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A Girl Can Dream

By the time I took Driver’s Education, I had been driving for a few years. It was mainly hauling square bales off the field, but it was a good place to start. There were no obstacles to run into except for the bales.

With my newly acquired legal driving status came the need to purchase wheels. I had no idea what vehicle I wanted. Then came a trip to a fair one county over. There was a car dealership across the street from the fairgrounds that we always had to drive through just to see what they had. We did that quite often but I didn’t know what wonder awaited me this evening. 

As we turned the corner there it was - my dream vehicle - a butter yellow 1963 Chevrolet Corvair. I sat in it. I thought about it the whole time we walked around the fair booths.

I talked about this car for days afterward. I even worked out a plan for how I was going to pay for it. I was unconcerned with how Ralph Nader felt about them.

My parents patiently listened to my ramblings. There were plenty of “Oh, really” and “You think?” responses sprinkled in between. Then one day my dad came home and said he found my first vehicle in a different town. I asked if they had moved the Corvair. He said no. I was skeptical because there was only one vehicle I would accept at this point.

The vehicle my dad found was a three-quarter ton Chevrolet shortbed pickup complete with a chrome roll bar and KC lights. Fire engine red and four-wheel drive this pickup was a teenage boy’s dream. While it may not have been my dream it ended up being my first vehicle. That pickup and I were well known around my hometown because now that I had my own wheels, I wasn’t staying on the farm. Even though it wasn’t a Corvair, I fell in love with it.

I worked in a restaurant through high school and one of the waitresses thought it was my boyfriend’s pickup and he just let me drive it to work. I laughed and told her I didn’t even let my then-boyfriend drive it. By the time I graduated high school and got my college vehicle, that pickup had many miles and many memories attached to it.

When it sold, there was even a bottle of hairspray that had leaked gluing one of my mom’s old drinking cups to the floor under the driver’s seat. The horse blanket seat cover was still in one piece too. It had lots of miles left in it.

Had my parents indulged me, I doubt me or the Corvair would have survived my high school years, so it was probably a smart move to go with the pickup instead.



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