Emotions. They can hit you anytime, anyplace and for a myriad of reasons. A song, a smell, a person, etc, it really doesn’t matter. For me, it was a stretch of road. Well, an interstate to be exact. I-65 south, from Nashville to Birmingham, brings back a ton of memories of my first year at Samford, driving up and down the interstate.
It also makes me miss an old friend. A friend who never, ever, let me down.
Yep, a car. But not just any car. My car. A Datsun 310 GX. My first car. My first best friend. (That’s not it in the picture but it looked exactly like that). My mother bought the car for me in the fall of 1984 when I turned 16. For $3100. 5 Speed. No AC. No problem.
I took the car with me to junior college and it made many a trip up 40 to 75 and over to Sweetwater, where I was in school. Then the following year, heading south to Samford University in Birmingham. Loaded down with everything I owned, we made many a drive in the middle of the night back and forth from home.
I put that car through hell and back. Yet, it never quit on me. I don’t think I ever changed the oil in the car. Yet, it never quit on me.
It held tears, it held laughs, and other things better left for the imagination. Yet, it never quit on me. It played my Poison and Def Leppard tapes non-stop, without ever eating them in the deck. The muffler one time fell off just outside of Decatur on the interstate and I had to drive to Birmingham, sounding like a NASCAR race. That is the closest that car ever came to quitting on me. I ran over curbs, hit trash cans, mailboxes, (not on purpose) and other stupid stuff. It just got stronger and stronger.
That car also makes me think of a time when everything was perfect. My mom was not sick, friends who have since passed, were alive, I was driving back and forth to summer jobs, where I was making $3.90 an hour, but making a million bucks in memories and on and on and on. A damn 1981 Datsun 310 GX did all of this for me.
People talk about the house that built them. That car built me. Damn emotions.