This is the first posting for this new mini-series…
In 1993, towards the end of my Junior year in High School, I bought my very first car. I was only 16 years old. I worked at an A&W Restaurant flipping burgers and mowed the lawns at the Fire Department. I saved my money and purchased this mighty used car you see here, down below. The car was a red Dodge Omni and had an old “toolbox”, kind of rusty and moldy smell to it. The windshield was cracked already (eventually my dad replaced it), the vinyl seats were hot in the summer and cold in the winter. My car had a tape deck in it. I was starting to collect more cd’s around that time so I had to buy some blank tapes and then record my cd’s onto them so I could listen to the music in the car.
I had to be entertained whenever I took a ride in this “Bloody Gremlin” looking vehicle! I never really drove far. I drove to school and back home. I went to the gas station or the local White Hen Pantry. It was all about looking cool. One time I drove it out of town to show my Grandma and Grandpa. My Grandma said we could go for a ride around the block. I had a tape of Stone Temple Pilots (Alternative Rock Band from the 90’s) playing somewhat loudly. I turned to grandma, as she was buckling her seatbelt. I said, “Oh let me turn that down.” She said, PLEASE!!!,” with somewhat of disgust. But it was still a nice experience with Grandma. Unlike how my own mother and father shrieked in blood curdling terror whenever I drove! AHHHHHH!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!! JUST PULL THE CAR OVER!!!! White knuckles and all! LOL
I listened to bands like R.E.M., Lenny Kravitz and Smashing Pumpkins. One day, I had just about had enough of my tape deck because it was slowly starting to eat my tapes, they would get jammed in the machine or just simply start to distort their sound. Everything would sound all warped and in slow motion. As I was cruising through my hometown listening to the Pumpkins, the tape deck was trying to vomit out my tape and I had decided enough was enough. I ejected the tape and threw it out of the window, over the bridge I was driving across and into the Fox River. Never to be heard again! It was a quick relief! It was easier than trying to rip the tape deck out altogether.
That summer of 1993, I worked at the high school I went to as a painter and a janitor helper. There were about a dozen of us working in various buildings scrubbing floors, cleaning windows, etc. I was excited to listen to some Tool and Manowar in my car as I was leaving for the day to head home and embark on a mini vacation with my sister and parents the next day. But as I pulled out of my spot and began to “peel away!” I backed into a lady’s van and just kept on going! Perhaps the heavy metal blaring through my crappy speakers distracted me and I was oblivious!
After I got home, I was jumping on the trampoline with my sister and just hanging out in the backyard. The phone rings. My mom answers. She is not happy. “WHAT?”….she says “MY SON?”….she asks. I got into verbal trouble but nothing serious. Luckily it was a mere fender bender. Maybe I should mention here that I had obvious and memorable vanity plates that said “NOE 94” on them!!! LOL
These are the musical memories I think of when I talk about the Red Dodge Omni. Please share some of yours in the comments section below. Later!