My parents gave me my grandmother's Plymouth Satellite station wagonto drive my senior year in high school.The brown behemoth, once the transportation choice of the 1970s family, did not fit with my fantasies of owning my own car."Fast and sporty" could never describe the Satellite.
Unlike my mom's hip tape deck with a zippy new Mazda built around it, my standard- equipment AM radio was dwarfed by the sluggish "cargo ship" encasing it.I was grateful that I could now drive myself to school instead of taking the bus, but I didn't breathlessly call my friends to effervesce about my new wheels.
At first I was embarrassed to be seen in the '70s relic.Trying to slink unobserved into the school parking lot was as impossible as the QE II docking unnoticed in tiny Bar Harbor, Maine.
I never once heard the envious remark "Nice car," but rather was incredulously asked with eyebrows raised, "That's yours?"I longed for a complimentary comment, but even I couldn't come up with one besides "It works."
That year I belonged to the cross-country ski team.Our practices took place at the middle school across town. One afternoon before practice, imagine my delight to hear more than a dozen voices enthusiastically exclaim, "This car is the best!"
Its generous proportions, unlike a puny compact car, transported skis, poles, and the entire ski team in comfort to the rigors of that day's workout. Although my car lacked the sleek lines and instant acceleration of a sports car, it won the unlikely affection of a handful of teenagers. What had been the Satellite's least attractive quality became its asset.
On the way to practice that day, I was the proud captain of an unsinkable ship, sailing along Lake Shore Drive with all my passengers and cargo aboard.
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