By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
January 15, 2015
I may not look it, but I consider myself something of a car enthusiast. I love vintage Ford Mustangs in particular. And I can remember exactly when I fell in love with the original pony car, too.
I was a kid and it was a boring weekend afternoon in a house without cable TV. As I was flipping through all five channels then available over-air I came across the local PBS station which happened to be airing an episode of MotorWeek. They were reviewing the 1994 model year ‘stang, which Ford had recently unveiled with a pretty major design overhaul. Gone was the boxy fox body that cut an angular profile with its straight lines and sharp corners. In was a new, sleeker variation that was all curves that did more than just hint of the speed potential hidden under the hood. Those curves loudly proclaimed it.
I watched quietly as the hosts’ voices played over footage of the car whipping around turns and flying down straight-aways during their test drive. I watched and learned about horsepower and pound-feet of torque. Before the show ended, I knew I had found a new obsession.
Indeed, I’ve been a fan ever since. I read about Mustangs and did double takes whenever I saw one out on the roads. I even saw a guy driving a ’64 1/2 convertible in midnight blue once. I flagged him down and we had a brief chat about his car. It was immaculate: equipped with the original 289 stock engine and white leather pony interior.
While I don’t drive a Mustang—yet— I’m still in the Ford family. Currently, I drive a Fiesta. It’s a spitfire of a car in a tiny package. It may only be equipped with a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder producing 120HP, but even stock versions are popular among enthusiast racing communities such as AutoCross.
It’s a versatile car, too. Just last month, when the weather was still a bit warm, I decided to take advantage of a beautifully sunny day to enjoy the beach. I drove out to Beach Access 5 and found it nearly deserted. I parked just above the tide line and paused to let the sound of the waves surround me. Then I went for a walk, heading north, away from the city.
It was quiet, and peaceful, and exactly the sort of mental recharge I needed. But one thing I did notice as I meandered around looking for interesting seashells was the occasional bit of garbage. A plastic bottle cap here, a bit of a wrapper there. I climbed up into the dunes to get a photo of the sun setting over the bay, and there, too, tangled among the grasses, was more refuse.
Our beaches are a great resource, and they’re one we need to protect and become better stewards of. Luckily, I’m not the only one who feels this way. The Island has many folk who, every year, take it upon themselves to help keep the beaches clean. In the coming weeks, there will be two beach cleanup campaigns.
The first will be the SPI End of the Road Beach Cleanup on Saturday, Jan. 17 from 11 a.m.to 3 p.m. Folks wishing to participate can call 517-673-6003 for more information.
The second is the 19th Annual Winter Texan Beach Cleanup, which will take place on Friday, Feb. 6 at Edwin Atwood Park. More information can be found by calling 1-877-TXCOAST.
I hope some of our readers will join in, and if you do, let us know how it goes! And as always, visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com
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