(NaBloPoMo, Nov. 17, 2013)


It all started with a 1965 Chevy Impala and a 1963 Mercury Comet.  Those are the cars I learned to drive on, both owned by my folks.  The Impala was a very neat car, with that nice 307 engine in it – strong, fast, reliable – and an automatic transmission.


Then one day, dad and I went to an auction.  The items to be sold were owned by a high school science teacher: Kermit Anderson.  Much to my surprise, Dad bought himself a new work car – the Comet I mentioned before… and it was a manual transmission.


So between the two cars, I learned to drive.  The Impala was a good car for dates and more ‘formal’ events – the Comet for fishing trips.  Got even so good on that Comet that I could shift through the 3 gears without even using the clutch – just wait for the right speed and … schwik: right into the next gear.


Those two cars worked fine – then the Impala got traded in on an American Motors Hornet wagon – which was a bit of a lemon.  It took the dealership to work out all the bugs on the car, but eventually it was a serviceable vehicle – to the point that my folks gave me that car when I left for my job as a teacher.


In a short time, I traded that Hornet (not exactly a Babe Magnet) for a white Pontiac Astre two door.  Nice little car – but within a year, I got rear-ended, resulting in enough damage to have it totaled, so I needed a new car…. And ended up with another Astre, but this time it was yellow and a wagon – sort of a cousin of the Chevy Vega.


I kept that car until I traded it in for a 1980 Toyota Tercel – my first “NEW” car, and it was a silver 3 speed little item.  It drove nicely, got good mileage – I even put in my own tape deck/radio unit.


That car was with me for about 10 years – and was the car I brought into my marriage to Wilma.  When I first met her, she had a 1976 Chevy Monte Carlo, but it was getting to be real money pit and gas hog, so her dad (my future father in law and an employee of GMAC) got hold of a car for her that she brought into our marriage .. a 1984 Oldsmobile Omega – which ended up being a real sour little thing.  It burned out its transmission one early morning on our way home from the in-law’s house – and didn’t last much longer for it.


That car ended up getting traded in for a Plymouth Voyageur van – our first of many….and at about the same time, I sold the Tercel which allowed us to buy a Chevy Celebrity.


The Celebrity went for a Chevy S10 pickup, but Wilma didn’t particularly care for it because it was so small – so that went in for a full size Chevy Silverado pickup – which in all truth was just too BIG for us, so THAT ended up being traded in for a Chevy S10 again… but this time, a club cab….  A red one.


Meanwhile, back on the vans, the first one got traded in on a brown one, and then that ended up on a white one, and that one got vandalized by some spray paint artists .. leaving a bad taste in my mouth…. So that eventually went away.  We ended up with an Oldsmobile Silhouette van – one of our favorite vehicles of all time…. it died when it blew its head gaskets, which resulted in us getting a little Pontiac Vibe, which Wilma still has and LOVES to drive.


The club cab was replaced by a Buick Rendezvous – this one truly low on our ‘favorites’ list .. and one bright day, I drove past a dealer and there stood what was to be our second Oldsmobile Silhouette van that I’ve previously referred to… and that recently got traded in on a Chrysler Town and Country van, complete with the stowaway seats and great sound system – and that’s where we sit now.


We have had a few other cars – two Dodge Intrepids, one for each kid.  Our daughter traded hers in (once she was done with college) on a Chevy Cobalt – and her car story can go on from there on her own.  Our son’s car was sold outright, and we ended up buying a Cobalt that he ended up with, after debating about who got which car – the Vibe or the Cobalt.


So that’s where we are … cars, cars, cars.  It is fun to recall how these vehicles have been part of our lives – trips, errands, parking in the garage, running to church and concerts –  and a very essential part of our Middle Class American lifestyle.