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Ode To An American Classic

11 August 2017 Views From The Booth Sports

Greetings from the Booth!

Today, we’re going to veer away from sports a bit, but first a “snapshot” of the sports landscape:

Our wait is over! NFL football is underway, albeit the pre-season variety, as the ‘Skins and Ravens met last night in Baltimore. After the anemic performance of the burgundy and gold (140 yards of total offense), I’m not sure it was worth the wait, but  as “oscillating fans” we reserve the right to change our opinion on a weekly basis.

The Nationals continue to win despite all of their injuries, and are now a whopping 15 games ahead in the National League East.  Looks like the bullpen woes are a thing of the past for the Nats, and youngsters like Brian Goodwin and Wilmer Difo contribute on an almost daily basis. Won’t be long before we start hearing about the National’s “magic number”.

And believe it or not, as school starts earlier and earlier each year, we are a week away from High School Football in the area. Be true to your school!

Now for today’s topic. It was on this date in history, August 11th, 1966, that the first Chevy Camaro rolled off the assembly line (it would go on sale later in the year). It was Chevrolet’s answer to the popular Ford Mustang, and sparked years of debate between Chevy and Ford aficionados.  The Camaro has changed design over the years, and after production was stopped in 2002,  a fifth-generation model was unveiled in 2009, as the Camaro went back to it’s roots.

My buddy Les had a red Camaro Berlinetta in college, and I knew at that point that I had to have one, too. It was in 1979 that I saw the one for me in the showroom window of Wagner’s Chevrolet in Martinsburg. The Berlinetta was Chevy’s “luxury” version of the Camaro, and “mine” was white, with light blue cloth interior, white-letter tires, 8-track player, and assorted other bells, clocks,and whistles. The sticker price was about $10,000, pretty steep for a 20-year old who was working several part time jobs.

But once I had my heart set on that car, nothing would stop me. So, with all the begging, pleading, and persuasion I could muster, I was able to talk my Dad into co-signing the note.  So down to Wagner’s I went, traded in my Opel Manta (whose passenger-side door would not open), and that dream car was mine, provided I made the $181 payment every month!

I must have washed that car 3 times a week, and you could have eaten off the floor. I remember a time that I was late to a radio shift and had ‘er going 110 MPH all the way from Martinsburg to Williamsport, Md., with speed to spare.  And I also remember how the heads turned when I drove that Berlinetta  onto the campus of Shepherd College every day as a commuter student.

I would eventually trade that car in for, believe it or not, a Subaru hatchback.  Once in a while, I have a mid-life crisis and think it would be cool to have a newer Camaro. Then, I look at the sticker price, and realize that the years and the financial means to have one have passed me by.  Besides, it wouldn’t be the same as having that 1979 Berlinetta, my first new car…

That’s it from the Booth! Until next time, Happy Birthday Camaro, and GO HORNETS!







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