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When my grandmother and uncles were still alive and I lived with my parents, we would take trips from Winslow to Moriarty a couple times a year (my mother hates traveling with a passion, but if it was to Albuquerque, it was a doable trip). Once we got into Albuquerque, it was a short 30-minute trip through the Sandias and over some meadowlands to get to the town that rivaled ours in stoplights, even if the actual town itself was less than a mile from start to finish, with everyone and everything else laid out within a twenty-mile radius (it has since grown and I fear is actually BIGGER than Winslow now, which amuses me to no end).

Past Tramway, past Carmelito, and somewhere between Tijeras and Zamora (it was past Molly's Bar, where my mom and dad clandestinely--amongst friends, not before family--exchanged wedding vows), but closer to where the Turquoise Trail would meet up with Old 66, there was always this house that could be seen off the highway, tucked back in a little niche in the canyon side. The guy there ran a small salvage yard.

The year I had just started with Taco Bell, and was saving up money for a vehicle, was the year we passed this place on our way into town for some bingo with Grandma and Uncle Richard. The car hadn't been there two days before, but it sure was there now. And it was parked facing the highway with a big fat FOR SALE painted on the windshield. We were zooming past and Uncle Richard turned to me and said, "Look! It's The De Lorean!" He helped me convince my parents that night that this was going to be my car.

The guy was nice, and the first thing he said was "Ahh, you look like a Sci-Fi fan. I bet this thing called to you all the way from 1984."

My Uncle Richard laughed. "'85," he corrected the guy.

"Oh, good gracious, so you're on the streets, then?" the man asked, catching the year I was born and not the movie reference. My parents kinda laughed and said that it was time for me to wreck a car of my own. Which was awesome, seeing as how I had yet to do more than back my mom's car in and out of the driveway and go drive circles in the old K-Mart parking lot.

My step-dad and uncle talked him down a little on the price, and he was so eager to help out a new driver with these huge sparkly OMG eyes, who was pretty much drooling all over the hood of this baby.

This pretty little '84 Toyota Celica GT, silver and black hatchback.

If only the doors opened upwards.


I still only had my learner's permit but I remember riding home with my Uncle, who was amazing enough to drive it home for me (because neither of my parents wanted to, and they wanted me to shell out for a trailer to truck it home) because he was made of win and awesome like that. I rode with him the whole way home, and he showed me how everything on the dash worked, said he would fix the radio and the speakers for me once we got back home, and pretty much gushed about the car the entire time. He was a Mustang guy, but this little car--he made me equally excited to have it, I knew he loved it a lot.

I did too. We had a damned good time driving home in it.

But my mother didn't like the $300 insurance payments, even after all the discounts and extra draw-ups and everything.


I miss that car now. I wish I'd kept it, because every time I think of it I think of my uncle.

And how much fun it was to say "Be right back, gonna go charge up the gigawatts!" when I'd need to go get gas.

(on a related note I am also sad that neither of the Universal Parks here in the states run the BttF Ride any longer. :C )


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September 2016

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