Ah the magical age of 16. That date I remember well although I seem to have misplaced memories of turning 21. Reaching 16 didn't include alcohol. Sixteen was memorable for me because it spelled freedom. Freedom to me was being able to drive myself where ever I pleased. No more hitching rides, having parents chauffeur you around or depending on anyone to take you away. A drive alone was a treat. I didn't always have to have a friend along. Just the freedom of hitting the road brought on a sense of adventure and I love adventure.
I found a car for 50.00. Ok, so it wasn't the spiffiest car around. Most of the paint was gone and replaced with black primer that was rough to the touch. Putty and primer made up the exterior of this go mobile. I didn't care. For the times it ran it was as good as a Cadillac. Unfortunately it didn't run often and for long periods of time. Spray painted down the side of it was Wampus Pus and it took some friends translation of this to inspire me to grab another can of primer paint and paint this out. I bought it from two guys that drove it down from Michigan and I suppose this was the originators of the name on the side of the car.
I spent many hours beneath the hood. Replacing parts that gave out from fatigue and years of use was where I could be found when it wasn't on the streets. When it was on the streets my friends and I would collect pop bottles and redeem them for gas money. You do what ya gotta do for the freedom to dance!
This car came from the rust belt. The trunk had holes rusted through and knowing this before loading all those pop bottles into that trunk should have been realized. Rounding a curve with a trunk load of pop bottles that went scattering across highway, we all bailed out to recollect the lost revenue we could see putting an end to our gas purchase and an end to our freedom. We laughed and laughed as we gathered those precious bottles up and placed them in the floor board in the back of the car. To this day unfortunately, the friends in that small town where I grew up still remember that car. I don't know if it's because of all the good times they remember with it or just how atrocious it was.
I grow attached to my vehicles. Each one stores a ton of history in them and giving them up is difficult. I haven't owned that many of them in my lifetime. Each one was kept for years and years and giving them up was like tossing out an old friend. That has never changed for me to this day. Sixteen and a car. Sixteen, a car and a tank of gas. Sixteen, a car, a tank of gas and a carton of smokes and I was good to go and go and go.