I wasn’t allowed to go “cruising” when I was a teen — at least not as the driver. I could go if one of my friends was driving, however since the gas that fueled the cars had to come from our own pockets, we had our own brand of “cruising” which included a lot of time spent parked in the FIB parking lot.
One of my friends had access to a whole fleet of cars, some of which were really cool. There were two Chevy Belairs, a pristine 1953 model and a tricked out 1957 model. Cruising in either of them got us a lot of attention and glory, but really it was hard to enjoy the experience when we had to spend all of our time saying, “Don’t touch, don’t slam, don’t rub, don’t lean, don’t come near us because if something happens to this car it is more than our puny lives are worth!”
Suzy also had access to two 1977 Ford Capris. We preferred those cars over every other choice. Ford used to make a glorious orange paint (named Ford Orange) that was deep, rich, vibrant and almost red. That was the color of our favorite zippy little Capri. That car did a lot of drag racing.
One day Suzy was driving the orange Capri and her brother, Davy, was driving the green Capri. They decided to have a drag race. I was riding shotgun with Suzy. Yeeha! We zoomed down Front Street, shot into the JC Penney’s parking lot, did a mad spin around a huge landscaping feature (a planter 20 feet in diameter around a huge, old pine tree), back across the parking lot and around another tree in a similar planter, back across the parking lot and … flashing red and blue lights lit up the night. Busted.
So, Suzy and Davy had to go home and tell their parents that they both received very expensive speeding tickets for doing the same thing, at the same time, in the same place. Of course, both kids had to surrender their car keys until they paid their father back for the price of the tickets — and when Suzy’s keys were finally returned they weren’t to the Capri, but that’s a story for later.