The Beast I Loved

     It was July of 1972 and I was 18. I had a job that at the time I thought was just for the summer and I wanted a car of my own. One of the guys I worked with said he had a car for sale for $100. Now back in 1972 that was not an unheard of price for a used car, especially when it was nine years old and rusty. I took my father to take a look at it and his verdict was that it was ugly but would “get me around”. I didn’t think it was ugly at all. To me it was the most beautiful car ever made. I was looking through 18 year old eyes of course.
     I gave Al the $100 that night at work. My dad talked to the mechanic at work and obtained a certificate of mechanical fitness for it. I called up an insurance company and was told it would cost me $1000 a year for insurance.
My dad saw the look on my face and said in his dad voice, “told you so”. He said I could pay the $25 uninsured motorist fee but went on for about twenty minutes about how my life would be ruined if I so much as bumped another car. Needless to say all I heard was that I could drive my car.
       I have so many great memories about the Beast (my car had a name) and the year we spent together. My friends comments ranged from, “Piece of junk” to “Death trap” but they still wanted to ride with me. I drove that car so much that year, I even drove to Montreal with it but my best memory of the Beast happened in November.     
     I had picked up my friend Bruce to drive him to the mall on my way to work. We saw a girl we knew from school, Nancy and gave her a lift as she was going to the mall also. She asked if we could pick up a friend of hers and take them to the liquor store on the way. It was a good thing I had left early for work that night. We picked up her friend and after I went in to the liquor store with Nancy to help her pick out a bottle of wine, we headed off to the mall. I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw her friend. Well at least I saw a nose and glasses. She was wearing a long black winter coat with a hood and had a long wool scarf wrapped around her neck. I had some music playing and started dancing in the drivers seat, just goofing around. I looked in the mirror and saw her smile. I can’t say that I fell in love with her right there (it took a few days) but I did ask Nancy the next day if her friend might be interested in going out with me. That was November 5th 1972, two months later I asked her to marry me. If I hadn’t had the Beast, I wouldn’t have given Bruce a ride, seen Nancy, picked up her friend and so on. So Yes I still think the Beast was beautiful.



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