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Posts Tagged ‘Spokane’

Chasing down “The Germ”

August 11, 2011 2 comments

Ok, so my wife has been bugging me that I “abandoned” my blog and needed to post a new story. I guess that I haven’t been in much of a story telling mood lately, but I thought of a fun story from when I was in high school.

One Friday night, I was out with some friends.  As curfews were drawing close, I started driving a few friends home.  My best friend and I (I will call him G) dropped off a friend on the South Hill area of Spokane and then headed north to drop him off in Mead.

We pulled up to a stop light and looked over at the car next to us.  It was Mr. H, a teacher and the dean of students at our high school.  Mr. H had been our teacher, my basketball coach, and ASB (student government) advisor.  He also had lectured me a few times on my fast driving, and rightfully so.

Mr. H drove an old Honda Civic that he called “The Germ” and it was legendary at our school.  He would try to drive from basketball practice only using his brakes a certain number of times.  If he was running out of his allotted times to brake, he would even run into a snow drift to stop himself.

Mr. H’s Honda was this style, but dark green and wasn’t nearly as nice. It even had a metal hanger for an antenna.

We were actually surprised to see him out and about that late on the weekend and wondered what he was doing.  Mr. H looked at G and I and gave us a look like we had caught him doing something wrong.  The light turned green and he took a sharp turn and sped off.  G hollered “FOLLOW HIM” and I took off as fast as my trusty 74 Chevelle would go.

The next 15 minutes were some of the craziest driving that I have ever done, including driving in Paris and in Slovakia (more on that driving in a later post).  To my credit, I stayed with Mr. H in spite of the driving maneuvers that he tried.

Honest officer, I was only going one way…it just happened to be different than the arrow!

After the crazy chase, Mr. H turned down a residential side street and we thought that we had lost him.  We were sure he couldn’t have made it to the next intersection, so we slowly drove up the street.  Finally, we spotted The Germ parked in someones driveway.  G and I looked at each other and decided to slowly approach the car.  We didn’t see anyone until we got right up to the windows and there was Mr. H hunched over.

When he saw us, he jumped out and started laughing.  He didn’t give any explanation, but made us promise not to tell anyone what had taken place.  We agreed (which I guess I am now breaking that agreement) and headed back to my car.  I took G home and we were still a bit thrown off by what had taken place.  We figured that no one would probably believe us, so we didn’t really tell many people.

Someday, I will run into Mr. H and I am sure that we will have a great laugh about this memorable night of driving.

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“My” Chevelle and the Impala.

June 10, 2011 2 comments

1974 Chevelle. Ours was burgundy with a black top, but still had the sweet rally sport wheels.

Ah…my Chevelle.  Now, I say that it is mine, but it was supposed to be a family car.  But as far as I was concerned, when I turned 16, it was mine.  I went to a small Christian school, and so our parking lot wasn’t real big.  So, I quickly claimed “my spot” right across from my two friends’ spots.  I loved this car and would wash it and dream of ways to fix it up to make it better.

I do have to tell you that I did everything in my power to keep my older sister from driving it (sorry, sis!).  One of my best tricks was whenever I knew she was going to drive it, I would run out to “my” car and disconnect the main wire on the distributor cap.  This would keep the car from starting.  It would sound like it should start, but it never would.  She would get mad and take our 1975 Impala and I would then get to take the Chevelle.  This worked well until my father, who was a mechanic, figured out what I was doing.  Then I would be in big trouble if I tried that.

Now, the Impala looked horrible.  I actually got into my first accident in the Impala.  It wasn’t my fault, and didn’t do much serious damage, but it did make the ugly brown car even uglier with dents all along one side.  The top had the vinyl covering that was a faded off-white and was flaking off.  This didn’t help the look of the car either.  But, this car could fly.  I could burn out (spinning the tires) with just a little power braking, (sorry Dad, I used up your tires)  and this was always a hit with my friends.

1975 Impala…Our was ugly brown and didn’t look this nice.

The Impala was easily the faster car between it and the Chevelle, even though they had the same size engine.  (I attribute this to the transmission in the Impala that was geared better.)  So, my choice of cars to drive depended on what I wanted to do, look cool (Chevelle) or go fast (Impala).  When I did drive the Impala, I would usually amaze people with how fast this big old boat really was.

Since I loved driving fast, my parents would let me go to the local drag racing strip and race there on some Friday nights in the summer.  Now, my dilemma was…do I want to look cool or go fast.  Well, since it was racing, I went with the Impala.  I took a bit of a hit driving that ugly boat with all of the other cool cars there, but in the end, it was so worth it.

Now picture the other drivers, that come with their very cool looking Novas, Camaros, Mustangs, and other sweet looking muscle cars.  And I roll up in my poop brown, dented up Impala.  I know that I heard some snickers and saw some people point.  But, like I said, that car was fast.  After I ended up beating them in a race, they weren’t laughing anymore!  I even made it to the semifinals one time, but I lost because I went too fast!

It was also fun, because many of the guys that my dad worked with had really awesome drag racing cars, and they were all there.  So I was able to hang around with them and their cool cars.  That helped a bunch.  Plus they would give me good pointers on how to race faster.  My parents would come out and watch me race.  I know that my mom didn’t really like the racing all that much, but I knew that she was up in the stands yelling as loud as she could for me to win.

Eventually, after I graduated from college, my dad sold both the Impala (someone bought it to take the engine and put it in another car for racing!) and the Chevelle.  I was sorry that these two cars had to go away.  Not as sorry as when my dad “sold” our Chevy Biscayne, but that is another story for another day.