When I was fifteen I couldn't wait to get my driver's license. I thought that my sixteenth birthday would never arrive. On the day of my sixteenth birthday, along with three friends, I went straight to the DMV to take my learner's permit test. Over the next three weeks I took six driving lessons from an accredited school, so that I could get a break on the cost of insurance, and then took the exam to get my license. I passed with flying colours, and was absolutely thrilled because my first car was already sitting in the driveway just waiting for me. It wasn't a gift from my parents; it was there because I had earned every penny of the $800 it cost to buy it, and I had made my dream come true.
My birthday falls at the end of the summer, and all that summer before the big day I had worked really hard in order to earn enough money to augment my savings and buy the Blue Bomber. At the age of thirteen I had already been dreaming about the day I would have my own car, and so I applied for and was hired to work as a 'page' at the Public Library. The accepted age for teen employment at the time was sixteen, so I had to get a letter of permission from my parents indicating that they were okay with my working after school and on weekends. Over the next three years I saved every penny I could. I kept telling my dad I was going to buy my own first car. I don't know if he understood how determined I was, because whenever I would talk about it a skeptical little smile would come across his lips.
During the summer before my sixteenth birthday I took on a second job working at a pizza parlor. One night when I was on my way home I spotted the Blue Bomber in a used car lot. On its front windshield '$800' was painted in big bold numbers. I knew I would have enough money to buy it, and so over the next couple of weeks I harassed my dad into going with me to look at it. Eventually he agreed. He 'borrowed' the car from the lot to have a thorough safety inspection done. When he was satisfied I wouldn't kill myself in it, he capitulated and signed off on the documents; however, he did insist that before I bought it the dealer would have to "put new rubber all the way around" (translation: 4 new tires). The dealer agreed. I didn't have a chequing account, so he went with me to the bank to get a certified money order on my account for exactly $800.00.
|The only existing photo of the Blue Bomber (unfortunately poor quality)|
|This photo from stevesnovasite.com shows a beautifully restored version of a 67 blue Chevy Nova|
I Loved that car! It was a 67 Chevy Nova, an old clunker in the eyes of many of my friends, but a dream car to me. I have so many happy memories of road trips in that car. Of course, my dad said that once I had a car I would never have any money for anything else, and he was right. Between insurance, gas, and service sometimes it seemed like a money pit, but I didn't care because for me it meant freedom.
Coming up on Fizzy Friday: The Blue Bomber, Part 2: a.k.a Sometimes Fathers do know best.
All Photographs ©Copyright J. Geraghty-Gorman 2010