Growing up in Queens Village, New York City, I never had that overwhelming desire to acquire a car. Riding the bus and subway was second nature for me, and millions of other New Yorkers. Yes, my family had a car, and both parents drove, but that was about town, or for my father to get to work out on the Island at Republic Aviation Corporation, or over to Jersey to visit Uncle Buddy and Aunt Dotty (and my cousins). But as a high school student, I’d walk or take the bus, and when I started working at Vera Maxwell’s, I’d take the bus and subway into the City. I didn’t think about getting a license until I met a girl who lived out on the Island, and getting to her involved a lot of complicated transfers and a lot of time. (I can’t remember her name - but I pushed my hand into her panties behind the alter at the Unitarian church, and found myself in lust with her.) So I enrolled in A1 driving school in Jamaica. Learned driving an automatic. Passed my test. Got my license.


During this time I lost track of the girl, met a married woman and discovered that: although having a license allowed one to drive, an automobile doesn't suddenly appear. Regardless, before I could buy one, I was in the army.


It was when I stationed in Oklahoma that I bought my first car. It was a purple paneled station wagon that looked like a hearse. It had numerous problems, cost me $50 dollars, and after it broke down on the highway, I gave it to the secretary in the office of the veterinary clinic, the hope that it would be blown up as a target on the artillery range.


Don't know if it was. But what a spectacular way to go.

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