This story begins in July of 1996, when I lived on the west side of Covington, Kentucky, in a subdivision, on a cul-de-sac street. While out doing yard work, I would occasionally catch a glimpse of an InViolet Purple Duster passing by on the subdivision's main street. I could tell that an older woman with white hair was driving, and I tried several times, unsuccessfully, to get to the end of the street to see which direction the car went. I figured she had to live somewhere in the subdivision, but could never determine which house.
As the years passed, I continued to catch the occasional glimpse of the elusive Duster and the same little old lady, but still could not find her. Then, one day in 1999 while my wife and I were out walking our dogs, the purple Duster passed by us. I finally got a close up look at the car. It was purple with a black vinyl top, factory Rallyes with white wall tires, bucket seats, and a floor shifter. The Duster turned into a driveway that happened to be around the corner and about six houses away from my cul-de-sac home. The older woman promptly pulled the vehicle inside the garage and shut the door behind her-explaining why I could never find the car. I told my wife that I might have to stop by and pay her a visit one day to see if she had any interest in selling it.
At that time, I was working as a third-shift patrol officer with the Covington Police Department. One morning, while working an overtime day shift, I happened to be patrolling our subdivision. As I was trying to adjust to the daylight hours, I observed the garage door belonging to the little old lady, rising to expose the hidden Duster. I watched as the Duster emerged from the garage, and then saw the woman exit her car and go back into her home. I thought to myself: Here is your opportunity. As she came out to return to her car, I approached her. She immediately asked if something was wrong. I had not considered that being in uniform might alarm her. I apologized and explained to her that I had a love for old cars and was wondering if she had ever considered selling hers.
With a look of relief, she chuckled and said "Every time I pull this old car out, somebody wants to buy it." She explained that she bought the car new and was saving it for her nephew who wanted it. She then asked me how she could go about getting the "old car tags" so she wouldn't have to keep going to the courthouse every year. I explained the process to get Kentucky's historical tags and thanked her for her time.
Four years later in 2003, now a detective in suit and tie and driving an unmarked car, I happened upon the little old lady at the Dollar General store. Okay, if the truth must be known, I saw the purple Duster in the parking lot and went into the store, even though I couldn't think of a thing I needed to buy. As I was walking through the aisles, I spotted her and asked her if she remembered me. To my surprise, she got a big smile and said, "Yeah, you want to buy my car." I laughed, and asked her if she had changed her mind. She said everyone still tried to buy that old car, but that she was still saving if for the nephew. I told her that if anything changed and she wanted to sell it, to please give me a call. This time I gave her my business card and wrote my personal cell phone number on the back of it.