And so it begins…
Ever since my determined Delta grandmother Frances jumped into my grandfather Dicky’s stick-shift 1928 Ford without his permission but with a willful determination to conquer that formidable piece of metal, women in our family have made memories with their children and the automobile. After having driven around the block numerous times, “Mammy’s” first memory was to desperately call to her eldest daughter, “Virginia, how do you stop this damned thing?” to which the young woman had to jump onto the running board and reach over to halt her mother’s first automobile adventure. Thus began the beginning of our family’s heritage of mother/child /car memories. The women in this family DRIVE and take their children with them! And this grandmother, whose first three letters of her name are “CAR,” has a few stories to tell!
I felt prompted with the thought of these writings for humorous and serious tales of the car while making the most recent car memory with Daughter, as she reached for McDonald’s napkins to stop her milk flow yesterday when she discovered she had left home without the proper breast shields, as New Baby cooed in the back car seat. I found myself flooded with both the “GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY” of car times throughout my sixty-five years, mainly good, and thought perhaps that the truths of those memories might hit a spot in the hearts of readers. As the unknown “they” say, “If the shoe fits, wear it!” From our family to yours, welcome to our life of some memories as we take you for a ride in the car-car.
As I look back on a life of both troublesome and exciting “recalls,” the car is definitely a major part of many. Is it any wonder that this woman who came nine months to the day of her parents’ vows had to even be provoked out of the womb with a truck bounce through Daddy’s cotton fields and then driven the seventy miles to Memphis to breathe the first breath? People of the Mississippi Delta drive, and to this day that heritage is surging in my blood. Shoot, I began with four wheels underneath, and we all know how we go out in a long automobile at the end!
Both Husband and I share a common car interest; his rooted in how they look and mine in where they take me with others. That Man of Mine can recall life by the model of the automobile he owned or borrowed at the time! He speaks “car” in a way that amazes many, not the mechanical part which he leaves to the able, but the style/model language of the learned. The other thing is that his financial background affords him the rare talent of provoking many a super deal from automobile salesmen across the South and elsewhere. And to this day that man is “on the phone” in his retirement “office,” a silver 2008 Mercedes diesel, which he swears will last for another 150,000 miles. Perhaps, now that I consider the shared deep passion for the things drivable, it would only be proper to include his stories and others as well in this tale, at least the ones to which I was privy, and thus complete the mystery of our marriage walk. With this premise set, let us mosey on down the road of memory lane together.