I would guess, if we all thought hard enough, we would be able to trace back to a first real memory of a time when we realized our affection for the car.
Mine would be visiting an uncle and his family. I remember a beautiful black ‘car’, with a gold bumble-bee stripe around the trunk area. I remember thinking how menacing that car looked with it’s chrome Cragar wheels. Then I heard it rumble! What a sound! “CAN I RIDE WITH UNCLE ED, PLEASE, CAN I RIDE WITH UNCLE ED”? I remember begging my mom and dad.
I felt like a million dolllars riding in the back seat of that little Mopar. But the sensory input of the bumpitty exhuast note, the smell of unburned hydrocarbons was enough to help me remember that thrill.
From then on, whenever we were near uncle Ed, I wanted to be in that car. That car was just a little ’68 or ’69 Dodge Dart GTS. But for me it was heaven on earth.
I recall another time when his son and I were riding in the back, trying to lean over the front bench, but Ed kept hitting the gas, and stomping the brake, on the gas, hard on the brake. It was the coolest roller coaster ride a kid could ever ask for, and I never forgot it.
From that time on, Ed was the coolest uncle ever.
Alas, times change. I grew up, he sold the car, but I never forgot.
I learned that my ‘cool’ uncle Ed was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I haven’t spoken to Ed in years. Not due to any rift, but I grew up and had a life of my own, as things go. But I’ll talk to him this week, and let him know how I feel about him. And maybe we’ll talk about the Dart, or playing guitars, or when he shocked my hand with a spark plug, but we’ll definately talk.
And I’m quite sure, this will be another moment with uncle Ed that I won’t forget.