Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Good Old Days

I got to thinking about the "good ol' days" recently and what made them good. Often we look back on times of lesser means as better somehow, yet I wonder if it's because we forget about the bad things. Here are a few things from my good old days.

The cars I drove were a '69 Firebird (a good car), an interim '76 Pontiac Sunbird (gutless), then a '75 Camaro for quite a long time. My next car was the complete lemon. A 1980 Plymouth Horizon hatchback. Beige, with a gray primer left quarter panel. The device to hold up the hatchback was one of those air cylinder pressure things. It didn't work, so I had to carry a pair of vice grips to hold it steady. Sometimes the hatchback would collapse on my head while getting groceries out. The car had its share of mishaps. Once, the inside door handle broke. So, I had to roll down the window and use the outside handle to open it. No sooner than I got it fixed, the outside handle broke. I could now exit the car without opening the window, but had to get in from the passenger side, and climb over both the stickshift and hand parking brake. I bought it for 500 bucks and sold it two years later for the same amount. The steal of the century. This gave way for my best car ever, a '90 Honda Accord. I had that for 18 years and put over 300,000 miles on it.

The first job I ever had was maybe the most fun. I worked at a wrecking yard in high school that also had an auto parts, towing and scrap yard built in. I got to run the car smasher. A 17 ton iron lid lifted by an inch and a half steel cable, pulled up by a car engine. I would raise the lid up, the fork lift would put a car in, and I would step off the brake, and wham!, a 60's Cadillac or Lincoln would be about 12" thick. It was a dirty, oily, gritty, low paying job, but being able to pick up a brake drum and smash it through a junk car window was a humorous release of energy. Or picking up a car ten feet up in the air with the fork lift and dropping it to the ground. We had to take gas tanks out of cars before they were crushed, and with a gas filtration system we rigged up, I didn't buy gas all year.

Good old days? or pathetic moments worthy of laughter?

No comments:

Post a Comment