Monday, June 9, 2008

Fun Monday-Childhood Memory

This week's Fun Monday host is Molly, Molly, Miss Molly. She wants to hear about a happy childhood memory. This time of year my mind drifts to vacations and the time my brothers and I spent on the road seeing the countryside. This is a post I published last year, but since no one was reading my blog at the time, and since it seemed to fit today's challenge, I'm posting it again. I suspect many of you have had similar vacations.

Years ago, Chevy asked us to see the USA in a Chevrolet. I did. Well, at least a little corner of it. Around ’78 or ’79 Baby Ruth and Zeek bought a Chevy Chevette. It was one of those small compact cars built more for energy efficiency than for comfort. Since Zeek is as tight as the bark on a tree (love you daddy), I’m sure the choice had more to do with the cost of the car than his concern over the energy crisis. That little Chevette could barely hold three kids and two adults. A trip to the IGA required Baby Ruth to mediate several rounds of “he’s on my side” and “she’s touching me”. Our first line of defense was to offer up Handy Man baby brother as the recipient of the token swat from mom’s left arm around the seat. Poor guy. We were always pushing him into the line of fire. If that didn’t work, Baby Ruth usually ended up drawing imaginary lines on the seat with the threat of pulling over and spanking any border jumpers. If she was in a particularly generous mood, she just threatened not to buy us bottles of Crush from the grocery store vending machine. (It was still a glass bottle back then.)

We didn’t let the size of our car squash our desire for summer vacation. We packed it full of luggage and hit the open road. We drove 350 miles to the Smoky Mountains and back in that Chevette. The hatchback was so full of luggage and bologna that Zeek couldn’t see out of the rearview mirror, and spent the whole trip hanging his head out the window hollering, “Is it clear?”, when backing up. Those little four cylinders chugged us up and down the mountains for a week, moving us from pancake house to pancake house. I remember having to turn off the air conditioner while going up the mountains, so the car wouldn’t die. Looking back, it seems we must have been pretty optimistic folks to assume we could travel that far with so little power and even less room and still have a good time. We did, though.

I had lots of good times in that car. I inherited the Chevette a few years later when I got my driver’s license. I circled the Sonic drive-in more times than Britney Spears has shown her belly button. How many teenaged girls does a Chevette hold? Six, if they’re skinny and somebody sits on the hump. I even took that car to college. I didn’t replace it until I had graduated from college and been on my own for about a year. When I finally traded it in, I skidded into the dealership on two break pads, four bald tires and a bad alternator. The dealer gave me $500 on the trade-in, and I felt lucky to get it. He immediately hauled it off to the salvage yard. I had literally run the wheels off that car.

I can’t say I miss squeezing into the Chevette, but it does bring back good memories. The ironic thing is that I now drive a van that seats seven people but usually carries only three. However, just to show that some things never change, whenever Mama J. and Papa T. ride with us, we argue over the seats. Orange Crush anyone?

20 comments:

Supercop said...

FYI- top speed on the vette on Mermet Flats- 79mph. That vacation was only second to the trip to Niagra Falls in the back of the Dodge truck- Slug Bug!

hulagirlatheart said...

LOL!!! Ah, "Vacations: Chapter 2" coming up next.

Hootin' Anni said...

This was so good to read! I loved it...since it sounds like us here at our house too.


My Fun Monday is shared too, I hope you can stop by and read it, if you haven't already --since I'm just now going through the Mr. Linky's at Mollys before I get to my own comments to read who has visited!! Take care, have a great day. [PS --you have to scroll below my 'walk in the park' photos to reach my F M entry!!]

swampy said...

Road Trip for us meant to see how far we could go from Point A to Point B without stopping.
This post reminds me of Dinah Shore singing...***see the USA in your Chevrolet America is askingn you to call...***

Cruise Mom said...

Ahhh Sonic (and Crown Burger) At $4 a gallon for gas, our kids may never get to enjoy that rite of passage.

ChrisB said...

That car story reminds me of a holiday to Devon I took with my parents back when I was 16. The car we had was a morris minor and with all the luggage I wanted to take we had very little room. But it was still fun :)

Molly said...

Thank you very much, I would enjoy an ice-cold Orange Crush in a bottle. I remember similar vacations and the imaginary border lines. Those were the days.

Beckie said...

What a great post on so many different levels. It reminded me of getting a Crush in a bottle when I was a kid. Also, I have to laugh because I was just asking my husband if he thought we could fit 3 kids in a Prius - probably tighter than you all were in the Chevy.

Jan said...

Aw, chevette memories. My hubs had one as a commuter car, back and forth to work. Great gas mileage.

daddy d said...

Great car story. We all did what needed to be done at the time. I think you are right. Go don't stay home.

Grand Life said...

Love your post. I had a 56 Chevy BelAir convertible. If I had just hung on to that baby I could have put several kids through college.
Thanks for sharing.
Judy

the planet of janet said...

it's amazing how we all squeezed into cars back then. our biggest fight was who had to sit on the "bump" in the backseat!!!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ahh that was great. It remnded me that at sometime when we were little there must have been four of us in the back seat. How were we ever that small? Great story.

Faye said...

Well, I'm laughing out loud over this post. I can just see the "Hulas" on the road. My favorite is the sacrificial Handy Man getting offered up for a mommy swat. You all were too cruel!

Alison said...

great memory!! we had a very similar car, an Monza and it was bright orange.

Pamela said...

oh you had me howling with glee. Can you imagine 9 of us squished in a rambler -- traveling across country.

My brother made a sign and held it up in the window when people stared
it said; Yes, Nine!

IamwhoIam said...

Road trip Lol family vacation but look want great memories

Peter said...

Sounded very familiar!!!!

Heather said...

That was such a fun post! My Dad used to threaten to pull over, too. There were four of us, and me being the youngest meant I usually got the flip seat in the very back of the station wagon. Good Times!

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I wonder if that was anything like the Chevette we had over here!? Himself had one we called The Lettuce because of its colour!