Summer time in the 1980’s rocked for me. We had an above ground swimming pool that all the neighborhood kids would congregate at following a day of childhood reverie. I remember the cook outs my family used to have. There were entire clans of Wood (and those relatives with different last names but no less in equal standing) for as far as the eye can see.
Burgers on the grill, cold A-treat soda (yeah, we were ghetto) and the challenge of the quoit board awaited. As dusk settled in and everyone would now be deep in food coma it wouldn’t be long before Uncle Jim (who I was named after) would start in about playing poker.
The greatest thing I remember during the festivities was one summer taking a walk with one of my cousins. We would stroll by everyone’s parked cars lining the driveway. There was Marlene’s white Ford Escort, Aunt Babe, Aunt Ree and Aunt Ron’s 1970’s baby blue volkswagon beetle and even Dave’s Jeep Wrangler.
But then it was like the heaven’s parted and a single spotlight shone on one car in particular. My Dad’s friend John Paul Jones (not the dude from Led Zeppelin he coincidentally had the same name and we liked to call him that) had a 1966 Ford Mustang that was the coolest, deepest shade of blue you’d ever see. Black interior with the chrome mag wheels. I never rode in it but I could hear him coming from miles away. It screamed.
John and my Dad were huge Mustang fans. I grew up around them and have loved them from the get go. In some families, you’re measured by how successful you are. How much college you had or how big your house is. When I was a kid, the measurement was whether or not you had a Mustang.