Column Chronicles
Auto memories
Frank Cotolo
July 5, 2018
Automobiles have never been objects of my affection. I never had any luck with cars of any kind.
For instance, my first car was a Japanese car. It was red with a white circle on the hood and people in my neighborhood hated it because it was not made in the U.S.A. Also, I painted the word "BONZAI" on the driver's side because I thought it was cool and it was cool, just not to anyone else but me.
One morning I went out to drive my Japanese car which was parked on the street and it was on fire. As I watched it burn a neighbor came up to me and said, "What a shame, what a shame." When I agreed and told him I thought it was a shame that my one means of transportation was vandalized he said, "No, I mean it's a shame you're not in it while it is burning."
Some time later I bought a used Ford Fairlane and a friend of mine showed me how to do simple maintenance chores, like change the oil, align the wheels and put gas into it. That friend introduced me to a guy who was a mechanic for a race car driver.
I remember being handcuffed to that mechanic in a NASCAR pit during a big race. I took the job of assistant mechanic in a team of mechanics working for a popular driver. His name was Zip or Slate or Zip Slate or Zink Zate Slate or something. I went to his funeral and I put the handcuffs into his casket as a gesture of respect.
Next, I bought a Volkswagen, which was stolen the first week I had it by a local White Supremacist group. They threatened to kill my dog Churchill if I told the police stole it.
I decided that spending money on owning an auto was a waste, so I bought a bicycle. Unfortunately I had to sell it and buy a car because I got a job that was 60 miles from where I lived and the commute by bike was too long.
My father helped me buy a Honda and because at that time I lived in a neighborhood that was called Little Tokyo, there was no danger of the car being vandalized. The Honda was where I first made love to Mieko, the girl who lived in the apartment next door. She was studying to be a dentist. Every time I asked her to marry me she wet herself while laughing.
That Toyota was totaled in a wreck on the Henry Hudson Parkway. I wasn't hurt because I wasn't in the car when the crash took place. I loaned the car to Pixy Standforth, who needed to drive upstate for an appointment with a urologist. Pixy survived the crash and once again I was sans a vehicle.
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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