My first car was a green convertible. It was a very special car to me and took me many places. My brother, Tony, had one just like it only his was blue. These cars were about five inches long and made totally of rubber. We made roads in the dirt and traveled many miles in our imagination, screeching our brakes and rounding corners on two wheels.
Then Tony outgrew me and I was left to drive my car alone. But we have our little rubber cars tucked away in our treasure boxes.
As a teenager, my brother-in-law took me under his wing and began driving lessons. His car was a light blue Plymouth, with very heavy doors. I know just how heavy. I let one go shut on my fingers.
My sister and family took me on vacation with them when they went to visit my brother, Bob … who also loved cars. His stories always centered on his car escapades. His cars were old. The first time I rode with him, I was in the rumble seat. He loaded that car with people and kids and wound his way through the mountains to the top of the range. Each time he swerved around a curve, the frame of the car would slide to one side … along with me in the rumble seat. The next curve, we slid the other way.
When I married, our first car was a 1957 Chevy; green and white, with fins. I was excited to finally get to drive, when I discovered that somewhere in the marriage vows was a clause that said I was not allowed to. But hope springs eternal, each time we moved (and we moved a lot) I would apply for a driver’s license … waiting for my chance.
When the marriage ended thirteen years later, I was the owner of a green Chevy Impala in pretty bad shape. But I learned to drive on the ice and snow of Nebraska’s winters. Then came the very scary day that car took us from Nebraska to Idaho to start over.
A few years later that very same Impala took me from Nampa, Idaho where I lived to Boise, Idaho to attend a meeting. After the meeting, one of the men in attendance asked me if I could give him a ride home. Little did he know the danger he placed himself in. The car could fall apart any minute … and I had never driven with a man as a passenger before. Apparently I drove ok. A year later we were married.
When I purchased my very own first car it was a silver Datsun. The kids named it Silver Streak. After a few years Silver Streak was replaced with a silver Nissan hatchback with louvers on the back that hummed when you drove into the wind. That car was named Nancy Nissan and it talked to you. “Fuel level is low” was heard more than once.
Good old Nancy was traded for a dark gray Honda Accord … a car with so little personality it was never given a name. It served me well and had over 120,000 miles on it when it was traded for a red Honda Civic. I don’t like red, but it was a deal I could not pass up. When I sat in the driver’s seat, I couldn’t see the red … since the interior was gray.
The red car was sold to my daughter and I purchased a beige Maxima … again with no personality. But it served me well, taking me from here to there.
When I was 64 years old, I gave my family fair warning. For my 65th birthday I wanted to buy a car that gave me more than transportation. I wanted it to make me smile. Nine months later, I became the owner of a dark gray Acura TL. Do you think I’m smiling?
It moves. I have to use the cruise control to keep me under control. The name Brio was chosen for this special car. The definition of brio is: vigor or vivacity of style or performance.