Saturday, September 09, 2006

Beware The Dreaded Nose Cone-er

Almost every Saturday my mom and I would head across town to visit her parents. My dad had office hours on Saturday AM and then usually played golf in the afternoon and thus had little time for us. I relished the time as a small boy, as everyone left me alone to escape into my little fantasy world. The early sixties were safer times for sure.

I was a car nut almost at birth. The big shiny chariots completely fascinated me. I loved everything Detroit could produce and know I could tell a 1962 Chevrolet from a 1963 model before I could reliably count to 10. Grandma's was especially rich car hunting grounds as she lived on a busier, through street near downtown. The traffic was comparatively sparse on my isolated cul-de-sac on the edge of town.

Lost in my world, I would run up and down the street, in and out of the alley ways and old gravel lanes, remnants of where coal trucks would dump the coal for the houses built between 1915-1920. I would keep a look out for the latest and most exotic car to come by and pretend I was driving one. An Olds Starfire, any Cadillac, big honking Buicks, flashy finned Chryslers, all were fabulous. An occasional foreign car like a Mercedes or an English Ford might make an appearance. It was orgasmic!

But occasionally fear would strike. I could hear the beast roaring westbound down Macon Street, the brick pavement shaking every body-on-frame bolt. I would see it! PANIC! My little mind and legs running.. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! A NOSE CONE-ER! I would dive into the hydrangea bushes along side the driveway. Once it had passed and assured I was still alive, I would venture out again, waiting for a big Lincoln to tickle my fancy.

You see, I was deathly afraid of 1950-1951 Studebakers.

Look at them, that nose cone looks evil and possessed. The 1950's nose, with the slanted, squinty slots and bulbous nose looked just like Mr. Magoo. But, I knew the secret. The evil and strange drivers (one had to be a little different to own a Studebaker) could control the nose cone and shoot it at unsuspecting little first grade boys. The cone would find you, slam on to your face and cover your nose and mouth, smothering you in chrome. It was an evil plot only I knew. Despite my attempts to convince Mom and my Grandma ("the little pecker is fucking nuts" she would shake her head...Grandma was nothing but earthy) no one else would believe that 1950-1951 Studebakers were possessed.

As time matured my brain and sent the rusting hulks to the boneyard, I lost my fear of these rabid machines. However, last night I picked up a back issue of Collectible Automobile out of my collection and there on the cover was a damn Nose Cone-er. I could not find a hydrangea bush fast enough.

Guess I am not as grown up as I thought....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am laughing so hard I can barely type. I used to own a 1951 needle-nose Studebaker that was souped up for drag racing by a prior owner. I got into more trouble in that car, but that's another story......