It was many years ago when I was still a teenager living on Murray street in
San Antonio. It was 1944 and my three older brothers were in the service stationed in Europe. Not too many teenagers had cars back then. Everyone pretty much walked where they needed to go. But I was use to doing a lot of walking. If I ever needed to go into town, I’d simply take the bus. I had been doing odd jobs around town and worked for my father at the tailor shop after school. Finally, I was making a little bit of money and started to save for a car. My motivation? I wanted to start dating and able to take girls to school dances. Borrowing my dad’s car was not an option especially since he needed it for work. Then I remembered there was a used car lot on Commerce street not far from the “Malt House.”
It was a crisp October night. It was very late and there were hardly any cars on Commerce street. I crossed the street and strolled to the car lot to see what they were selling. There weren’t too many lights on the lot. Thankfully, there was a full moon. By the light of the moon, I’d peek inside a car to see the interior. The cars lined up at the front were usually the ones in better condition but also the most expensive.
Then from the distance on the back row I saw it, a shiny beauty. It was parked apart from the rest of the vehicles. “Hmmm, they probably just got this one,” I thought to myself. I made a beeline and walked towards the car. The moonlight gave the car an alluring sheen. I admired the car from all angles and even kicked a tire or two. When I saw the price on the card sitting on the base of the windshield, I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t expensive! Maybe my dream of owning my own car would come true. I could actually afford this one. I patted the hood as if it was already mine. By now it was around 2:30 in the morning. I knew I’d have to get home and sneak in so as not to wake up my mom or dad. I thought I’d give it one last look.
I peered inside the driver’s side of the window. For some strange reason, there seemed to be a dark shadow in the front seat. Was someone inside? I looked closer at the front seat. There was no one. I could see the front seats and the dashboard. It looked like it was in mint condition. I cupped my hands on the window to get a better look. Gradually the outline of a man began to appear right before me. Staring back at me at close range were a pair of eyes! I fell back almost hitting the ground, I was so startled. This was not my reflection. I finally mustered the courage and approached the car once again. I cupped my hands and looked inside. There was nothing inside. I got a real creepy feeling. What had I just seen? The next day, I went to the lot. The car was gone. I later found out that a few years before, a man had been murdered and his body was found in that same car. Had I seen his ghost? That was many years ago when I had that awful experience. But the image of what saw that night stayed with me for many years. I never forgot it.