Amos was leaning on a sleek black car outside of Louis Armstrong Park when Diana finished her tour and reading. She couldn’t help appreciating his good looks as she walked over to meet him. He wore a classic tan raincoat over his shirt and jeans, and managed to look both casual and dressy at the same time.
“I’ve never seen a car like this,” she said by way of greeting. “What is it?” She mentally compared its low-slung, sporty lines to her sensible Toyota sedan back in Seattle. Her own car came up wanting by quite a long chalk.
“It’s a Detomaso Pantera; this black beauty was my gift to myself after I passed the bar exam. My oldest brother gave me a Matchbox Pantera when I was a little kid, and I always told people I’d have a real one someday. And I’m here to tell you that it is about the most temperamental machine I’ve ever come across. I’m always fixing some damn thing in that engine. Hop in,” he said, holding the passenger door open for her. “We’ll get down someplace special for lunch. I want you to meet Miss Leah.”
As you know, I spent most of the past week in Memphis, Tenn. One of the places I visited was Graceland, along with the newly-opened Elvis Presley’s Memphis complex. The latter includes 20,000 feet of museum space and really must be seen to be appreciated.
One of the items that was just put on display last week, for the first time ever, was Elvis’ Pantera (I didn’t even know he’d owned one). As testament to the temperamental nature of the car, Elvis’ automobile has a bullet hole (not visible in my photo) in it from where he shot the engine block.
If you read Bayou Fire and wondered what Amos’ car looked like, now you know!