Friday, July 16, 2010


I don't drive; never have. However, I love cars, particularly the muscle cars of the 60's and early 70's.
When I was in junior high, on warm nights, I could hear the racers dragging on West Erie Avenue. In particular, there was , some nights, this high, throaty roar, like a dragon gone supersonic, tearing east to west with what always sounded like a note of triumph.
One night, I happened to be downtown, on the northern side of West Erie, when I heard that familiar roar, coming closer. Looking up, I spotted a Superbird coming my was a neon yellow-green, and looked fantastic. It rolled to a stop at the Washington Avenue / West Erie Avenue light, thrumming as it idled. Through the passenger window, I could see long blonde hair, and a glimpse of a pretty face. The light changed, the 'Bird's tires squealed, and it vanished into the night.
Fast forward, twenty-seven years....Cleveland, I'm in a Lorain Avenue bar, sipping my third rum-n-coke after work, when in walks this woman. She's tall, blonde, older that me, perhaps late forties, wearing a red Plymouth racing jacket, festooned with patches. On a whim, I offer to buy her a drink, and she accepts. We introduce each other, and I compliment her on her jacket, mentioning those bygone days of draggin' down West Erie. She smiled, and said to me, "Do you remember a yellow-green Superbird that used to drag West Erie"? Sure do," I said, "I only got to see it once, but I remember it well". Her smile got wider, as she said, "Did you know who drove it?" "No", I said, "but I did get a glimpse of his old lady once...smokin', with long blonde hair."
She laughed, a whiskey and cigarettes chuckle that seemed to suit her, and replied, "Thanks...that was me. My boyfriend and I used to shut 'em down almost every night down there."
Here's to ya, and to American iron, and summer nights on West Erie.

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