When I graduated from university, for a graduation present my parents told me they would buy me a car. My cousin had a red Triumph sports car that she allowed me to drive once, and that was great fun, so I decided I would really like a sports car too. After looking at what was available I decided on a British Racing Green, MG Midget.
After being behind the wheel of the family’s old Ford pickup, a 1954 Chevy, a 1961 Chevy station wagon, and an old used VW Beetle, driving my own new MG sports car was quite an exciting treat.
I quickly learned that all of the other local sports car owners (there weren’t that many) would always give a friendly wave when they saw you. It was gratifying to be in such a elite group.
I will always remember driving home one summer’s night (morning) with the top down. I was on an empty rural road, the stars were sparkling in the night sky, my hair blowing in the warm breeze, and Joni Mitchell was singing “Chelsea Morning” on the late night radio program. It all seemed perfect.
After graduation, I went off to Hawaii for Peace Corp training. I dropped out after the training, wanting to get back and do what I could, to fight for an end of the Vietnam War. I returned to my MG and soon found myself living in Indianapolis, working in a Goodwill Store as a Conscientious Objector.
One memorable MG event happened when I was driving back to Indianapolis after a weekend away. I was on an Interstate Highway, I had the top down and the wind was in my face. The cap I had on one of my front teeth was loose, but I didn’t recognize that as a problem. Then suddenly I had to sneeze, it was a hard sneeze. The loose cap shot out of my mouth, then was picked up by the wind from the moving car and blew past my ear and was gone, bouncing somewhere down the highway.
My life had changed, and the MG was also going through some changes; it’s glory days had past.
The MG began to constantly break down. It seemed like every month something when wrong with it. I was just making a starvation minimum wage at the Goodwill, and I began pondering the fact that the name “MG” stood for “Morris Garages” I didn’t know anything about Morris Garages, but I was beginning to become all too familiar with MG Service Centers.
My MG’s engine caught fire once as I was driving to work. I sat at a traffic light waiting for it too turn, when I noticed smoke coming up from the side of the car, then I watched stunned, as a big green blister started growing on the “bonnet” (hood) of the MG. Mechanical problems increased with the MG and it became so unreliable and expensive, I eventually started looking around for a more reliable vehicle.
I loved that MG for the first few years, but that feeling slowly began to dissipate and I was very happy when someone saw it sitting on my parent’s front lawn with a “For Sale” sign on the windshield and stopped. The sport car dream had gone from my eyes and I was happy that the guy that came to look still had it in his. He bought it and drove it out of my life.