The First

Contributor: Jackson Brock

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A ‘67 Ford Galaxie 500, that was my very first car. I still remember the day I got it. Our family wasn’t poor, but we weren’t wealthy either. Dad worked two jobs, being both a mechanic and an after hours janitor at the high school so I didn’t get to spend much time with him. One day I came home though, and Mom and Dad met me at the door, smiles on their faces. Dad was standing tall and proud, shoulders back, chest out, he looked like a super hero. Mom was beaming; she was so bright I am pretty sure the sun was jealous.
They took me inside and sat me down; they told me that Dad had gotten a promotion. He was going to be the head mechanic and practically run the garage from now on. He could quit his job as a janitor and spend more time with us. I was so excited I didn’t see Dad get his car keys from his pocket until he threw them at me. I barely caught them before they hit my face. He could see the confusion on my face, but just beckoned me to follow him outside.
Once outside, he headed straight for our old junk car, a Nash Metropolitan. He got in the passenger seat and motioned me toward the driver seat. This would be the first time I had driven since I got my drivers license and I was even more excited than I was a few moments earlier. As we drove Dad barely spoke aside from giving directions and saying it was a surprise when I asked where we were going. I gave up after a few times asking and just focused on driving and trying to guess where we were headed.
I almost hit the brakes when he said turn left and I realized we were turning into a Ford Dealership. We had driven all the way in and parked before I was able to speak.
“Dad are we buying a car,” I asked. He smiled at me, patted me on the back and said, “No, we are buying you a car.” My jaw dropped and I’m sure my eyes almost rolled out of my head. Dad laughed then pointed to the lot.
“Go find your car, son.”
I headed off into the lot barely aware that Dad was following me as I nearly ran up and down the rows of cars. Then, I spotted it. A deep, dark, but still somehow vibrant hunter green caught my eye. I went up to this magnificent vehicle not even knowing what it was. Over and under headlights, a long front and short back, roof was low and slanted toward the trunk instead of having a boxy look to it. The front end came to three points, one at each headlight and one in the middle. Just looking at it I could see the wind blowing easily over it as I drove down the road. I looked inside and saw wood accented dash and steering, and real tan colored leather seats.
I heard Dad whistle his approval behind me, like a catcall after a beautiful woman. I smiled as he approached and asked, “what is it?”
“It’s a Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback. That’s a good pick, Son.”
I just stared in awe for a few moments…
“This is the one Dad, this is my car.” I never broke my gaze from this beautiful machine.
“Now Son, this one is a little more expensive than I intended.” He paused for a bit, “but if you promise to do good in school the rest of the year I will think about it.” I heard what he said and thought to myself; I can do better than that.
“I promise I will, but why don’t I get a job and help you pay for the extra? This IS my car Dad.” He let out a hearty laugh and hugged me before leaving to go inside the dealership. I drove my car home that afternoon. I remember cranking it the first time, and feeling the engine rumble, like when trains go by, or a plane flies too low. The smell of new leather became a smell I will always love. The feel of the wood accented steering wheel in my hands, the power I could feel under my foot when I hit the gas. These are all things I will never forget.
“That’s a great story about you and grandpa, dad, but where are we going?” I smiled at my own son as I said…
“Turn left.”

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Passionate about writing, but new to it.
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