I got my license as soon as I could, on my sixteenth birthday, I think, but I didn’t get my own car until a couple years later. When I was eighteen, and about to graduate high school, I got a 1996 Ford F-150 pickup. Single cab, long bed, 4×4 (with the manual locking hubs), in white. Stick shift. It was great.
I bought a chrome toolbox for the bed at a farm-supply store. I would have rather had a cool roll-bar — would have cost about the same, too — but I needed the extra storage space. Hard to fit two people, a book bag, and a few groceries in just the cab. It didn’t even have cupholders. I bought the clip-in-the-window kind, which poked holes in any styrofoam cups you were stupid enough to try to put there. Holding a big Coke while trying to shift while accelerating through a corner — that takes real skill.
I loved that truck for a few reasons. I could beat the hell out of it without really hurting anything. The 4-wheel-drive meant it never got stuck, in fields or snow or whatever. Manual transmissions are amazing, and I’ve felt like less of a man ever since I sold this truck, what with all the automatics I’ve had to drive. Our new Cruze has an auto-manual, so I’ve at least got a taste of fun driving again, but one of these days I’m either going to have to buy a proper manual or just give up driving.
I could do all my own work on it. I think the only time I ever took it to a mechanic was when the radiator needed replaced. In the meantime, I replaced the alternator (twice), the starter (twice), a few other things. Come to think of it, this probably leads well enough into the things I didn’t like… engine parts kept breaking. The chassis took all my abuse without trouble, but O’Reilly aftermarket engine bits fail if you breathe hard on them. They were cheap, but… they were cheap. I also managed to break the driver’s seat. The vertical slats in the back of the seat broke in the middle, so it forced you to sit sort of hunched over.
Cruise control. Or rather, no cruise control. I suppose that might not be odd for a stick shift (is it?), but this is the car I had when I first met Lauren — when I was frequently driving to the airport three hours away to fly out and see her. 145 miles is a long way to go without cruise control (and hunched over so far your chin’s resting on the steering wheel).
Oh, and those manual-locking hubs? They’re great. They never break, and they’re maintenance free. And when you’ve had freezing rain falling all night long, they are completely impossible to turn in the morning, when they (and the road) are frozen over with ice and you would really love to have your four-wheel drive.
1. What age did you learn to ride a bike?
2. Do you remember your first day of kindergarten? What was it like?
3. What was your first car? What did you love/hate about it?
4. Who is/are your hero(es)?
5. What is one of your favorite memories from your childhood?
6. Do you play an instrument? If not, what would you want to play if you could?
7. What’s something that’s on your “bucket list”?
8. What were you like in middle school? What were your clothing/music choices? (Around 12 years old.)
9. What is something adventurous you’d like to do someday?
10. Do you believe in anything “odd” – UFOs, ghosts, horoscopes, superstitions, etc.?
11. What’s something you’re interested in that no one really knows about or no one would really understand?
12. What’s your favorite nostalgic song? What does it remind you of?
13. If you could learn one new skill or pick up a new hobby, what would you like to do?
14. What’s your favorite book? Magazine?
15. What’s your religion/religious beliefs?
16. What are you going to name your children? Or, what are your favorite names in general?
17. Who was your childhood best friend? Do you still keep in touch?
18. Tell us your life philosophy?
19. Tell us a secret talent!
20. Create your own question and answer it!