Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cars in the Family

When I was a kid, our second car was a 1939 Chevy Dad bought off a friend. It had scratchy seats on little bare legs, and the back seat was stifling in summer. The radio didn’t work, but the horn did, and it was reliable on cold winter days when other cars wouldn’t start. Over the years, it began to rust and Dad decided to paint it. I looked forward to seeing a new coat of the original shiny black, but when Dad brought it home, the car was bright turquoise! Not what a teen who wants to go unnoticed wants to ride around in.

Paint history was to repeat itself when DH decided to paint our 1967 short bed pickup. We had picked the truck up at a school auction and knew its history. The original paint was a subtle yellow, but over the years it faded to a dull hue. DH decided to paint the truck while the kids were in junior high. They had visions of shiny black or maybe fire engine red. He choose a muted cocoa; they kids thought the shade of brown a color to gag on…being males, they renamed the truck The Rolling Turd. Forty three years old, the truck still serves well, but it does need a new coat of paint. It is under discussion.

Cars and trucks have always been important topics of conversations. Men sat around at family reunions discussing mileage, time they made, or highways they drove. My paternal grandfather was a mechanic, in a time when that meant wrenches and not computers! He always drove Hudsons, sleek sloping cars that reminded me of bugs. My maternal grandfather always went for sporting or dandified cars. Family history talks about his yellow Stutz Bearcat, but of course I never saw that one. When he died, his care was a fastback Mustang .

When High Hill Press posted a picture of a rusted old car resting in a field and asked for a story about it, I couldn’t resist. Publisher Lou Turner put my story up on her website with the picture. Check out High Hill Press at www.highhillpress.com and read my story while you are there. Thanks, Lou!


Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

Just adore these great styles of cars!! I have some pics of my grandfather's cars which were some of the first made cars. I now need to go and find them and display them some how!

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,
Love the photos. I will check out High Hill's website. Lou is great, isn't she?

Linda O'Connell said...

There is a comment snatcher out there somewhere! I wrote a comment about how much I liked this piece because it reminded me of the cars my dad had, and brought back memories of learning to drive in a monstrous Desoto.
And WOW! Your story is amazing. You have the gift. I peel off the line with a great idea and usually crash and burn three paragraphs into fiction.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Claudia---I enjoyed reading about each of the styles and "personalities" of the cars. Would you consider ever choosing one of the cars and writing a piece from the perspective of the car? You could include how the car felt about its physical appearance, what stories could it tell about its occupants/the trips it went on, and so on. I think it would be quite engaging...