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Letters to the Editor

Recalling the days of teens, cars and speed

A 1962 Pontiac Catalina was one of the entries in the 2008 Amboy Depot Days Car Show.
A 1962 Pontiac Catalina was one of the entries in the 2008 Amboy Depot Days Car Show.

I’ll never forget the day my friend and I were out cruising in my dad’s 1962 Pontiac Catalina 389 V8. Two guys stopped next to us, revved their engine, and the race was on.

Back when a speedometer went to 120 mph, I buried the needle below 120 and left them in my rearview mirror. My friend was screaming, but I was cool as a cucumber. I enjoyed beating those guys, but I never did it again.

When I told my dad about it, instead of getting mad, he bragged about his car going 120 mph and his daughter beating two guys in a race with his Pontiac Catalina.

Today, I can’t imagine why I did such a foolish thing. After my total lack of forethought, I’m lucky I’m still here to write this letter. I can still remember the thrill. Thank God I did it only once.

In the 1960s, they used to drag race out on blacktop roads outside the city limits. At least one time when I was there, I got to start one race. The engines were revving up and roaring. I shouted “Go!” Tires squealing, rubber burning, like a flash the race was over. It was usually Fords against Chevys when I was there.

I don’t imagine much has changed because some teens have the need for speed. Let’s hope our local law enforcement is aware of these activities, if they still exist, and help prevent any high-speed accidents.

Young people think they are invincible. Time and life’s experiences show us just how vulnerable we really are.

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