The Vietnam War is heating up; a 9.2 earthquake rocks Alaska; the Beatles appear on Ed Sullivan; Dr. Martin Luther King receives the Nobel Peace Prize; Nikita Khrushchev is removed from power; Mods and Rockers terrorize British resorts; Britain and France plan the Chunnel; Sidney Poitier is the first black actor to win an Oscar for a leading role; Cassius Clay beats Sonny Liston; the VCR, computer mouse and bubble wrap are invented; “Hello Dolly” opens on Broadway; the first Ford Mustang rolls off the assembly line; Trail’s Dianne Gerace and Gerry Moro compete at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo; construction begins on the West Trail Approach; and I entered Grade 10 at J. L. Crowe.
Of all the above mentioned events, the only one I was remotely aware of was the Beatles performing on Ed Sullivan.
Back then, looking at guys with hot cars was the primary focus. Of course, few guys we knew even DROVE cars, let alone owned one. And none of us would have known a hot car if it ran over us.
The term was reserved for those crazy enough to dash around the dirt track at Northport in an old beat-up coupe. I remember some older guy named Buzz, Bunny, Bugsy or something, picking up girls in his convertible at the bottom of the Crowe stairs. Of course, I never rode in his car – only popular girls did.
The highlight of the week (if you could find someone with a car) was to cruise from downtown to the Beacon Burger (out by the drive-in, now Wal-Mart), and back through town. Usually, it was just me and a bunch of my girlfriends all packed into the vehicle of this guy from Salmo who was the only person we knew with a car. He was a nice guy, but too old for us. But his car was a chick magnet because he transported boys from Salmo.
Trail girls wouldn’t give Trail boys the time of day. And I presume the feeling was mutual. After all, how could you imagine dating a person you’d watched pick their nose in Grade 1?
I was nearly 17 when I got my driver’s licence and I can still remember the first time I drove across the “new” bridge by myself – alone – me – driving. It was in my dad’s ’57 Plymouth. The feeling of freedom and absolute power was flippin’ awesome.
One time I borrowed the car and my dad said I was only to drive in East Trail – NOT “all the way” to Sunningdale. Well, of course I went to Sunningdale. As I was getting out of the car, somehow the car key got slammed in the door. (?) It was then bent. So I tried to bend it back and it broke in half.
Now what was I to do? I was in Sunningdale. I couldn’t phone home.
So I stuck the little key end into the ignition and put the rest of the key in and the car started. When I got home, I told my dad the key had accidentally broken in the lock when I got home. He had to pay a small fortune to have the ignition pulled apart. But he never knew I was in Sunningdale.
Fast forward about 45 years.
Throughout my lifetime I’ve owned a lot of cars – new cars, old cars, station wagons, vans, even a Ford Mustang.
About two years ago, my husband lamented about wanting to own a sports car.
I thought he was kidding.
So we are now proud owners of a black 2007 Corvette. And I have to tell you, that car has changed our lives.
We’ve joined a couple of car clubs; taken part in car shows; and “cruised” with new friends all over the Pacific Northwest.
One thing I’ve noticed is – those cute guys with the hot cars? Well, they don’t exist. What you have are a bunch of retired grey-hairs with women in comfortable shoes.
But no matter.
After all these years, driving is a whole new experience again. I get that same feeling I got when I was 17.