I have had a life long love of cars, though you might not guess it from the minivan I now drive, but that’s a later story. I thought I would be begin to give you an autobiography through cars. I hope it gets my readers to think about all the cars in their lives. Please feel free to share your car thoughts in the comment section.
My mother didn’t know how to drive for many years. In the late 40’s they lived in New York City where a car was unnecessary. Later, they bought a car, but my father drove it to and from work. Fortunately, in the early 50’s everything could be delivered. The milk came to the door. The druggist drove prescriptions to the house. The neighbor would give a ride to my mother to the grocery store. We could take the bus downtown to shop, and the stores would all deliver our purchases.
But in 1956, now that there were four children and we lived in a more isolated neighborhood, my mother learned to drive and they purchased the amazing 1948 Packard. We called it the Brown Bomb. The best feature was the back seat, accurately pictured in the sales brochure from 1948. It was as large and comfortable as a sofa, and the front seat was equally plush.(The gear shift was by the steering wheel, so it took up no room.) After one of us won the “front seat, front seat” contest, the rest of us settled into the back with “I call a window, I call a window.” Supposedly the worst seat was in the middle, but it did provide a great opportunity to pinch or poke the sibling on either side.
The car was a perfect place to hide out, and when there was a heavy rainstorm, my brother and I liked to lie out on the two seats and listen to the thump of the rain, luxuriously ensconced on the “sofas.” We could escape chores and demands from our younger sisters and tell each other knock-knock jokes until it was time for dinner.
When they say, “they don’t build cars like they used to,” I remember the Packard.