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Track

I remember it like it was yesterday. My first day on the race track. The smell of burning rubber from the tires and oils that dripped from the cars. The racetrack seemed like an asphalt maze of twists and turns. Many of the exotic dream cars that I had seen in magazines were on the track. In addition, practically every color in the rainbow was represented. It was an 11 year olds automotive paradise.
My dad had arranged to meet up with his friend, who owned a 2002 Corvette Grand Sport. My dad drove us to the New Jersey racetrack in his 1991 Ford Mustang 5.0. He would always tell me what a beauty it was, but I always liked the “new cars”. Little did I know. When my dad’s friend finally got to the racetrack, I was literally in awe of his car. A brand new Silver Corvette Grand Sport, full loaded, which was the only one on the track. My dad always told me to put my hands behind my back when looking at a nice car. I later learned that car enthusiasts aren’t too thrilled when their nicely cleaned cars have a handful of fingerprints. While looking at the car my dad told me, just as he would if he saw any other nice car, “Do good in school, Bill”. That seemed to be his answer for everything and I actually fed into it.
After we finished checking out the Corvette, it was race time for them, watch time for me. I was standing in an observation area with my dad when his friend was doing ¼ mile sprints. I remember the various numbers coming up on the screen, 14.5, 14.8, and 14.2. The lower the numbers were, the louder the people around me cheered. I had no idea what the number meant or why they were screaming. I was fascinated by the loud noises coming from the engines and exhausts as well as the price tags of each car.
When it was my dad’s turn to do ¼ mile sprints, his friend stood next to me and said “You’re dad’s car is one of the sweetest cars on the road”. I looked at him funny and said “It’s old…” He proceeded to tell me “You’ll understand when you get older.” My dad’s numbers on the screen were higher than his friends…but for some reason people were more excited. After he came back from the sprints, my dad was greeted by a barrage of compliments from the people around me. It felt cool being his son. But I still couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that people enjoyed an old car more than a new one.
Over ten years have passed and now I fully understand what my dad’s friend was trying to tell me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Whether a car is old or new, each one has had their time of glory, which is not to be forgotten. Every car eventually gets “old”, but one has to enjoy the good times. A car will always have its loyal supporters and people that join in the craze. When someone buys a car, it’s a commitment. They become attached to it for several years until “death do us part”.

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~ by billyfrawley on October 28, 2011.

One Response to “Track”

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