When we got back to Texas, I had about a week to spare before starting school. I got settled and met the girls on my floor, who were somewhat awestruck by a transfer student from California. “You’re from California? Why don’t you have a tan?” I would try to explain that I had better things to do than lay on the beach all the time, and it was January, after all, which was not exactly tanning weather, even in California.
I registered for a light load, just enough classes to be considered full time, to save my parents a few dollars, since I was considered an “out of state” student. The first week was a short one, and since I came to Texas without a car, and Flyboy had a little time before he headed to San Antonio for pilot instructor school, he came to get me for the weekend. Two hundred miles. He drove two hundred miles to get me for the weekend. When it was time to head back on Sunday afternoon, Flyboy suggested that maybe I should just take his car back to school, since he, after all, did have a motorcycle he could drive around. The girls at the dorm were wide-eyed when I drove up in Flyboy’s bright orange Maverick with a black bumblebee stripe around the trunk.
Being in the Midwest, in a conservative school with Midwest values, was refreshing, especially for a California girl. There were no girl-boy slumber parties in the dorm, no psycho-dramas, no marijuana, just a floor of really nice girls. My roommate spent hours a day on her makeup and never left the room until she looked perfect. I, on the other hand, slept in until the last possible moment before dashing to class without much makeup at all. I had no reason to try to impress anyone. I had Flyboy, and not one college boy caught my eye.
Friday came again, and I was on the road as soon as class was out. I commented to Flyboy that I had not seemed to get very good mileage on the way back, and he took the car into the shop on Saturday morning to make sure everything was okay. As it turned out, there was a pinhole leak in the gas tank, the explanation for the reduced gas mileage. There was no way to obtain a new gas tank and get it repaired over the weekend, so rather than have me drive a car that could have who knows what happen to it when I was driving back and forth, Flyboy traded it in on a new car. That day. Just like that. A brand new car. If the girls were surprised last weekend, what would they say now? I was going back to school in a brand new Datsun B210.
I had started out as somewhat of an oddity – I was a California girl without a tan. And I had left sunny California to go to Texas, another inconceivable notion, even with Flyboy on the other end. And I was driving his car. And this weekend, I returned to school in a new car. What would I do next? They would never believe what the next weekend would hold.