My first car was an old, black
If you ever drive by the intersection of Tucker and Gravois in Soulard you’ll see an old service station that someone has turned into a beautiful garden. It used to be a used car lot.
Gas was .29 a gallon at Bob Riegle’s Texas Discount gas. Cigarettes were .35 a pack. I sound like an old fart don’t I? “Why, when I was your age!”
We did a lot of drugs and cruised up and down Gravois. We found all the secret ways past the flood walls where we could party ‘til sunrise on the riverfront. I never really started drinking until I was well into my 20s.
There was one major exception. My best friend Lora and I would occasionally buy a bottle of Annie Green Springs Apple or Boone's Farm Strawberry wine. We'd have a marathon session in front of a blasting stereo. I've never had a drunk as good as that since. I guess that's the high I keep trying to relive.
We’d have to drive to the
Lora and I were lovers off and on for years. In our hearts we were always best friends. She taught me a lot. Maybe I should say we learned a lot together. She was surprised when I told her I was marrying Kim because we were lovers at that moment. She came to the wedding though.
When I was 16 we had no idea you were supposed to change your oil every now and then. It was unnecessary anyway. My car burned so much you just added a quart every other day.
One of my hitch hiking trips to the East Coast with Dominic I lent the car to my brother. I don’t think he was legally old enough to drive it. I gave him explicit instructions to check the oil every day. He didn’t and it threw a rod. Some junk yard gave me $20.00 to tow it away. I watched a chapter of my life being towed away.
Tony Patti and I bought a car together after that. I remember what it looked like but I can’t remember where we found it.
When Marie dragged me away I sold my half to Tony. He gave me a carton of cigarettes for it. He couldn’t even drive yet. He lent it to my mother. It exploded and the engine caught on fire in the local supermarket parking lot.
I almost forgot to mention I named the Pontiac "Wild Life" after the Captain Beefheart song.