When I was 17 years old I owned a 1964 Chevy Impala 2+2 with the 300 hp 327 engine in it. I lived in a small town at the time and so for any kind of serious drag racing would have to cruise the streets of Edmonton. Weekends, week nights, didn’t matter: I would race anybody anywhere. I was with a friend and we were sitting at a red light when some punks in an old heap looked over and gave us a dirty look. Like, "you bunch of hicks".

This was in the late 60’s and of course the fashion at the time was the Buddy Holly look. So here I was with my Holly glasses (which my kids still laugh at when they see the picture), a little peach-fuzz on my chin, and OBVIOUSLY driving mommy’s car. The last part was "sort-of" true. In order to make insurance premiums manageable I had the car registered in my mother’s name. This fact would become handy later on.

As usual, I always let the other car take off first. This tells me if he’s serious and doesn’t make me look like I’m "just some hick in mommy’s car". In those days, forming a V with the index and middle finger was some kind of sign for :"let’s race, shit head". We gave him the sign and he smiled. Probably thought "Geez, what a bunch of hicks". My brakes were on, foot on the throttle, not enough to break the tires loose, but enough to make the car sit up because of the torque. The light’s red. I’m watching the other street lights to see when the orange goes on. The car next to me does the same. We’re going to have a fun time down 111 Avenue. There’s the orange, then the green on our street. In the next lane there’s screeching tires and burning rubber as the car jumps across the intersection. I put the pedal to the metal, and with my posi-trac rear-end, spin out with both wheels. I’ve got traction and I’ve got power. I pass this guy before my little power-glide tranny is even out of first gear! We’re doing 80-90 mph when I look in my rear-view mirror to see where the competition went, and I see a cop car, lights flashing, right on his tail. The guy pulls over, and I high-tail it out of there.

Well, not really.

The cops aren’t after me. So I turn around and come back down the same street on the opposite side of the median. Then, showing how mature we were, my friend and I slow down, and through the windows on my 2 door hardtop, yell and hoot at the car that was stopped calling them names like "suckers", "fools", "idiots". Heh heh. We were tough I tell ya. Feeling braver now, I get to the end of the street and turn around again, now heading in the same direction I was racing in. I get to the car, with the cops right behind it, expecting to yell more names at these guys, when I get pulled over. The other car is let go, with a ticket, and now it looks bleak for me. The cops tell me that they were right behind me when we took off at the lights. I made a point of the fact that the other car left first, it "was never my intention to race, officer". I couldn’t have said it better and with more remorse than if I was the girl next door with her skirt hiked up, making "google eyes! I said the squealing tires must have been the other car, it couldn’t be mine, because I was driving a "boat". I then told the cop that I just accelerated to the speed limit, then maintained my speed. When he asked for my documents I pointed out that the car belonged to my mother, that I just borrowed it to pick up my friend in Edmonton. Lies, lies, and more lies. I may go to hell for that, but at least I didn’t get a ticket!

They let me go.