…In 1970 I purchased my first car. A 1960 Rambler, also known as the “box”. For those of you who have never seen this particular model, I suggest looking up this piece of folk automobile history.
The first upgrade this faded grey auto got was an 8 track player. Nothing could be more sublime than driving down the streets of New York City with Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Richie Havens blasting out the open windows, wailing their songs of peace and anti war sentiments.
Yes, in 1970, it was all about making a statement! I soon felt that the music was not enough; after all, everyone that drove had an eight track stereo and was blasting music. On a beautiful fall weekend, I collaborated with an art student and together we attempted to paint a huge smile on the trunk of the car. Bright red lips, stretching from the left rear light to the right light! The bright red lips were “my statement”. Many things come from lips, words of love…a sweet smile, or a tender kiss!
We spent a few moments admiring our work when I noticed how terribly faded the front of the car was. On the sides of the front headlights we wrote in an Old English font “CHE” (Latin for “short and chubby”). Satisfied with our artwork we decided to give CHE a test ride.
Down the street we drove. Some of the cars tooted us and people were blowing kisses at my female companion, others raising their fists and chanting, “Viva Che Gueverra”. Che Gueverra? I asked, who is Che Guevara? “Oops” she smiled, I think Che Guevara helped Castro with the overthrow of the Cuban regime. “Groovy”! I exclaimed, as I turned up the stereo and allowed Bob Dylan’s “rainy day woman” to come pouring out the windows. I was thrilled! In a time when people wanted to be heard, to have their feelings made visible….I was doing it! In the following days I drove that car and enjoyed the attention it brought…..till one day my sister needed to use the car! (She helped me finance the purchase). "Do you know who Che Guevarra is?" I used as my defense as she threatened to call her loan in. Screaming back me with her high pitched voice of anger,"I don't care who he is, but I'm sure every guy in Brooklyn that has pulled up next to me while I am stopped at a traffic light and blows kisses at me, doesn't give a sh*t about Che Guevarra!"
The road of life……drive that car as far as you can!