Natchez man takes pride in his wheels

Published 12:05 am Monday, February 8, 2010

NATCHEZ — SaMel Washington is a dedicated man.

Every weekend, regardless of temperature, Washington, 22, is outside washing his 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue.

On Saturday, when The Dart landed on Oak Hill Drive in Natchez, Washington was doing his weekly chore at his mother’s house.

“I do this every week. It is just what I do,” Washington said. “It helps keep the paint job looking nice and the car clean.”

The black Intrigue is Washington’s first car, given to him by his mother when he was a senior at Natchez High School, but from the looks of it the car could have rolled off the lot on Saturday.

Washington said he takes a lot of pride in keeping the car nice and shiny.

“This is my car,” he said. “It brings me joy to have it nice.”

Since getting the car, Washington has added rims of his choosing, tint to the windows and a sound system that makes the car distinctly his.

When washing it, Washington follows the same process each week — wipe the rims and the car, wash the car and rinse thoroughly, dry the car and clean the interior.

Saturday, with chilly temperatures and breezy winds, Washington wore gloves to protect his hands from the water and cold.

“This is the first time to wear them,” he said. “They are working OK, but I’m trying to get finished as quick as possible still.”

Washington is a junior at Alcorn State University where he is a safety on the Braves’ football team.

He lives on campus during the week and comes home on weekends to visit family.

He said going back to Alcorn State with a dirty car is not an option.

“If you go to Alcorn, you have to have your car looking nice,” he said. “Everyone there does this; we all wash our cars every week.”

Washington said, however, not everyone understands his car washing dedication.

“My mother tells me I’m crazy,” he said.

Washington is majoring in physical education and plans to be a coach.