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Tupelo Blue Suede Cruise, a Timeless Tradition

It’s that time of year again – time for the Tupelo Blue Suede Cruise.

Our family always looks forward to this car show, held annually during the first weekend of May. It’s the perfect time to see dozens of antique cars and trucks while enjoying the fellowship of friends. Plus, there’s always great food to enjoy as we stroll back in time and dream about owning one of the beautiful vehicles.

But whenever I start dreaming about classic cars, the same scene comes to mind.  

“See you soon!”

I vividly remember my mother uttering those words as she buckled our toddler son into his car seat and kissed him goodbye. Then, she stepped back beside my daddy, and they waved at us bravely with fake, pressed-on smiles.

I still see us – my husband, our son, and me – backing out of their driveway in our bright orange 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible, heading to our next deployment, MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. 

Woo-hoo! We were free; we were grown; and life was good. 

I didn’t understand why our departure was so hard for them. I thought they were overly protective parents and doting grandparents. But even then, I gave them credit for their verbal support when I knew they would have loved nothing better than living next door to us in Vardaman, Mississippi, forever.

But now, on the other side of life, I can’t imagine the courage it took to tell two teenage parents, “You’ve got this. You’re going to make a great life for that baby. Don’t look back. Just trust in Jesus; you’ll be fine.”

I especially cannot imagine sending us off in a souped-up hotrod convertible that was nowhere near dependable. I doubt we had $200 in our pockets either, probably a couple of twenties at best.

My poor mother probably prayed all night long. I bet she never rested until we made it to MacDill. My sweet daddy, on the other hand, bought us new car insurance with an added membership in AAA. 

They did all they could for us and then let us go.

Today, 44 years later, I’m still married to that same, blue-eyed airman from Derma, Mississippi, and we have weathered a whole lot of storms together because of those prayers. 

Truthfully, I doubt we would still be together if not for those prayers. 

So, I’m thankful for parents who faithfully believed that God would be driving and protecting that old orange hotrod. What courage and love it took to let us go, trusting God to get us there (and back) safely. 

And He did.

A few years later, we sold that old convertible — when we were wise enough to choose practicality and safety over fun. But it was a bittersweet day when we let it go.

We still mourn that car occasionally, especially when pictures of it show up. And we almost cry when we see the price tag for a restored 1969 Firebird.

But that car was not the only hotrod we owned over the years because my husband and sons share a love for classic American cars. They venture to car shows nationwide, arguing about which car is the greatest ever made – ’65 Mustangs or ’32 Fords. 

For me, there’s no question! 

My heart will always belong to that kid from Derma and his orange 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible. 

For more information on the 2023 Tupelo Blue Suede Cruise, go to


Written by Joy Lucius


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