1979 Chevrolet Citation: In 1980, my Grandfather bought a new Chevrolet Citation. After several years, sometime in the mid-80s, it became my Mom’s car until 1990, at which point it became mine. To say that technology had passed this vehicle by is an understatement.
The engine, in response to the gas crisis of the late ’70s, was an underpowered four cylinder that struggled up most hills and inclines. Like driveways. The radio was AM-only and mounted in such a way, vertical instead of the traditional horizontal, that made it impossible to replace.
Since the previous mentioned Cutlass Supreme was inoperable most of the year, the Citation became my first drivable car after I received my driver’s license. Actually, this tough little car lasted for some years, as my sister would also drive it as her first post-driver’s license vehicle.
So for Junior and Senior years of high school, this was my main ride, as well as for the first three or four years of college. Between Freshman and Sophomore years of college I had four different roommates, and it wasn’t until Junior year that I met Charlie, who would be my roommate for many years to come.
It’s at this point that I should probably explain that I was at BG for six years. During my Junior year, I changed my major from Journalism to Sports Management, with an emphasis on Sport Information. Essentially, I did a reboot. I’m not gonna lie, I was lucky to have parents that didn’t tell me to quit school and get a job, although I did hold down more than a few crappy ones in college, which now gives me an idea for future series: the shitty jobs I’ve had over the years.
Anyway, since Charlie was from Cleveland, and at this point my parents had moved back from Chagrin Falls to the suburbs of Buffalo, N.Y., I ended up giving Charlie rides back and forth during breaks. It was at this time, because of these drives, and thanks to the Citation’s oddly designed radio, that I discovered one of my favorite albums.
See, Charlie was a big classic rock fan, so he’d bring tapes for us to play on the drive in my old school boom box that’d we’d sit in between us on the front bench seat. One day I offered up Led Zeppelin’s ‘Physical Graffiti,’ which I had purchased in high school, but never really fell in love with. Trip after trip, we would throw this cassette into the boom box because it just so happened that the length of the double album was almost the exact length of the drive between our dorm and Charlie’s house back in Cleveland. We probably listened to it a dozen times, and because of those repeated listenings I grew to adore the album.
I now list ‘In My Time of Dying’ as one of my all time favorite songs. When I want to listen to Zeppelin, this is the first album I did out. All thanks to the Citation.