That Little Green Maverick

Betty didn’t have to ask us twice.

If Betty didn’t want to sit at home she would ask Pam, her daughter, and I to drive her around.  Pam was 15, I was 14.  Betty would climb in the backseat of that little green Maverick and let Pam drive and let me ride shotgun.  Betty just wanted to go.

Pam may have been only 15 but living in the country she’d been driving for years.  Those country roads were good for that.

We would turn on the radio, windows down if it was warm enough or heater blasting if it was cold enough.  And we would drive those back country roads.

Betty would sit in the back quietly, or letting Pam and I carry the conversation she would add whatever she wanted.   And it would be wonderfully colorful.  If we were singing, she may have been singing with us.  I don’t remember her ever telling us to be quiet.

I don’t remember all of the roads we drove on. But I knew the feel of them.  The comfort of being on them and being safe.  I would know those roads today.  If I went back, I would be transported not by distance but by time.  There were pine trees and hills, barns, houses and shacks.  The smell of wood smoke might be heavy in the air, and I learned the difference between coal smoke and wood smoke traveling those roads full of homes staying warm by fire.

I was never a wild, crazy kind of kid.  But those nights, with Betty in the backseat, Pam and I heading up and down country roads, I learned a little bit about freedom.

33 thoughts on “That Little Green Maverick

  1. To be transported by time is truly wonderful. Perhaps the greatest asset of being human. Although who’s to say dogs, cats, and all our fellow inhabitants, don’t do the same. That would explain the wistful looks we see!

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  2. I could feel the exhilaration you’re describing and I remember my time in the car with friends! I think each of us, if we’re lucky, experienced a little of the freedom sometime in our teens. My car was an old VW bug. My son, however, had a black Maverick! It belonged to a friend of ours first, and although quite “seasoned” before he was ready to drive, as his first car it was very exciting. 🙂

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  3. I actually had two brothers right behind me in age. They decided to drive while I was content to be the oldest among my friends who still didn’t drive. I shared a car with my husband but he drove off to work and I stayed at home with our two toddlers. Subs (teachers) were not even paid $60 a day back in those days.
    I got my first car after we got divorced, I was 29 years old and it was a white Escort. I had two children to drive back and forth to Washington Courthouse, where there weren’t any outlet mall, just a McDonald’s and hotel at the exit. 😀

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