Daily Archives: November 18, 2013

Getting the Car

For those out of the loop, this ’79 Caprice is my first car.  Not a lot like my first car… this IS my first car that my Dad is letting me keep for a while… I say that because I still say it’s his that he can have back whenever he says the word.  Until then… Hells Yeah.

I have a lot of respect for those who can proudly proclaim they bought and paid for their first car.  I’m not one of those people.  My parents 100% bought and paid for my first car.  I remember seeing the car sitting with a For Sale sign on the west edge of Cimarron, KS.  At the time I thought it was a Monte Carlo.  It had the same curved back glass I’d seen on many Monte Carlos before, and it just looked too darn sporty to be a regular old Caprice.  Cruising through town in the back seat as Mom karted us around, I remember thinking that would be a cool first car.  But I never really thought it would happen.

A week or two later, Dad said we were going to go look at a car for me.  We pulled up next to that exact car.  I remember thinking “THIS might be MY car!  Hells Yeah!” Dad was busy talking to the owner, a guy we had actually met before as he ran a limo service that we had used a couple time for birthday parties or whatnot.  They were negotiating, but I was circling the car and daydreaming.  Eventually the deal was done.  For $1,000 I had my first car.

So I didn’t buy it.  I STILL have never paid for that car!  My responsibilities were everything that came after that.  Gas, insurance, parts, you name it.  It was my job to keep it running.  The first couple weeks, the car was literally on blocks in our driveway.  Dad took me too the parts store, he told the guy everything we needed and I paid for it.  Not knowing what the heck to do with brake cylinders, spring kits or calipers, I spent a lot of time holding flash lights and just trying to figure out what the heck Dad was doing, why he was doing it, and wondering, how the hell he knew how to do all this stuff!

Once the brakes were fixed, we could finally actually drive it.  I remember taking the car out south of Ingalls and going around some of the curves on the county roads.  The shocks were so bad it felt like you were on water more than you were on solid ground.  So that was obviously the next task.  That was one of those nights I remember Dad staying up probably much later than he wanted to.  I remember he ran into some problem replacing, I think the rear shocks and it took a lot longer than he expected it to.  But he got it done.

The exhaust was shot on it, but instead of taking it to a shop to get it all re-done, Dad and I took it to the shop at the feedyard and took some old fence pipe and welded up some pipes with some “cherry bomb” mufflers.  It definitely had a unique sound, and you could see the bright red mufflers sitting under the floorboards from a distance.

The radio either didn’t work at all, or barely worked.  It was the original cassette deck and I know the tape deck didn’t work at all.  For either Christmas or my Birthday I got a Pioneer CD player and some Pioneer 6×9 speakers to go with it.  One thing I did understand fairly well was how to hook up a stereo, I’d been playing with that stuff for years already in my room in the basement.  So we got that hooked up and from that point forward, it was the car I really remember.

I seem to remember some confusion early on about whether it was an Impala, or a Caprice.  Despite saying Caprice Classic on the dashboard, the insurance and a lot of the other documentation said Impala.  But it certainly was a Caprice.  I’m sure the confusion was mine alone.

As I look at it now, there’s a lot of stuff that’s broken, missing, or not working… I don’t really ever even remember giving it a second thought back then.  It was a cool ride, that was loud, and got me where I wanted to go.  That’s all I ever really wanted.  And I suppose it shouldn’t bug me now.  There’s a lot of things I want to do, like replace the carpet and put bucket seats in there.  Stuff that I’m sure I talked about at some point when I was younger too.  And now that I have the means, I’m sure I’ll get around to it.  But for now… I’m going to keep enjoying it, and driving the heck out of it just like I did back then… only this time with some bite to back up the bark!

Behind the Glass

Andrea and I had some fun Saturday night.  She bought two tickets behind the glass at the Wichita Thunder hockey game.  They’re just a minor league team.  Probably minor minor league but it was still fun.  We’ve both been getting into hockey over the last season or so, and she bought these tickets as a surprise.

We’ve been to a couple Thunder games before, and they’ve always been fun.  But we’ve always talked about how it would be exciting to sit up close right behind the glass.  It’s one of those things that is probably kinda like Nascar.  You get up close to some of the action, but the best view is most likely higher up.  There were times at the far end of the ice, it was difficult to see what was going on.

Offside Faceoff right in front of us!

But it was pretty cool being able to feel the puck smacking the wall right in front of us, and seeing the fights right there.  There was one occasion where I went to go grab another beer, and Andrea said a fight started right in front of her.  She said she was on the big screen with her mouth just hanging open as the two dudes were dukeing it out.

The game started out with Wichita getting its butt kicked.  They were down 0-2 at the end of the 1st.  But came back to tie it up with 0.3 seconds left in the 2nd period.  The game ultimately went to overtime and Wichita lost.  Still a good game though.

Luke stayed with Grandma while we went out, but by the time he’s 3 years old or so, I could see him really enjoying a game like this.  He gets excited when we watch hockey at home, and with the mascot there throwing out prizes into the seats and the “Chuck-A-Puck” contest during the 2nd intermission, he’d probably have a blast there.  There were a lot of other kids there and it was just neat to see all of them yelling and having fun.

I could totally see myself getting season tickets to something like this if it were closer.  We had a lot of fun, and had about the best seats you could get and it wasn’t terribly expensive.  I certainly spent more in beer than we spent on the seats.