Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
“To everything, turn, turn,turn there is a season.”
Growing up, when Gardner was a very small town, everything was perhaps a bit simpler.
Maybe it really wasn’t, I was just young and anything that wasn’t of interest I pushed aside and filed for when I was grown up.
Our town could be measured in blocks. So many wide so many long. Plus the houses over the viaduct. Outside of town were the farm kids. They rode the busses for the most part.
I took drivers ed and learned to drive in a Chevy Malibu. It was, of course, the most awesome car — ever. I have never driven one again.
In the past days of Johnson County and probably the state, our license plates had a JO on them and a letter before any numbers. The letter was directly related to your last name. Families mostly had a family car and when the kids got old enough to get a job, they had a vehicle of their own.
We knew who had what car in town. If you spotted an unfamiliar one, you looked at the tag and the driver and played the car guessing game. We didn’t consider it stalking. You drove around town and checked drive ways. Yes – Mr. and Mrs. “so and so” had another vehicle in their drive, must be their son or daughter who just graduated.
Dean had a blue car with loud pipes; Mike had an old brown truck with bailing twine on the tailgate. Sally drove her boyfriend’s car. Becky had a Rambler named Roger. And so on.
My first car was a green Dodge Colt with a beautiful metallic stripe down the side. It had a four cylinder, hemi engine. I loved that car.
Today cars seem to come and go pretty quickly. Some people aren’t as careful as we were. We needed them for transportation. Our parents taught us to take care of them.
So, let’s jump back about 14-15 years ago. Ford, the proud maker of Mustangs, decided to do a retro updated version of their original body style of the Mustang. Same hockey stick style on the side, updated headlight and stuff, plus a rear wing spoiler. Pretty snazzy looking if, you liked Mustangs. Plus she was loud.
So in 2005, I became the driver /part owner of a retro V8 Ford Mustang. Call it a mid life crisis car or call it, as I was told, a Mother’s Day gift; she was mine to drive. She shines on gloomy winter days, and can be heard when she comes down the street.
I love her. We have been through a lot together.
However, her “season” may be on the decline. Just recently her unsafe airbags were replaced. Then, as I was leaving work one day, she refused to back out of my parking place. There was a transmission problem. A transmission fix isn’t cheap. Her blue book value is very low at this point.
So now she her transmission is fixed. There is a clock hanging over my head to replace my transportation. She is 14 years old.
It breaks my heart to think about not having her to drive. But the reality is there. She is old and needs to retire. I will miss people not knowing me on the street. She is a small but obvious fixture of my neighborhood. She is part of a life that I had and lived before.
I am afraid her season will soon be past. I can’t bring myself to let her go just yet. I will find some little reliable car to get around in. She will be parked in my garage, safe under her car cover. She will be a part of my past I treasure. A part I remember like an earlier time on the streets of Gardner, when I had a green Dodge Colt, and it was her season.