My very first car, a 1976 Buick Riviera. I was young and dumb and thought that I ruled the world. I was wrong. Thanks to the fine folks at Buick for building a wonderfully strong car, I survived my first crash. Sadly, the car and the New Jersey Turnpike bridge did not.
College agreed with me. Too much in fact. I decided I was the king of my own domain. With a final, one-finger salute to my dad, I took my last $250 and bought a 1976 Buick Regal. Thanks to two stolen street signs, I was able to cover up the gaping holes in the floors. This beauty was my live-in home for the next year. When it died, I found myself with no home, car or money for college. I did the only thing any boy my age could do. I joined the Navy.
Following a very depressing medical discharge from the Navy, I bought a 1979 Ford Mustang. Again I felt like I was on top of the world. The Mustang saw my marriage to Marj, the birth of my first daughter, Sami, and my eventual leap from carefree child to family-oriented adult. It was a good car!
With adulthood came the need for a family car. This 1989 Hyundai Excel fit the bill. It wasn't anything to look at, but it was basically new. The girls loved it. Unfortunately, things were about to take a turn for the worse. Financially speaking, we were on the precipice of ruin and things were spirally out of control at an alarming rate.
This was the year of rock bottom. We lost our apartment and the car all within months of each other. We ended up moving in with my mom and bought this 1985 Chrysler New Yorker from a family friend. As bad as things were, we still saw a promising future. Of course, having a car that speaks to you helped keep our spirits up. I still fondly remember those robotic words that made us all laugh, "The door is a jar."
Things were starting to turn around for Marj and I. After a disastrous couple of years working odd jobs, I settled into my groove, went back to school and got me degree, graduated at the top of my class, and joined the elite programmers of the world designing missile navigation systems for the government. Didn't see that coming, did you???
Things were going really well for us in 1999. Not only did we trade in the Neon and lease a 1999 Jeep Cherokee, but we also bought our first house. We even went so far as installing an inground pool. It was a wonderful year!
Our daughter, Shavoynne, had quite a few medical problems growing up. This prevented her from getting her license when she turned 16. After the lease was up on our Jeep, we decided to buy this 2003 Honda Civic with the intention of giving it to Shavoynne when she turned 18 and was able to drive. Shavoynne didn't get her license and this wonderfully economical car became my daily ride.
While things were going quite smoothly on the financial front, marital problems were starting to take their toll on us. One of the final nails in our coffin, was my impulse buy of this beautiful 2005 Ford Mustang. Was I reliving my youth or did I simply see the writing on the wall? It had been a good marriage for the most part, but things were winding down.
This was a most painful year for me. My marriage came to an end and my youngest daughter, Sami, took it VERY hard. We didn't speak for almost a full year. To help ease my pain, I bought a 2006 Pontiac Solstice. I figured a little sports car would help make everything better. I was wrong. Although it didn't help, it was really fun driving it with the top down.
By 2010, Sami and I were talking again, I married and divorced Satan (not to be confused with Marj), I had a beautiful apartment in West Chester and a new job at TIMET. I thought things were going great! And then I met Melissa. I can honestly say, my life started the day I met her. To celebrate our new-found love (and to get a backseat), I traded in the Solstice for a 2009 BMW i135 Convertible.
Melissa and I bought our first home this year. It's in the country by a lake. Since I love to drive and country back roads are about the best in the world, I traded in the BMW for my 2011 Chevy Camaro. The kids, especially John, loved this car. As a family we nicknamed her "Bumblebee". Really, was there any other choice???
Country roads are fun my ass! After one winter I realized that the Camaro wasn't going to work in the country. I traded her in for a 2013 Chevy Silverado. For those of you who have been paying attention, this is my first pick-up truck. It took a bit of getting used to but I love it now. And the kids really love it too! Now all we need to do is buy a couple of kayaks for the lake and we'll be set!