In honor of our Rock ‘n’ Roll Car Festival that is coming up on June 23rd, I thought I would share my vast knowledge about cars. Now before you get too excited, let me be the first to say that I have never changed a tire, nor even my own oil, but, hey!, I have been driving for a long time and with a really clean record. Not convinced? Well, keep reading and then you can be the judge.
- Oil is Blood and Gas is Water. My very first car was a 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit. I got this car because the “hand-me-down” in my family was a 1976 Buick Skylark – cherry apple red with a black vinyl top. I was a mis-guided teen because the Skylark, I think of as a sweet ride today, was so not my teenage “style”. So, I bought this used VW, with rusted out floorboards and cute ladybug floor mats, for a whopping $500. About a year later on a drive from my family home back to college, I felt something bang the underside and then the car lost all momentum and I coasted onto an exit ramp where the vehicle went no further. Our friendly repairman at the time assessed the damage – a rod went through the engine shaft due to the vehicle being bone-dry of oil. He said to me, “Holly, you have to think of gas like water and oil like blood. Without water, you can live for a few days until you get more in ‘ya, but without blood, you’re dead as a doornail.” He gave me a rebuilt engine for $500 (oh- the good ‘ole days!) and a rod has never gone through any other engine of mine.
- Your Car is Your Second Home. Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the majority of my adult life, and as a working musician, I was in my car more than any other place. I learned that if I wanted to have peace in my travels while getting stuck in traffic (all of the time) I had to clean it often. That is my nature and not everyone is a clean-freak like me, but it is my second home and once a week I do a clean-out. My current truck, if it could talk to you, would say that I am a liar…
- Listen to Your Friend. My second vehicle (in my mid-twenties) was a Honda Civic. I don’t remember the year, and quite frankly was not a fan of this vehicle. One day as I was taking a S-curve (thankfully in an area that required slow speed) my entire rear axle came apart. Why? I have no idea, and I had no idea that was even possible! However, as the mechanic later told me, I should have been hearing some odd sounds coming from under the vehicle, and should have felt it. Chalk that up to lesson number five million, six hundred thousand and twenty-three….
- Convertibles are Not All That Fun. On a trip to Kauai with my mother, I thought I would treat her to something special by renting a convertible for our explorations. I had not been to Kauai before and did not realize that Kauai gets (on average) 78 inches of rain per year (the US average is 29 inches per year). On our first “voyage” we drove about 5 minutes in the sun and then it started to pour. I quickly pulled over, got the top up and continued on. Five minutes later, the sun was blazing, so I pulled over and put the top down. Five minutes later, it started to pour…and so on and so forth. Needless to say, it took about three times for that routine to happen before my mom asked that I drive on with the top up and air conditioning on. Bummer – I believe I paid twice as much to rent that convertible as a regular car.
- Enjoy the Ride. No matter what vehicle you drive, no matter how many miles it has on it, no matter where you are, enjoy the ride. I have driven across country a couple of times and I never get tired of it. What an amazing country we have! It is so beautiful and full of wonderful people and places. To get road-rage or be in too much of a hurry is a waste of time and energy. Do as the Hippies would say, “Chill-out, man”.
As I look forward to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Car Festival this weekend, I may not know a lot about the cars I will be seeing, but I will know that I enjoy the adventures a car brings to our lives and will appreciate the additional beauty of each car even more.