Betsy Blue

Nostalgia is a funny thing. Like dejavu, it hits out of the blue and can make you warm and tingly inside or breaks your heart all over again. About a month ago, I was driving, going to pick up my son from work. In my rear view mirror, I saw a pale blue car that instantly threw me back to the mid-1990s. I found myself smiling at the memory of my first car, a pale blue, 4-door, 1990 Ford Tempo. My mom and I didn’t know much about car shopping but we went out and found my first disaster, I mean, my first car at Tucker Motors in Tuscaloosa, Al.

I was so excited to have my own vehicle. I washed it inside and out and gassed her up. Four road tests and a tearful breakdown in front of the state trooper later, I was licensed to drive. I remember feeling so grown up. I was barely 20, in college, had a reliable job, and now had my own car. I named her Betsy Blue.

The nostalgia I felt today as I kept that blue car in my sites was so refreshing. It reminded me of a time when I was young and free. I hadn’t had my heart broken, didn’t know the agony of moving away from home for the first time, the sting of chronic pain and fatigue, or the heartbreak of losing a sibling or a parent. I rarely even got sick and it appeared figuratively, that everything I touched turned to gold.

I loved being able to pick up and go. I remember taking my mommy to see my dad in the nursing home. On my off days, she and I would leave the house around 9 am and go walking in the mall, do a little shopping, eat lunch and then go home. I just wanted something to take my Mommy wherever she needed to go and be able to get to work without having to walk home at midnight. I loved my Ford Tempo.

The moment took me back to my youth; when I was just discovering who I was and what life was all about.

I wish I could have stopped the driver of that pale blue car and thanked them for the amazing memories that came streaming down, flooding my mind and heart with goodness and joy.

You may be wondering what made Betsy Blue my first disaster. Well, old Betsy Blue ended up being a lemon. She broke down a month or so after I got her. The car lot refused to take her back and I refused to pay for a car I could not use. A little spat over an involuntary reposition came about when I had a tow company leave her on their lot but don’t worry, it all worked out. I never got another car from Tucker and was blessed with good driving cars since then. But I’ll always remember Betsy.

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Valerie Collins
Valerie Collinshttps://mypoeticlifebook.wordpress.com/
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.


  1. I think many of us remember our first cars, Valerie.

    Mine was older than yours. I never named her as I’ve named several other cars, not all, my last car was Brunhide, my current one is unnamed so far. I did always think my first car as vaguely female, and she broke down a lot -vapor-lock in the summer in the most inconvenient places imaginable.

    Sorry Betsy didn’t treat you better, but you seem to have survived all those adversities -stronger now.

    Thanks for the memories,