It’s true, we don’t see many standard transmissions these days (do they even make cars with them anymore?) and so the scene I witnessed this past Saturday morning was quite unusual.
We stopped for gas in one of those little east Texas crossroad “towns”; no more than a gas station/convenience store at a four-way stop sign, with a couple of dilapidated metal buildings next door and across the street. There was an old car—maybe a ‘90s model Mustang, but couldn’t be sure—sitting in the sloped drive facing the road. As I pumped gas into the tank, I wondered why the driver had parked there; kind of in the way. As I was climbing back into the truck, an older local (I could just tell, ah’ight) ambled out of the convenience store with a sack of fried chicken in his hand. He was “big” and I marveled at how he could even fit into the small car. He hit the starter, and the car made one protesting grind then went silent. The driver’s door immediately popped open a leg came out and with one smooth motion the car was propelled down the driveway. It lurched as he popped the clutch and the engine sputtered to life, and he made a right onto the farm road and vanished into a cloud of gray black smoke.
I grinned and in my mind went through a myriad of similar scenes of myself doing much the same thing, many times and many years ago.