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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

THE CARS OF YORE


Todays story is a TRUE Story and it is all here - -
Not continued.
 
 
It was my dad’s second marriage and he was nearing forty when he married my mother.

He had proven himself to be a first class machinist and could get a good job even during the depression. My first recollection of our car was when I was about three years old.

We had a 1933 Chevrolet coupe with a rumble seat. Behind the seat was a shelf around 10 inches wide where you could place things. I would lie on the shelf and being up high it enabled me to see ahead of us.

My dad drove as fast or faster than the traffic and I would tell him to speed up and pass the car ahead. He would oblige me and those were happy moments for me as I would watch the car fade from view behind us. It made me feel special that I had something to do making them, “Eat our dust.”

Our next car was a 1936 Plymouth.  In those days you could buy your car from the dealer and go to Detroit and pick it up instead of paying for shipping to the dealer.

My dad did just that and was there when our car rolled off the assembly line. He waited as it was checked out and when he received it the odometer read .03 (three tenths of a mile) miles.

He drove it home to Cliffside North Carolina, and shortly thereafter we headed to Oakland, California in it.

It was a first-class car and most every weekend the weather was pleasant and we went off on an outing.

My dad would meet a lot of unusual people and he enjoyed spending time with them and conversing.

One of the people he ran across was an old woman about seventy who smoked cigars. She had one lit up, puffing on it almost continuously. For some reason he invited her to go on one of our excursions to Santa Cruz.

The roads in those days were not that well-traveled and were two narrow lanes wide. We were about half way there when as she puffed away on her cigar with all our windows down she said she had to go to the toilet. As we drove along she increasingly said she had to go now.

There were very few places on that road with facilities and my dad by now was driving as fast as he could on the narrow road. We were hanging on for he was flying. With every breath the woman was saying hurry, hurry. After some time we located a store with gas facilities and a relief station.

Let me just say we almost made it!

My mother helped her get halfway cleaned up (although the smell was evidence she wasn’t altogether clean) and we began our return trip then and there. My brother was still in diapers and I was used to him creating offensive smells but since I was in the back seat with the old lady it was far worse than brother ever was.

I was wishing she would light up one of her cigars but for some reason she wasn’t interested in them at this time. Needless to say she wasn’t invited on any more trips with us.  In fact I never heard my dad ever mention the incident to anyone.

After three and a half years my dad bought a 1940 Plymouth and we went back to Tennessee for a trip. For some reason he was taking my two youngest aunts somewhere.

As he got up to speed one of my aunts saw the door wasn’t completely closed. The car had what was called suicide doors that open to the front and she opened the door to close it and the wind jerked the door out of her hand.

Horrors, It broke the restraining device and slammed the rear fender denting the door and crushing the fender.

My dad was extremely angry (this is putting it very mildly) for his new car was a mess and you couldn’t close the door completely. He had to tie the door closed with a rope and it wasn’t very nice to look at all the way back to California.

Even though it was still an almost new car, he took it down to the car dealer and traded it in on a brand new 1941 Chrysler.

A few months later the Second World War broke out and no new cars were available.

All during the war time, we drove around in style and enjoyed the car as much as we could but with gas rationing we couldn’t go anywhere of a long distance.

There is one thing I will mention and that is due to some repairs at his work, that needed to be made when the machines weren’t being used my dad would go back to the mill at about 8 o’clock in the evening and my mother would like for him to get the car out of the garage and we would all ride the two and a half blocks to the mill and wait while he would make the needed repairs.

It was usually about two hours waiting time period but the mill was next to about 8 sets of railroad tracks.  Some were for fast trains heading south to L.A. or elsewhere and others were used for local switching.

This gave us a lot of action while we waited and I enjoyed watching the trains go by.

I’m not sure what happened to the Chrysler for my dad left us and went to South America to work, and I only saw him once after that for when he came back to the states he lived in Atlanta Georgia till he died.

I enjoyed all the cars we had while growing up and there are so many events in our life that they were a part of.

I suppose that my most favorite thing of all was when I would say “Hurry up daddy and pass that car.”
Finish

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