High School – Roll 2

Blog, Photography / Thursday, December 14th, 2023

In continuing to share the photos I’ve taken with my film cameras over the years, this next roll is the second one I shot in high school. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what the exact theme or assignment was here. If I had to guess, it was one of two things.

  1. Photos of reflections (I’m 99% sure that was one of our assignments)
  2. Angles? Like take a bunch of photos of the same thing from different angles.

Either way, there are a bunch of photos of my car and reflections of my car in this set. I really loved that car, and to this day I regret getting rid of it when I did. It wasn’t my first car either, that was an ’88 Ford Ranger that slowed to a stop at a stop sign, shut off, and never ran again. In retrospect, I suspect that it was a clogged fuel filter. Whatever the reason, after that truck was towed to the dump, I found this 1990 Mazda 626 DX. I paid $1,000 of my hard earned cash for the 15 year old car, and I couldn’t even drive it when I bought it. A friend’s mom drove it back to my friends house for me.

If you know me, then I’ve probably told you at some point that the first car I learned to drive in was a ’64 Corvette Stingray. It was manual transmission and I had my first lesson in it a day or two after getting my learners permit. A few days later, I drove it in the 4th of July parade through town. Mostly, I rode the clutch. Only stalled it two or three times. The crowd cheered when I got it moving again and the parade could go on.

However, that short stint in a Corvette didn’t prepare me for a 5-speed daily driver, and that’s why my friend’s mom drove it home for me to their farm. It stay there for a couple weeks while I came over and learned to drive in the fields, where it was safe. I was eager to have it and cruise around in it so I jumped the gun and brought it home before I was ready. The real teacher was when I was driving down main street during our small town’s rush hour. All of the stop and go at stop lights taught me what I needed to know to get rolling fast.

That Mazda still holds the title for the fastest I’ve driven, too. Being a dumb high schooler, I had to test the limits. I remember pushing her to 110 MPH before backing off. That was plenty fast for me. What’s funny about that particular drive was that after I had backed off and came down to the actual speed limit, that was when I lost control of the car and drove off the road and hit a boat. No kidding, I knew the posted speed for a turn was 45 MPH, so that’s what I took it at and the road was just wet enough that night that the car…slipped. I was okay. My passenger was okay. The boat was okay. The Mazda needed a new headlight.

During college, I left the Mazda to sit at my parents house. But after a few years, it didn’t feel right to have it just sit there and I knew I had Peace Corps coming my way so I put the car up for sale on Craigslist, somewhat on a whim. I asked $200 and I had a dozen responses within the hour. That should have been a sign that I was undervaluing the car. Anyway, I’m pretty sure it was gone two hours after posting it. One of my bigger regrets.

The photos themselves turned out alright, though it looks like I underexposed most of them. Seen as a whole grouping though, I suppose it works for me.

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