Saturday, June 30, 2012

Who Am I? Why Am I Here?


Dad's '73 Nova and a trip to Round Lake. That's why I have this blog.

So I'm into old cars, old trucks, and pretty much anything that contains mechanical parts and perhaps a little tinge of iron oxide. It also has to be filthy, the greasier the better. But if it also has a photogenic side, a little bit of style and attitude...that's what makes it even more attractive to me. My name is Daryl, and I've been into cars since the early days of my existence. I was born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1979 and raised in northern Lake County. A unique place in the world that was an an amalgam of every Wisconsin summer resort you've ever been to, and every Chicago neighborhood you've ever driven through. Now imagine if they both collided and formed a giant lake full of fish, powerboats, Italian beef, and booze. THAT was Lake County.
 
One of my earliest memories, (besides riding in the back seat of my parent's 1979 Pontiac LeMans Safari station wagon with my Grandmother going to hospital to see my baby brother Kyle moments after he was born), was riding to the Round Lake Perry Drug Store on a winter's eve with my Dad in his 1973 Chevy Nova hatchback to pick up some car parts. Back then, if you worked late and need something for the car, you could always swing by the Perry Drug. They stocked AC Delco oil and air filters, and other parts that Dad liked to use to keep his GM car "all GM" as the air cleaner decals used to say.


I remember getting into the car, it had large doors for a small child. I hopped into the front seat and remember staring at my Mother in the front picture window of our ranch home. She watched as we backed out of the driveway, all the while my eyes fixated on every movement of my father's hand on the stick shift. My ears fixated on every sound of the engine under the hood, and the sounds it made. My entire body, in touch with the vibrations the car made as it moved down our dark street. I even put my ear on the seatbelt so I could listen to the gears and tires move beneath us as we turned onto the highway and picked up speed. 


We arrived at the Perry Drug, and I can still remember going down the aisles of merchandise until we arrived at the back of the store. I think my Dad bought an air filter, as the blue & white AC Delco box was rather large. We took it to the front counter, which was elevated and had wood paneling on the sides. Dad paid, and we hopped back into the Nova and headed back home. Again, the sights, sounds, and smells of the little red Nova intrigued me. It was, and to some extent still is, incredible that I could climb into something that would take me from one place in the world, and the next time I opened my door I was taken to another place without having to do any work. 

From my perch in the front seat, I stared at the moonlight through my window, and stared at the perforated ivory headliner. I listened to the 307 and three speed make the noises it always made as the trees, lights, and houses passed by. We arrived home, and my little adventure came to an end. 

So there I was, three years old, not a care in the world. I was a tiny little chubby kid picking up car parts with my Dad on a weeknight in the middle of winter of 1983...and I can still remember every detail of this trip. I think my love for all things mechanical was born around the same time.

-D