As we head into another summer, I think about what I will do to make this one memorable for my daughter.  Some of my best childhood memories and first experiences come from those short few weeks in between grades.  One of the best: driving for the first time.

It was the summer of 1985.  I was 10 years old and my grandfather ("Pappaw") believed that once your feet could reach the pedals, it was time for a driving lesson.  We took his 1975 Dodge Dart out on a back road and I had the time of my life.  If you see a Dart from the 70's these days, it's probably one of the sport models...something worth saving.  This was a green sedan peppered with splotches of mustard colored Bondo.  The key was busted, so you had to start it by pulling a couple of wires from under the dash and touching them together; a.k.a. "hotwire it."  It was green, ugly and as plain as they come, but on that day it may as well have been a Ferrari.

I couldn't find a picture of the car (at least not one that I could legally use), but I did find a video of a '75 sedan uploaded to YouTube by "Junk Man." The video isn't exactly riveting, but it was nice to see that dash again.

That seems fitting.  If I were a rich guy, I'd probably go on a hunt for one exactly like Pappaw's.  I'd restore it to its original lackluster glory and even have an actual key for the ignition.

Most of us have forgotten more than we remember from when we were a kid, but I bet you can tell me the first car you ever drove without thinking twice.

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