Reading the A-Mail over the past few weeks brought back fond memories of my first set of wheels, a 1955 Ford 4-door Fairlane, V-8, straight stick w/overdrive, light blue in color.  While a 4-door was not the coolest thing in the world, it was mine!  Up until this car, I had no experience in driving a straight stick however a very good friend of mine, the late Stan Bowen (AHS'63) taught me the basic of coordinating clutch and shifting for me to get the car home when my Dad took me to pick it up.  I spent a number of days terrorizing our Belvedere neighborhood and our home street of Santa Barbara Drive with my practicing the fine art of "clutch and shift" along with a few touches of the brakes.  The big day came when my parents finally gave me permission to drive to school.  I believe this was my Junior year ('62) and the Avondale parking lot was gravel, not paved.  My greatest fear came at the end of the day when class let out.  At the time, the only pavement in the parking lot was a pad where you transitioned from gravel to parking exit to Clarendon Ave.  Over the years of cars spinning their wheels when leaving the lot created, what I remember as, 2 craters just before the pavement. My fear was that I would be stopped by Ms Kinney (can't believe I remembered her name!!), the patrol lady who controlled the traffic and students, just at the point of the 2 craters.  Fear realized!!  A number of cars exited but I was stopped just as the front wheels were on the pavement, back tires in the craters!!  Now she signals me to pull out - it seemed like an eternity as I sat there spinning my back tires, throwing gravel on to whoever had the misfortune to be behind me.  I finally got up on the pavement and proceeded to leave 2 black marks as I spun out!!  I had visions of never being allowed in the parking lot again after that incident however the next day, I made sure that I had plenty of room between me and the cars ahead/behind to not get caught in the craters.  I moved up from the '55 Ford to my Dad's '60 Chevrolet Bel-Air however it did not take long for me to realize that this was definitely a gas hog (even at $.25 a gallon!!) so I moved to a '63 VW Bug which was and still remains in my mind as one of the greatest cars I have ever owned.  Nights at the Glenwood Drive-in or Scott Drive-in, sitting in the back seat (front seats pushed forward),"watching" the movie ......what memories!!  I had reversed the wheel rims giving it a wide look and added spun aluminum full wheel covers and the muffler was shot giving it a great sound - man, what a car!!

Harry Evans
AHS '63
April 11, 2002