Maybe—somehow—he had an internal mechanism that knew Jesus would call him home early. I figure as much since he was a bit young to be amidst a typical mid-life crisis. Who knows? All I knew as a third grader was that my dad approached our driveway in some kinda car that made our windows rattle. And I loved it.
I knew at that age what a Mustang was. But this wasn’t anything close to the classic little Mustang that Iacocca et al contrived to fit on a chassis with the same basic dimensions and construct as their Ford Falcon.
Their little flurry of brilliance made the assembly line start-up processes and up-front production costs for the original Mustang considerably lower. I’m sure you didn’t know this and I’m pleased that due to my impertinence and pursuit of random bits of inane information, you now do. Shut up.
My dad’s new Mustang was sleek and…for some reason I want to use the word…turgid. Turgid in that it seemed like it was going to burst…just sitting there. The restrained energy that my wide eyed pediatric self sensed from this car while it was parked was palpable. My buddies and a few of their dads came over to look at it and they circled it…my buddies in awe and their dads in jealousy. And I was too young to define it the way I can now but there was incongruence between my dad and the car. In my third-grade noggin’ it came off more like … “my dad and this car don’t really go together.” By the time I was in the third grade, my dad was in a three button sack suit, longwings and a dress hat…every day. And this Mustang seemed like it needed a driver who was a bit more Steve McQueen or James Dean-ish.
My elementary school was within walking distance of my house and walk I did…almost every day from first grade till sixth. But I begged my dad to drive me to school in his Cobra. I wanted to be seen in it I think, more than my dad did. I don’t remember wearing a seat-belt but if I had, perhaps I wouldn’t have risen from the seat when we were stopped at an intersection. My little fifty-pound ass would levitate…or at least I thought I was…just from the teeth clattering rumble emanating from our idling Cobra Mustang.
And then it was gone. Faster I think, than its sudden arrival in our driveway. I figure that the Shelby Cobra Mustang had about a six week run in my dad’s possession. I don’t remember any words exchanged, voices raised or any conflict between my parents over the Mustang. And trust me; I remember plenty of arguments over other things. I figure my mama played some kinda Sun Tzu secret weapon ninja card on my dad and poof, that car was gone without even a whimper. Somehow I knew not to ask about it.
My dad subsequently darkened the driveway in some kind of predictable four door, non-teeth rattling whatever and not a word was ever spoken about...my Mustang.
Onward. Levitatin’… Emanatin’… And always over ellipsis-ing my stories.