Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Monday, May 28, 2012

"THE" car

So it was a Sunday morning and I was minding my own business, just going about my normal Sunday routine, taking mom to mass ... when this car pulled into a space not too far from mine.  

And I stopped dead in the center of the road - staring in a most impolite way at the sight of this perfectly restored car.  I could not believe my eyes!!  Here was a Fairlane 500 with the mega wings in the same green color my dad bought over 50 years ago.  Dad's car was a hard top and this was a convertible, but impact of seeing that car again in perfect show room condition was stunning.

Actually I have no memories of any other family cars from all the years I lived with my parents.  I am not a car person.  But this car stood out for exactly one reason.

We lived in an apartment complex in the 1950s on the second floor.  I was raised in apartments.  My parents never owned property and money was tight.  But one day, while mom was making dinner in the small kitchen, she looked out the window that viewed the parking lot and exclaimed:

"Oh my God, what has he done!  I don't believe it."


I ran to the window and saw my dad pulling up in this exact car - huge even to my eye at that time.  I remember the wings and I remember the color because I love green.  I also remember my mom's dismay and anger at him.  I am sure she was thinking ... where was the money coming for this vehicle?

To be fair, if it was my husband and he had just purchased an expensive car without my input I would have been upset as well.  But that was my dad.  He did what he wanted, when he wanted.  He saw it and he wanted it.  So home it came home with him.

Dice!  How cute.  We didn't have those in our car.

Of course, here we were over 50 years later (mom and I) standing in another parking lot staring at pretty much the same car.  Then almost as if history was repeating itself, I couldn't restraint from whipping out my camera, sprinting over, and starting to snap pictures from all directions, calling out to mom in my excitement,

"Look mom!! (click)
  Do you remember???
Dad had this car. (click, click)
  You were in the kitchen cooking dinner.  
You saw him in the parking lot trying to park this very car. (click)
You were so angry, mom, (click, click)
 it was this car with a hard top, 
this exact green,
don't you remember?"
(click, click, click) 

and her saying as she kept walking towards the church (pretending like she doesn't know me, I am sure), and saying pretty much what she said more than 50 years ago ...

"Oh my God, what are you doing? I don't believe you."

Dad would be proud!  :-)

Unfortunately, mom honestly didn't remember the car or the event. 

But it was a moment of fond remembrance of my Dad and sorrow at what Mom has lost.


  1. It's so hard when they lose a memory that meant so much to you. I found that with Dad toward the end. It broke my heart to hear him denying some of the things that were said and done in the past. Now I'm the only one who remembers them.

    1. You are so right.

      Being the older sibling by 7 years, my sister doesn't remember this episode either. I am so glad I have a place to share that memory ... with someone even if they weren't part of it.

      It is funny how some objects trigger those memories ... when my husband and I used to frequent antique shops that would happen to me alot - anyone remember those ugly metal glasses that came in bold colors? On one of our trips we saw those - the original ones - and we later (or rather my husband later) bought a newly manufactured set - because those glasses were in his history as well.

      In fact, I just might put those into a blog post, because when we were kids we used them in a rather non-traditional way. :-)

    2. I DO remember those cups. They were ugly weren't they?

  2. I totally enjoyed this post . . . Cool car . . . Great memory . . . even mom walking ahead, no memory recall . . . I remember colorful metal drinking glasses too . . . looking forward to hearing about non traditional uses.

  3. What a fabulous car - I remember these from growing up, as well. We never had one, but I can definitely see what caught your dad's fancy.

    As far as the metal glasses, my friend has some and I LOVE them...I can remember drinking out of these as a child. Also, my mom had some plastic glasses with a layer of netting in between the see-through plastic. These glasses also had a colorful rim - the set had one each of different colors. I saw some in an antique store recently, and am kicking myself because I didn't buy them.

    I loved this post, and the memories it triggered for me. How lucky we are to have fond memories.

  4. What an awesome car, cool pictures and wonderful memories.
    Stopping by on my A to Z road trip and having a wonderful time on the road!

  5. Good morning! You read my face perfectly! :)
    I found you on The Blue Ridge Gal and was struck that you voiced my sentiments on war exactly.
    My husband fought in Korea, and three tours in Vietnam. He has been dead now for 14 years, was a career Marine and joined the Corp at age 18.
    I cannot tell you how anti war I am! I am probably more than just a little bit "Dove". I've been sick of it for a very long time. I know that when the bands start playing and the flags start waving that every one gets pumped up with pride. Me too! But I think war is something this world should have long ago outgrown. I wonder that we have learned so little, especially with our world getting smaller and smaller. I wondered at the logic of losing all those people in the twin towers and then rushing of to start a war in a country not involved in it and kill a whole bunch more! Make no sense to me!

    Anyway, THE CAR! Well, never mind your Mom..I'M proud of you! For remembering and for the quick thinking of pulling out that camera. Something I seldom remember to do..even if the camera is in my purse! Good for you!
    I loved this post..and I suspect your mother and I are close to the same age.
    I am 76 in October. My oldest son will be 57 in August.
    Say, is there anywhere I can march and shout "NO MORE WAR!" Hmmm?

    1. Hi, Mona,

      My mom is 86 and I am 65 so you fall right between us! :-)

  6. Great story. My uncle had a car just like that too. I think its a 1957. I used to help him wash it when I was little.

    1. Yes, that time is about right. I looked on the internet and it was produced from 1955 to 1961.

  7.'re it!!

  8. What a beauty, and a lovely memory


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