Thursday, July 7, 2011

The "Red Rocket:" Keith Nerderman's 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix

Hi folks -- one in what is now a string of HST 344 student "auto-biographies." Thank you Keith, for your story from the Heartland!

Keith Nerderman
Professor Heitmann
June 29, 2011
Autobiography-“The Red Rocket”
A first car is something that people will carry with them their entire life. Your first car gives you independence and freedom to go where you want when you want. Driving came at a young age for me because I came from a small town and worked on my friend’s family farm at the age of 12. I got to drive farming equipment and trucks on the roads and in the fields which was very exciting for me. It was the end of summer when I finished my driver’s ed classes and then had to wait until December to get my license. It felt as if the time to get my license would never come, but on that cold December morning my Dad and I woke early in the morning and we drove to Sidney, Oh to take my license test. I was the first person scheduled that morning to complete the driving test. I passed the test with flying colors not missing a single point. I finally had my freedom and Independence in the palm of my hand. I couldn’t wait to get home because what was waiting for me in the driveway was the car that I would be driving for the first time that I could call my own.
The car that was waiting for me was a 1997 cherry red grand prix that I gave the name “the red rocket”. It was first bought when my sister received her license, so when she graduated it was passed down to me. I couldn’t be happier because this car had good performance and had a sporty car look to it. When we got home I immediately called up a couple of my closest friends and picked them up and we took off speeding onto the back country roads. We drove around listening to our favorite tunes at the time and felt like we were on top of the world and no one could touch us. With it being December and there being snow on the ground you can probably guess what we did next. We found a nice parking lot on the outside of town and began doing donut after donut. We were having the time of our lives until an unexpecting visitor decided to stop by. The town cop pulled up next to us and began telling us how reckless doing donuts were and proceeds to ask me for my license and registration. As I handed him my license that I had received less than 24 hours ago he glanced at my name and asked me if I was the son of Peach Nerderman, which peach is a nickname my dad received back in High School. I said yes sir I am and then he told me something that I couldn’t believe was coming out of his mouth. He said, “Mr. Nerderman you have a good night and do not let me catch you out here doing donuts again.” My friends and I were so relieved that we were not in any trouble and we left the parking lot and then I dropped them off at their homes and went home and ended up going to bed because it was getting late. The next morning I woke to my Dad yelling for me to get downstairs because he needed to talk to me. Well it turns out that my dad has coffee every morning with the cop that pulled me over and he told my Dad about the fun me and my friends were having in the parking lot the night before. I guess the cop knew my dad well enough that he knew I would get punished in some way and that is why I think he let me go. In the end my Dad grounded me from driving for two weeks, which I thought was pretty harsh.
This experience marked the beginning of a long relationship that I had with my grand prix that I called the red rocket. I am glad to say that I still have the grand prix and it has not let me down in the entire time that I have been driving it. It has a few more miles on it now, but it still gets me from point A to point B. The experiences that I have had with this car will never be forgotten. I do not know what I will do when I have to get rid of it because I have been attached to it since the age of sixteen, but when the time comes for us to part our ways I only hope that my next car can live up to the red rocket.

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