Chesher's 242-word essay, "A Life Obsession," follows:
It started when I was about 6 years old. I was in the truck with my father and we were at a stoplight. Across the road at the other light was this "car." It drew my attention away from everything else in the world. I asked my dad what it was and he simply said, "Oh, that's a Mustang."
I remember it like it was yesterday. I now know that it was a 1968 black Fastback. That was almost 20 years ago. Twenty years of love, addiction, obsession. Twenty years of longing and desire.
Now I'm a solider in the United States Army deployed to Iraq. I spend my spare time tearing through Mustang magazines that my family and total strangers are kindhearted enough to send to me. Every opportunity I get I'm online poring through forums and pictures; studying every little tidbit of knowledge I can get my hands on; meticulously memorizing seemingly insignificant trivia. Names, dates, specs, colors, paint codes, production numbers, costs, anything, everything.
A Mustang of my own wouldn't quell this life I live – it would supercharge it. The only thing greater than a life loving Mustangs is a life with a Mustang. With a Mustang to call my own I could finally experience the pride and freedom that I've only been watching from afar. It will ignite a passion like nothing I have ever experienced. Mustangs are my one true love.
I'm ready to go driving now.