Spring 1968. I am a 22 year old Private First Class attending US Army Chemical Decontamination School at Ft. Benning Georgia. Friday payroll day we are dismissed around noon for a long weekend. What to do within 150 miles of base? Seven men pile into a rental car and six of us are dropped off at the Atlanta airport. Seventh man has free use of the rental car for the weekend for transporting us to the airport. All six are traveling to destinations around the US. I am unable to catch a military standby flight to Kansas City until 5AM, Saturday. Spent 14 horrible hours in the Atlanta airport. Arrive home in KC around 10AM Saturday. Say hi to mom and dad and go to my girlfriend’s house. Gas up BRG Midget, check tire pressure and depart KC at 9AM Sunday for 850 mile trip. Top down, incessant exhaust noise and wind, because the top is buried underneath all of my civilian clothes and I don’t want to take the time to put it together. Midnight, cold, exhausted, but within about 100 miles of Ft. Benning, so I am legal, but……..there is a terrible vibration from the front end, which prevents speed over 50mph. Finally get to the gate around 3AM. Quick shower and up at 6AM. I was the last of the six of us to get back to base. A few days later my sergeant let me off at noon so I could drive slowly to Atlanta to get the wire wheels balanced and tuned. Once in a lifetime experience, which I will never forget and never repeat.
About forty years later I buy a 1970 MGB as a weekend toy. After dumping lots of money into it, I finally dump it at a considerable financial loss after 3-4 years of very occasional driving. The memory of a British sports car, bought new, in my youth, is far better than the reality of an old British sports car in my late middle age.