My car when I graduated high school was a 1977 Chevrolet Impala station wagon. Official specs measure it at 17 feet 10.5 inches long and 6 feet 8 inches wide. That means Goliath could have comfortably taken a nap in the back.
The blue eight-cylinder monster took a bit longer to get going but had a lot of power.
It had been our family car but was now my mode of transport.
One of my earliest memories of the car was sitting in the back seat with my buddy Larry, leaving on a church trip. We were facing out the back window and listening to Christian rock band Petra on his portable cassette player.
I can still hear "More Power to Ya" and see the church getting smaller as we drove away.
That car shuttled me to school my senior year at Hickory High and to and from my first "real" job gathering carts, mopping floors and emptying trash cans at Walmart. It hauled dozens of my friends around Hattiesburg and Forrest County and was nicknamed the Batmobile because it was so long. A bat logo a friend added to my back window cemented the moniker.
I beat the ever-lovin' hey out of that tank and it just kept going, developing new sounds and quirks along the way. Until the day it literally went up in a blaze of glory on the side of Hwy. 42 between Hattiesburg and Petal around 1991.
But during its years of faithful ferrying service, the Batmobile more than served its purpose. It got me where I needed to go, including traveling nearly every back road in Chunky and Newton County. It protected me in instances where I may have suffered injuries in a weaker car, like hitting a tree or a ditch. It presented opportunities for me to learn some mechanical skills, like how to replace parts and rewire power windows.
And though Goliath never slept in it, I took a few naps inside its walls.
I didn't always appreciate it fully when I had it, and it sure drank a lot, but it was a blessing to me in its way, in its time. It served until it absolutely could no longer.
I hope for those who need me – even though I am large, make odd noises and stay thirsty -- that I will prove as faithful.
Brett Campbell can be reached at ChunkyBrett@mail.com.