Its clear that I am going to have to buy a new car to replace our faithful 2000 Toyota Sienna Van - if not today or tomorrow - soon.
Looking at cars started me thinking about the cars Jim and I have owned over the 56 years we were married.
The first, a 1940 Packard, a real movie mobster car, was quite an experience. Jim bought it from another medical student and paid $25 for it. The black hulk had metal-encased spare wheels on the sides of the car and w i d e running boards. I learned when I drove into a service station and asked for someone to check the battery - that the battery was housed under the front seat. Jim needed a coat pocket when he drove the car because the way to lock it was to remove the large heavy front door handle. It clunked against Jim's side and made him look like he was toting a gun. One of the real drawbacks in our Baltimore neighborhood at that time was that Jim had to move it to a new parking spot every other day. You can imagine - - Jim finally sold it for $28 for scrap metal when he had a chance for another car.
Our second car was a blue 1948 Chevrolet two door car. It seemed to run OK but it had belonged to someone who lived on the Eastern Shore and many areas of the underbody were rusted out
The front seat was a divided seat that lifted front on each side so that you could get into the back seat.
That was fine for adults but when I had Jimmy in a car-seat in the front seat I had to be sure that one of the fittings was on the drivers seat so that one of us was bracing him - otherwise he would pitch forward if we came to a quick stop.
When Jim graduated from Hopkins in Baltimore he was assigned to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY for his internship. We made that trip in the blue Chevy pulling our household goods packed into a small U-Haul pull-it - up the New Jersey turnpike with a detour across a bridge to Brooklyn rather than going to Manhattan. Once Jim started his internship I became the regular driver for that car and it was up to me to shift the parking place every other day. As shabby and unpredictable as that car was we were glad to have a means of transportation.
At the end of the internship Jim had to report to the Air Force to ful fill his doctor-draft obligation.
We flew to Charlotte - where I was staying with Jimmy and our new baby Karen while Jim went to induction officer training in Mongtomery, Alabama. Before he returned to pick us up at my parents he bought a NEW car - an apple green Ford station wagon. This was our entry into the world of surburban families in the 1950s. It was great. It had that wonderful new car smell with no fumes pouring in from the underbelly. And space - the space we needed for all the baggage and kid paraphenalia. It did not worry Jim one bit that after he bought one uniform he used the rest of his uniform allowance for the down payment on the car.
He drove back to NC to pick us up and several days later we four drove off on our three day drive to San Antonio, TX. where Jim was expected at the School of Aerospace Medicine at Randolph AFB for the training to earn his wings as a Flight Surgeon.
Jim and I went to San Antonio last November to re-visit our memories of those years. It was a sweet exercise - - except I kept wishing our rental car was a vintage apple green Ford Station Wagon.
Who knows maybe we were