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An ancient convertible that could morph into an iridescent streak on the open road sat beside us in the used car lot in the misting rain.  Soon it would become the centerpiece of my teenage existence. And we’d call it the Green Hornet.

The car dealer who’d sell it to us stood slue-footed and pointed out features with a stubby hand while his other appeared latched to a belt loop on his almost invisible hip. With a wad of Brown’s Mule tobacco tucked tight in his cheek, he spoke in a slur through thin lips.  Our dad listened and scratched the back of his head, his hat tilted at a rakish angle the way it usually did when he was deep in hard negotiation.

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