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Sue Muse's: Cars

By Sue Ommen

Fri, Mar 8th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Two restored Mustangs, 60s era style, cruised past my window last summer, one red, one yellow, both music to my eyes. Mustangs can’t help but bring back thoughts of first cars and first loves.

I met my older brother’s first car after he offered me a ride to the football game in high school. I was surprised, to say the least, as he had no car to my knowledge, nor my parents. He smoothly told them his friend Paul would pick us up at the bottom of the hill.

However, there was no Paul, no car, but a trek across the highway to a less traveled road, revealed a dilapidated pile of rust with four wheels. We pushed the bucket of bolts out of the weedy bushes they were hidden in, and Jerry instructed me to hop in and steer. He proceeded to push the car while running with it, and I popped the clutch until it kicked in. I was not sure if we’d arrive or even get home later, but we were on our way.

I don’t know if my first car set my heart on fire, but there is certainly a special feeling for that first set of wheels. I had just finished college and my dad presented me with a set of keys for my graduation present. I eagerly went outside, my heart pumping with anticipation, to meet Waltzing Matilda, as she was later dubbed. She certainly danced to her own tune, none of them the great rock ‘n roll of the 60s, but more a 2-step. She was used, with a sturdy, boxy body, a car my dad thought practical and safe for his little girl. However, she came with a quirky set of options all her own. Out on the road on a sunny day, her windshield wipers would suddenly switch back and forth, forcing me to peer between sweeps. When rainy pellets pounded the windshield, the wipers alternately slowed almost to a standstill and then sped up frenetically. Instead of the racy red exterior I had envisioned for my first ride, Matilda was a funny dark maroon, paint that streaked onto my sleeve when I brushed up against it. We had a love-hate relationship, as she got me where I wanted to go, but often with a little heartache thrown in.

My mother did not learn to drive until in her 40s, and for her efforts my father presented her with a slightly used 1967 Mustang. Be still my heart! She was beautiful; a lovely shade of baby blue, but unfortunately, the keys never seemed to make it into my hands. Eventually, my older brother gained possession of her with some slick moves, and a short time later crashed her.

In college, I met the steed of my dreams, a 1966 Navy blue Mustang, and later married him. I had to break the sad news to Waltzing Matilda, that though we’d had some swell times together, she was not the object of my affections any longer. We still traveled along life’s path together for a while, but eventually I watched Matilda waltz away to that great used car pile in the sky.

Jalapeño Poppers

Six 5 to 6 inch jalapeńos

6 pieces of good bacon (we like Oak Meadow’s)

Cream cheese

Parmesan, sharp cheddar, Jarlsberg or any Swiss cheese

Cut jalapeńos in half. Clean the seeds out, keeping the stem end and make a boat. Put a teaspoon of cream cheese in each boat. Precook bacon to semi-crisp and place ½ piece of bacon on the cream cheese. Sprinkle the three cheeses on the bacon. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Remove and sprinkle seasoned breadcrumbs or Panko on top. Place the poppers back in the oven for 15 min. or until the breadcrumbs are golden.

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