I'm pretty sure that most of my European and Asian readers did not. But in Texas the various full sized Chevrolet sedans, like the Impala, the Belair and the Biscayne were all over the place. We had a brown, four door Biscayne that eventually became the car my older brother and I were allowed to drive in high school. After my junior year in high school I worked a Summer job so I could buy my own car. It was a normal thing for boys to do in Texas in the early 1970's. I made just enough money to buy a 1965 Buick Wildcat with an enormous V8 engine and an equally big set of bench seats. If you were my height you could comfortably sleep in the backseat. And on the occasions, when vast numbers of my fellow high school students flocked to the Texas Gulf Coast for vacations and long weekends I often did, choosing to spend what would have been "motel money" for food and fireworks. I fondly remember the bottle rocket battles on the beach. Always fun...until (according to someone's mom) someone gets their eyeball shot out.
We'd finish school on Friday afternoon, skip swim practice, fill up our tanks with thirty-two cents per gallon premium gas, try to cadge $20 of spending money from our indulgent parents and then head south with a pair of surf shorts and a couple of T-shirts. We brought our flip-flops so we could go into the Whataburger restaurant in Port Aransas. We'd live on burgers and Cokes. Some of the kids would live on beer.
After spending the weekend slathering our half naked bodies (and the bodies of our wonderful girlfriends) with Johnson and Johnson baby oil---to promote tanning, and eating trash, and trying to look cool and getting stung by little jelly fish we'd wait until the last ray of sun bounced off the water and then get back in our cars and head back to San Antonio Sunday night. We'd be cranking the Moody Blues or Jethro Tull or Led Zeppelin on our cassette players and drive 80 miles per hour with the window all down so we could feel the warm, salt air wrap all sticky around us. We were American kids from comfortable families. It seemed like it would be this way forever....
Those are the memories that flooded into my brain when I walked into a Cinco de Mayo festival on 2nd Street yesterday and came face to face with a beautifully restored Chevy Impala. One look at the tail lights and I was humming the Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, all over again.
I saved a telling memory of my high school vacation history in one snap of the shutter. I'll print this one and put it next to my desk to remind me that there's always something more fun to do than work.
Tech notes: Sony a77 camera. ISO 50. Big and Meaty Jpeg setting. Hasselblad 80mm Zeiss Planar lens at f4 with the Fotodiox adapter. Post processed in SnapSeed for a bit more "structure."
"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world."
Austin Texas Portrait Photographer.