L&T Writer Earl Watt
Heather and my daughters went to a weekend softball match in McPherson, and that left me with Heather’s automobile.
As a product of the ’80s, I’m linked to my music, and driving the Blazer left me somewhat wanting for the sound.
I’ve by no means pushed the fanciest of autos in my day, however I at all times had a sound system that would make you neglect the form of automobile you have been driving and recognize the tunes.
In highschool I drove a Ford Courier pickup. It was a smaller truck, just like the Chevy Luv of its day, and there was no carpet. The inventory system had one speaker in the course of the sprint, and that was it.
That merely wouldn’t do.
I changed the inventory AM/FM stereo with innovative expertise. At the moment, it meant an auto reverse cassette deck. CD gamers got here simply after that. I added audio system, which was considerably restricted within the small cab of the Courier. However I added what may match, and that included a set of Jensen TriAx audio system underneath the seats. We didn’t have subwoofers fairly but, so the 6×9 tri ax audio system have been pinnacle for the time.
Friday and Saturday nights have been about cruising Major, and whereas I could not have had the most well liked automobile, I had high quality tunes, and I had no downside getting a buddy or two to experience alongside.
Over time, I’ve at all times custom-made the stereo system in my autos besides my present one. It got here with a Bose system, and whereas it could not have the thump supplied by an add-on subwoofer, it’s about as strong of a pre-package unit as you will get.
However the Blazer wanted one thing, and so I added the subwoofer over the weekend.
It took some time to get all of it dialed in, however as soon as it was, I used to be impressed on how that one add-on modified the whole dynamic.
Just a few years in the past I had already changed all of the audio system all through Heather’s car, and that helped, however it nonetheless left a little bit of a void.
That was crammed, and because the solar sat on the 100-plus diploma day I selected to work on the automobile, I used to be happy with the outcomes and headed inside to chill off.
Quickly I spotted that I used to be lacking out on the whole level of enhancing the sound system within the first place — to take heed to music.
Since I used to be by myself, I made a decision I may use a gentle drink from the drive through, and that gave me a purpose to get again within the automobile.
In my highschool days, all we may do was play a cassette and often hear to at least one group taking part in their latest tunes.
For me, I additionally had some Okay-Tel tapes that performed a number of the hottest hits of the day. If you end up a teen on a finances, it really works.
We did not have loads rising up, and no matter we did have we needed to work for it ourselves.
I by no means felt shorted. My grandparents have been blue collar people, and grandma ran the home whereas my grandpa labored to pay the payments. I by no means anticipated them to purchase me a automobile.
So after I had sufficient garden cash to purchase my truck, I used to be pleased with it. It was mine, and I made the very best with what I had.
In spite of everything, if the grass is greener on the opposite facet, you need to be taking higher care of your grass.
My truck was what it was, however the sound could be nearly as good as any.
We used to dub songs from one another till the cassette tape corporations received good and made the copies come out wavy.
Not solely did I’ve auto reverse on my previous cassette deck, however it additionally had automated music search, so you may quick ahead, and it might mechanically cease when it reached the following tune.
After I received my drink on the drive through in Heather’s automobile, and the tunes have been nonetheless thumpin’, I made a decision the evening wasn’t over but. I headed to Kansas Avenue and found one other good thing about the trendy period when it got here to cruising. Any tune. Any time.
Due to the trendy conveniences supplied by our mates at Apple, all I needed to do was sort the tune in my telephone and play it.
Up and down Kansas I went, taking part in one tune from the ’80s to a different, and generally into one other decade.
I’d leap round a bit to check out the system, from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” and others.
From Michael Jackson to Milli Vanilli, all of them sounded good.
With the thump of the sound and the darkish of the evening, who would know if I made a decision to interrupt out in tune? Yeah, I used to be a rock star with an viewers of none, however it felt good.
I used to be stopped at a light-weight when some youthful guys pulled up within the subsequent lane in a a lot newer automobile with certainly a extra trendy sound system, and though all my home windows have been up, they may hear my tunes. Billy Idol. “Dancing with Myself.” I believed it was applicable. The passenger gave me a glance. I simply flashed the “rock on” signal and a smile as the sunshine turned inexperienced, and I continued on my one-man live performance tour.
Earlier than I knew it, I had been driving across the streets of Liberal for an hour and a half.
My drink was nothing however ice, and I may have gone one other hour and a half. However church was coming within the morning, and it was time to go dwelling.
I pulled the previous lady into the drive, and it wouldn’t have mattered if it was a Blazer or a Ferrari. So long as it sounded good, I used to be happy with it.
It was a pleasant diversion from the routine, and I by no means understood why teenagers at this time don’t benefit from the historical idea of dragging Major.
And I spotted that being in my final yr of life earlier than 50, there’s nothing incorrect with getting behind the wheel on a summer time’s evening and jamming to some tunes whereas driving up and down Kansas Avenue.
The storefronts have modified, and the turnarounds at every finish are a bit completely different.
Automobiles have modified as nicely, and the way in which we take heed to music isn’t the identical.
However the expertise was form of acquainted — a driver and his music hitting the strip.
It was a uncommon second of alone time throughout this pandemic, and I can be on the lookout for another excuse quickly for a late evening experience.