These photos of my beautiful, silver 1987 Ford Taurus wagon feature my sister Becca, not me in the car. The stunning photo of me, pumping gas at the Broadway Shell station in Oakland, circa 1993 has been lost—hopefully only temporarily. It was not a flattering photo to say the least: I had screaming red hair, bangs, bad jeans and a dorky expression on my face. It was a candid shot taken by my sister.
The Taurus was handed down to me by my parents in July 1990, after I passed my driver’s test. It had been driven by my father for 3+ years. By the time I inherited it, it had over 70,000 miles, which was not bad, except for the fact that they were put on my my father, who is one of the most aggressive drivers I know.
Memories of my first car include: my first trip on a highway in 1988, while learning to drive (this was on the extremely hairy Highway 17 to Santa Cruz, no less), numerous attempts to retrieve hubcaps which had worked their way loose (they were particularly prone to falling off as I rambled along the road), purchasing “used” (read: stolen) hubcaps from the “Hubcap King” hubcap store in New Orleans, backing over the gardener’s lawn mower and rake (the lawn mower was salvageable, the rake not so much…) a cross–country trip from Carmel, CA to New Orleans, where I was going to College in August, 1993, a return trip in 1994, countless trips to the Uptown Auto Specialist in New Orleans where thousands upon thousands of dollars were pumped into the car over the course of one school year. (My car spent so much time in this shop, that I made it onto the owner’s Christmas card list).
I received two speeding tickets in it (one in New Orleans and one in Natchitoches, LA), and can admit to being the only Tulane student to drive a 1987 Taurus wagon.