The keys flew through the air.
“Take care of my baby while I’m gone. I’m off to the East Coast.”
With that final comment, Murray left to join the Navy.
The keys landed in Paddy’s hands. He always thought Murray would take his prized car with him, but apparently there was no room for a personal motor vehicle in basic training. Paddy wished his older brother well as he disappeared down the lane but, in all honesty, could think of nothing beyond his new wheels: a 1956 Mercury Montclair convertible – red and black or was it black and red? Who cared? It was drop dead gorgeous.
In a split second, he was sitting on the smooth leather seat and turning the key. VROOM! Three hundred and some odd horses roared into action. Paddy had no idea what the exact number was, but the thunder coming out the twin exhausts made him weak in the knees.
Oh My! Was that a full tank of gas staring back at him? Best take her for a spin. Down went the top, and with the tires spewing gravel from the laneway and leaving rubber all along the pavement, Paddy and his Mercury thundered off down the road.
Let’s see what this Baby can do? Yikes. Tops a hundred miles per hour very quickly. Can certainly leave the stomach behind when cresting small hills. Corners well too – albeit on two wheels and listing about this way and that.
Hours later Paddy had mastered his wheels and decided his next stop would be to see his girlfriend Laurie. He wisely approached her house in a much more moderate fashion.
Laurie’s eyes were big as saucers when he rolled up to her door.
“My brother gave me his car while he’s off in the navy.”
“Wow! That is so cool.”
“Hop in. I’ll take you for a drive.”
“I can’t. I’m supposed to be doing chores.”
“Me too. But we won’t be gone long.”
Paddy discreetly waited until they were out of sight – and earshot – then showed Laurie what the Mighty Merc was capable of. Up and down the country roads they flew until, breathless with excitement, Paddy wound down a country lane and coasted to a stop in a secluded bower. The engine no sooner extinguished than their lips ignited, arms entwined, and passion tumbled them into the back seat.
Some time later, they composed themselves in the front seat.
“I should really go home now.”
“Me too,” assured Paddy. “Want to stop off and show the car to Donny first?”