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My Life- The Story Of A 1969 Plymouth

By Cynthia Bailey-Rug

 

  My life began on a cold December day in 1968.  A Virginia man walked into his local Chrysler dealer looking to buy a new car.  The salesman showed him the upcoming 1969 line from Plymouth- the Barracuda, the Satellite, and my other relatives, the Fury 1,2 and 3.  Well when he saw the Fury, he was hooked.  How could he not be?  We are sharp looking cars!  So he ordered a Fury 3, the top of the Fury line mind you.  Limelight green, with a vinyl top! he said.  With the 318 cubic inch engine, oh, and don't forget the air conditioning! 

  And so I was born... a bouncing baby Plymouth of around 5,000 pounds...

  Life was good at first.  I was enjoyed- taken out for drives, frequently washed and waxed, and basically just shown off.  Sadly, this life was to end after only about a year when my owner committed suicide.  Tragic.  He was a good man, but I guess life came to be too overwhelming for him.  What would happen to me?  I wondered.  His wife answered that question by selling me.  A man named Jim bought me, and off I went to the next stage of my life.  I hoped it would be as happy as that first year.

  Well, Jim wasn't the big car buff my first owner was, but he did manage to take care of me and wash me, although admittedly, not as often as I was accustomed to.  Oh well, that's ok- I was still kept well.  We flew down those winding old Virginia country roads.  Sometimes it was just us, other times we took his wife.  And other times some of the what felt like a hundred kids and grandkids.  My word, that family breeds like jackrabbits.  But anyway, it was a pretty good life. 

  Then, in 1975, Jim's son's car was stolen and totaled.  A shame.  It was a 1967 Chevy Impala SS.  Great looking car!  I knew I was going to miss her.  We had some good conversations, parked together in the carport while Jim's son and his family visited.  Sad to lose a good friend like that, especially one so young.  She was barely eight years old.  Older than me but still barely broken in.  Such a waste.

  This happened while Jim was out of town.  His son told his mother about it over the phone one day, and she said, "Well come on down here.  You can have Pop's car!"  Obviously, I was surprised at this turn of events, but not as surprised as Jim.  Bless his heart, he just rolled with the punches.  When he got home, he cleaned his belongings out of me and handed his son the keys one Sunday afternoon.

  My new home was interesting...Jim's son was good to me, a lot like my first owner.  I got a bath every weekend, and regular maintenance.  His wife wasn't too thrilled with me, but that's ok- she didn't drive me!  His daughter sure liked me though.  The kid was about four, and already a car nut.  Whoda thunk it? 

  The daughter and I hit it off pretty well- she liked to sit on the armrest in the middle of the front seat until she grew too big for that.  She also had this weird idea to pretend I was the General Lee from that old television show, "The Dukes Of Hazzard" and she'd climb in and out of my rolled down windows.  Weird kid.  Yea, like the General, I'm a '69 Chrysler product, but that's where the similarities end!  Geez!

  So life was pretty cool until 1980.  That's when the man decided it was time to let me go.  He replaced me with a 1977 Dodge Aspen.  No style, I tell ya!  Nothing like me.  Gag me.  Well anyway, I was sold to a guy in Gambrills, Maryland.  He was ok.  Not the type to fuss over a car, though, and I kinda missed that.  I guess he got tired of me, though, and stored me for almost twenty years.  I was sure life was over.  Just sitting there, feeling my metal rust, belts and hoses dry rot..it was awful.  Very depressing to say the least.  I had just about given up the will to live, when a man named John met me.  Turns out he was looking for a car to fix up.  I fit the bill.  He paid $200 for me, which really made me feel cheap.  It was embarrassing!  I thought I was still worth a good thousand, but apparently I was the only one.  HUMPH! 

  So anyway, back to John.  He paid for me and took me home.  All in all, he was pretty good to me.  Had my body repaired and painted, replaced my vinyl top, and even had my seats reupholstered.  Two shades of green.  Nice!   Very snazzy!  Now I was back to looking like my usual beautiful self. I was feeling good!

  One day, John and I went to this flea market.  Then while I was just sitting there, minding my own business, this woman came up to me and wouldn't stop staring at me.  She sure looked familiar, though.  Next thing I knew, she put a piece of paper in my open window.  The nerve!  It turns out, that piece of paper was a note to John, asking if he would be interested in selling me.  Ha!  I thought.  After all that time and money he put into me?  No way.  And I was wrong.

  About a month later, he drove me to this strange house.  I wondered where we were.  Then that woman came out of the house.  That one from the flea market.  What the..?!?!  Ok, maybe they're friends or something, I thought.  Suddenly, he handed her the keys, and she dropped him off at home.  She took me to the Department of Motor Vehicles and went inside. I wondered what was going on, and who this gal was.

  A little while later, she came out, with these new plates that she put on me.  Well, I guess I've been sold, and this is my new owner.  Boy, I was surprised!  Pleasantly though, as she later bathed, waxed, and cleaned me right up. 

  The following weekend, my curiosity was satisfied.  Her father came by.  Turns out my new owner was the same little girl who was under that delusion I was the General Lee back in the late 1970's!  I knew she looked familiar, but when I saw her dad, Jim's son, I knew just who she was!  Wow!  I'm back in this family again, after a 25 year absence!  What a surprise! 

  Now, I am one happy old car... I am in the process of being totally restored, and am loved and fussed over even more than my first owner did.  Life is good...

 
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