There are different ways to drive it, and I could take side trips down mysterious streets that dovetailed and merged in most interesting ways. I love curves.

My car was taken away from me at some point, I think related to an unannounced trip to the beach at Christmas in 1970. I woke up one day and it was gone. I remained carless until I bought a brand new Opal Kadet when I was finishing nursing school via government grant. Thanks for the wheels Federal Government, but there was no comparison between the Chevy Nova and the Opal Kadet. It crumpled like aluminum foil the first time it came up against something immovable and never recovered. The Chevy was a solid piece of Americana for sure.

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