Sunday, April 5, 2009

Me and Amos

There is just something about a guy's first car, that first sweet taste of freedom. Mine was a 1970 Dodge Polara just like the one in the picture above, except mine was ten years older with 102,000 miles on it. What a ride! I named my car Amos Sherman Hill - Amos because I like Bible names, and Sherman because it was a tank. It was huge, just two doors, but they were about six feet long. I could lay down in the trunk and not touch either side.

I drove that old car another 90,000 miles. Off to college with all my stuff and back home every few weeks with a load of dirty laundry. Back and forth all summer long to the grocery warehouse where I worked to pay for college. And on the weekends Amos and I would head north from the campus to the little country church where folks first called me "pastor." I have lots of memories of hauling kids to camps and retreats, a youth trip to Colorado Springs, and summer weekends at the lake. Still our journeys continued.

I vacuumed him out and hosed him off before I picked up Suzanne for our first date. And Amos was absolutely spotless, waxed by hand and shining like a dime, complete with new seat covers, on our wedding day.

My dad, also a pastor, was concerned before we got married that Suz might not be aware of the financial realities of a minister's life. "Does she know that you are never going to make a lot of money? Does she understand that you are never going to live in the biggest house or drive the biggest car?" I had to take exception to that. "Dad, I already drive the biggest car."

That first car is like a long lost friend, but we'll never be together again. I loved ol' Amos. I wish I had him still. Have you got a story to tell, that first car, that first set of keys? Let's hear it.

3 comments:

Annie said...

My first car was a green Chevette. It was not the best car, but it got me where I wanted to go. When I got married, my hubby had a Trans AM, a golden one at that! For a wedding present, he bought me a van. For years, that van defined my life as a mother. Then we traded it in and started leasing cars. I had an Escape and a couple other vans. When I was approaching forty, I mentioned to my hubby how great it would be to have a Mustang. Well...I ended up with a red one with a white top and a V6 engine. Three years later, I had my heart set on another Mustang but this time with a V8. The insurance was not that much more and I ended up with a 40th edition, convertible, gray metallic. Oh the fun I had with that car. I even beat a young dude in his Hemi truck. And the way the engine purred at start up and then revvvvvved when I pushed the pedal to the metal. Before turning the car in, all four tires had to replaced cause I squealed them a top or two. And in the winter, my husband put 4-20 lb bags of cement in the trunk so I would not get stuck. It didn't work! Eventually, I changed jobs, had to travel further from home and ended up with another Escape. This one is a V6, all black with a chrome grill in front, and an awesome stereo system! I love it a little more than Mustang because I have not gotten stuck once in the snow :) But in my heart I am still a Mustang Mama.

Denise said...

Hi Drew!
You definetly hit a soft spot - my first car was a "66 Mustang Fastback, 4 barrell! Spanish Moss Green! What every 16 year old needs - and gets when her Dad longed for one himself but was and is too practical to acknowledge that. I happen to know you can get eight people in one of those - can't drive it anywhere, but the counting was fun! Rick, for some reason always wanted to take it on our dates, he had a Ford Fairlane.(sp?) I drove it for 6 years, and then my sister for 4 more. Dad sold it for more than he paid for it. We didn't have the money at the time to buy it from him. I've since found out it's sitting in a Doctor's garage in Joplin - going to look it up in a couple of months. Rick's offered to buy me a new one - but it's the only one I would ever want!

Drew Hill said...

Annie and Denise- How is it that you two both managed to get most every guy's dream car? Pretty sweet. Those mustangs will spoil you for anything else. One of my buddies has a GT convertible that he has let me drive several times. Loads of fun until I have to get back in my little four-banger Honda.

Amos wasn't the fastest car in the world. It was more like driving your family room. Thanks for sharing your stories and making lots of people jealous.