Tag Archives: real world

The Phantom Camaro


Early Spring here in Georgia feels much more like mid Summer with temperatures hovering near 80 degrees and the sun shining brightly. Such lovely weather has a way of making people feel like being outdoors to have some fun. Some folks like to walk, others ride bicycles. People put the top down on their convertibles. And me, I go for a ride on my scooter.

Riding always makes me feel free and alive, but this special day for some reason I felt powerful. I’ll admit, my scooter is no Harley Davidson. Not a Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, Triumph, Indian or any other big motorcycle. It’s a scooter. But bigger than those little bitty things you see zipping in and out of traffic in the French and Italian movie scenes.

Full throttle, on a flat stretch of road, I can hit 60 miles per hour. And at that speed this day I felt good. I waved at other riders, always glad to see fellow two wheel enthusiast out enjoying a ride.

I try to keep my eyes on the road ahead, but I do take time to look in the rear view mirrors as well. And that’s where I saw it. It was bright red and it was trying to catch me. Wide and low I could hear it’s engine roaring. You know, the sound that a five million cubic inch engine will make. And it was decked out with air scoops, and air dams, and bright lights. In my rearview mirror it looked like a sinuous wisp of red smoke charging toward me.

But I soon realized that it wasn’t blasting past me at a thousand miles and hour. It wasn’t even getting any closer to me. A red sports car that you can’t drive fast because the police are always looking for any excuse to pull over a red sports car that might drive fast. I was racing a Camaro, and winning!

Shortly thereafter I noticed that the Camaro was slowly inching it’s way toward me. He must had had his pedal to the metal. HaHa! And then, as we rolled along up a slight hill, he cruised very slowly past me. Checking me out. What beast was this that could keep up with his Camaro!

And as he rolled past me and I looked over, fully expecting to see Steve McQueen driving, I took a good look. Funny looking Camaro I thought. Because it turns out it wasn’t a Camaro. Chevrolet yes, Camaro no. It was a Chevrolet Spark! This thing was shorter than my scooter! I was greatly humbled. But went on to enjoy the rest of my ride.

That’s part of my story. What’s yours?



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The Portal

Between my world and the real world lay the portal.  Not some high tech, science fiction time machine filled with lights and atomic particle manipulation.  Nope.  Just a tire swing.

Behind my house there was a thick line of tress, barely penetrable.  It separated my home in 1960’s suburbia with its manicured lawn; two point five children, a car and a dog form the “real world.  That is, beyond the tree line lay a huge cornfield.  And beyond that, other neighborhoods, shopping center, schools, and people.  For a five year old, the difference was significant.

In the center of the tree line stood an ancient oak tree.  Tall and wide.  Scarred by the strike of a lightning bolt.  No one knew how old the tree was.  Or when the lighting had struck.  It was too big to wrap my arms around, and even today still is I imagine.  From it’s lowest limb hung a thick hemp rope.  At the end of the rope, the tire.  Just high enough off the ground so it would swing back and forth.  I could sit on top, or in the opening.  Swinging for hours.

When I was young I would just swing, staring out.  Imagining.  As I got older, I pushed the tire aside and stepped through the portal.  Into the world.  Walk to a store here or there.  Build a fort in the cornfield.  Real, and imagined.  Two worlds combined. 

So simple to push the swing aside and walk out.  Like going through any door.  But this door, the portal, took me to a new world.  I don’t know what triggered this memory.  This thought.  I was on the verge of falling asleep in my bed when it hit me.  I had to get up to write it down.  I must be standing at another portal.  Looking out.  Ready to push the door open and step out.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com

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