Thursday, April 14, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 3: Cars

I didn't get my license until I was 19. I was a very young wife. Married at 16, living in Germany as an Army wife by 17 so I never did get my license before I went overseas. One of the Army wives that I made friends with taught me how to drive a stick shift Volkswagen station wagon while I was there. I am so glad we did not get caught! I remember one day I let the car get a little out of control, then got nervous and we went driving through this small German town and many buildings are right on the street in Europe. It went into a curve and we both screamed, I was going a tiny bit too fast compared to the driving space I had. I managed to slow down and do clutch/gear shifting without hitting a building or pedestrian!! Needless to say I pulled over when we came out of village and asked Ruth to drive again. She gratefully took the drivers seat. I can laugh about it now and we probably laughed about it then.

When I got stateside again. I took my drivers test and my first car was a used Plymouth Volare. It was in perfect condition and it had all the bells and whistles. Pin stripping, maroon velour seats, electric everything. This was in 1979. The car was hawt. The day I got my drivers license in the mail I finally got to drive my car! That solo drive I still remember to this day, over 30 years later. I felt like a big shot, I felt so cool and I felt so free! I was so excited but had nowhere to go, so I went to the store to buy milk I didn't need, haha. Anything to be Queen of the road for 15 minutes!

And a silly story about cars. One that has come up in family laugh fests for a great many years. My parents were members of the Porsche Club of America when I was a child. There were races year round, places to go, big gatherings. I remember we went to Boston for one Club event when I was about 10 years old. This race was before that and was local, at Watkins Glen here in Western NY. My mother handed over the camera to me with a full roll of film and told me to take picture of cars. So off my sister and I went. Did we take pictures of the cars on the track? No. The shiny Porsche's being shown off? Nope. So time passes, my mother picks up this set of pictures and we get home and I am all excited for her to see my work. She starts looking through the pictures and the look on her face was classic and I mean classic! Yes, in my excitement of being a budding "non" photographer I took pictures of the cars in the parking lot. Station wagons, and the old family cars of the day. Not one spiffy race car type. She looked at me and at least was kind. She told me I did a great job but maybe next time I could get a few pictures of the race cars. I expect she still has that set of pictures somewhere. I will have to go through them sometime.


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