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PROVE YOUR OWN SELVES

When I was a senior in high school I owned a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle. I loved that car. It was metallic gray with red, orange and yellow pin stripes down the side. I went everywhere in that car. I even used it to carry a carload of kids to school every day, despite its size. There was only one problem, the engine was just about shot. No matter how far on the gas pedal I would push, it would never go over 55 mph (at least I never had to worry about breaking the speed limit). I spent a lot of money trying to get the engine fixed, but I finally came to the heartbreaking conclusion that it was time to get a different vehicle.

My mother and I rode to Cecil Clark Chevrolet in Leesburg to see what was on the used car lot. I saw it as soon as we turned the corner, a white 1979 Chevrolet Camaro. Suddenly, parting with my beloved Bug didn’t seem like such a big deal. The salesman approached us and, of course, I immediately asked to look at the Camaro. I’m not the most mechanically minded person, but I gave what I thought was a careful assessment of the car. I looked at the tires, the seats, and the paint job. Even though I didn’t know what I was looking at, I popped the hood and looked at the engine. The point being made is that I EXAMINED the car. But just examining it wasn’t enough. I asked for the keys so that I could give it a test drive. I got in and started it up (what a difference between a Chevrolet engine and a Volkswagen engine). I stomped on the gas to see how much power it had. I fell in love with the power steering immediately. I tried out the brakes to see how well they were reacting. I went around sharp curves to see how well it handled. You see, it wasn’t enough to just examine the car, I had to...

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