You either loved your first car growing up or you hated it. Some people spend their summers off from school working at dad’s shop turning wrenches or mowing lawns. I spent my summers hitching rides from my friend’s moms or bugging the older guys in the neighborhood to give me a ride to the beach. I loved surfing and would do anything to escape the summer heat of my home town. But when I was eligible for a driving permit and license all my parents had to do was dingle that carrot in front of my face (which were car keys) for me to start getting better grades and quit ditching class to go surfing. And it worked! But my first car was not your average car. It was a beast from hell. My first memory of that car was when I was six years old and having it break down at night over a tall bridge on the way to the hospital with a festering hornet stinger stuck in my neck. All I could think about was the bed time story my mom always read to me, “Billy Goats Gruff” and the big ugly troll living under the bridge. So anyways, my first car and I got off to a tumultuous start to say the least.
So there I am age 16 with this rusty red colored 1979 Volkswagen Diesel Dasher Hatchback. It was boxy and square, stunk like an old freight truck and was slower than a turtle with blisters on its feet. I will never forget it. First thing I did was put some surf racks on it and load all my buddies inside to go surfing. But soon after that, the honeymoon was over. I remember it always had overheating problems when my parents used to drive it. Well the over heating got so bad, I had to keep a five-gallon blue portable water tank in it at all times and stop to put water in it every twenty minutes. I would have been better off selling my soul to the devil for a used car from one of those car dealerships that house the ‘A’ typical egregious used car salesman with the plaid tie, cheap suit and tobacco stained breath. Anyways so eventually my first car’s engine blew up from over heating and that was that. I was so glad the romance was finally over. I just wish I would have known what I know now. In the end, it was just a stuck thermostat that seemed to haunt my young life. I wish I could have known I could have just pulled it out and the problem would have been solved; after all it rarely gets below freezing in San Diego.