The Roots of My Rides

White T-top ’72 ‘vette Stingray.

When I think about my roots and where I come from, it helps me figure out where I’m going. With regard to my my love of fast rides and good food on a hot summer night, I get that from my Dad. Growing up, my Dad always had a hot new ride, but the one I remember the most was a white, T-top, 1972 Corvette Stingray. On a warm summer night, we’d finish dinner (usually steak) and my Dad would say, “You kids wanna go for an ice cream?”

A Blue ’71 Stingray at the car show.

Hell yes.

He’d put my sister in the passenger seat, I’d contort myself into the “boot” area, and he’d drive us to Baskin-Robbins for an ice cream cone.

Well, history, she does love that rinse-and-repeat cycle, now doesn’t she?

I recently spent some time visiting with my Dad. It was great; it was just the two of us, hanging out. One night, we drove into the small downtown area near his home, and stumbled across a vintage car show. Wouldn’t you know it, but what was one of the cars on display (and for sale)? A Blue ’71 ‘vette Stingray T-top with the “egg crate” side vents. (Close enough to his, to be sure.) Heck, my father was tempted enough to buy it that he even sat in it, and even got the seller’s phone number.

The next evening, I threw together a quick dinner: bone-on NY strip steaks; roasted new potatoes with garlic; Brussel sprouts with bacon; and a 2010 Paso Robles Cabernet to wash it all down. He really seemed to enjoy it, and nothing makes me happier than preparing a wonderful meal for someone I love. (Bonus: Since my Pop is kind of “old school”, making a great meal is a the best way I know to show the old man just how much he means to me.)

Now, time may have passed, and that white ‘vette is long since gone, but my Dad still has great cars. Right now, he’s tooling around a bucolic mountain town in a Mercedes E550 –a ride as fine as ever I’ve had the privilege to sit in! Same goes for ice cream–my old man has still never met a pint he didn’t immediately want to make his best friend.

One of the ultimate American muscle cars.

Well, I guess that car show and the talk about going to Baskin-Robbins in the old ‘vette (plus that steak dinner) was all it took. No sooner was that last bit of dinner gone did he ask me if I wanted to go for an ice cream.

The only question was, should I take him in my convertible, or would he take me in his?

Well, he won. (Better car!) We floored that Merc, raced down a country road, speedometer moving forward, time turning back, leading me to the roots of my rides: A warm summer night’s trip in a fast car to get an ice cream.