20 November 2011

Mustang Sarah

My first car was a 1971 Mustang. My parents bought it from my Dad's sister, Aunt Linda. Aunt Linda bought the car new at Doenges Brothers Ford in Tulsa Oklahoma. I remember that because it had one of those little metal placards on the trunk with the name of the dealership and two little characters on each side that I never could figure out what they were.  I had to call my aunt and ask her how to pronounce it - my friends immediately called it the "dingies" or even worse, "dungs". It's "Dun -jezz" for the record. And it was screwed on leaving holes in the trunklid if I tried to remove it!

But no matter where it came from, I loved it! I spent that first summer cruising my small hometown in Indiana with the car. I looked for excuses to run errands for my folks. I volunteered to take my little sister anyplace my mom would normally have to. I cruised Main on Friday and Saturday nights with my friends. I washed it nearly daily in the summer, and at least weekly in the winter, no matter how cold the weather.  I drove it to school, drove the family to church, drove to my part time job at the grocery store, drove it anytime and anywhere I could. When my Mom and I went to Evansville to shop for clothes and dorm room necessities before I went off to college at Indiana State, we took my little Mustang. It was a tight fit getting all that stuff into my car, but Dad said "it would be good practice for driving my car in big towns with lots of traffic!"

When I got to college and sort of learned my way around campus, I found a parking space in a lot between the girl's dorm that I was staying in and the boys dorm the next building over. The lot had an "extension" that went under some trees off to one side, and you might miss it if you didn't look close. That was perfect for me I thought, nobody will notice those spaces and it's off to the side and under some trees. So I claimed one of those as MINE!
But I soon noticed that someone else had noticed my little haven of safe parking too. At least it was a Mustang parking by me though. There always seemed to be the same white Mustang parked next to me. It was older than mine , had a blacked out hood and real big tires on the back. And it parked just a little crooked in the parking space to discourage door dents, just like me.
One Saturday as I went to get in my car to run an errand, I heard this great rumbling noise approaching. I looked up and saw that white Mustang heading for it's space next to mine. I waited to talk to my "Mustang friend", and out of the car crawled this cute boy. He smiled, said "Hi" , and we began to talk about our cars. Next thing I know, we're sharing a pizza.
We were married 2 years later. Jim is 2 years older than I , and after graduation he got a good job in Chicago. He bought a little Ranger pickup to commute back and forth to see me on the weekends, and put his 69 Fastback in the barn at his grandparents house out in rural western Indiana.
Life is hard on cars, especially old ones, living and driving in the rust belt. By the time I graduated, my poor little Mustang was really rusting badly. I was terribly sad, but didn't know what else to do than try to sell it and look for another car. My problem was solved though, when Jim got me a new 87 Mustang for a wedding present! That one was followed by a 93, a 97 , an 02, and an 08. All of them were blue, with a V8 and automatic like my first one. All except my next one - he's already ordered a SILVER 2012 GT Covertible for our 25th anniversary! I know I will love it and keep it forever, but I do still miss my first car.

Now this isn't a photo of my Mustang - it's one I found that is EXACTLY like it except mine had the optional aluminum wheels. Which brings me to one word of advice - DO NOT ever let movers take your photo albums when you're transferred from Chicago to Denver. Take them with you yourself - all of them - including all your car pictures AND your wedding pictures.
Trust me...   :(

1 comment:

  1. LOL.... I had forgotten about the Doenges Bros dealership badge. Those little characters were tiny Indians waving tomahawks as I recall. Never understood why they had those little Indians on the badge- but that's what they were.