I have heard about several awesome cars that my Dad once owned, in the days before us kids. I don’t remember what they all were, but I do have several distinct memories of my dad and cars.
I remember that he used to get his license plates personalized with his initials, DGH. I always figured the “D” stood for Dad.
I remember him polishing his whitewall tires in the driveway, well beyond the days when anyone else had whitewalls.
I remember pretending to be asleep when our car pulled into the driveway late at night, hoping to get carried in to bed – even way beyond the days I should have been carried.
I remember stretching out across the flattened back seats of our station wagon, in a cozy nest of blankets and pillows (with my not-as-cozy little brothers), every time we’d leave Minneapolis at 4 am to drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Chicago.
I remember the rhythm of the passing street lights as Dad drove us in the dark.
I remember riding backward in the third-row, rear-facing, station-wagon seat on the way to and from and back to church again. Many times.
I remember Dad teaching me to drive stick-shift in a rickety old Gremlin on the streets that circle our local shopping mall.
Yes, a Gremlin. With me jolting and lurching and stalling all over the place.
Embarrassment upon embarrassment.
And also impossible to shift.
I remember being in the driver’s seat, with Dad riding shotgun, as we headed to pick up my brother at that same shopping mall – when suddenly a tornado was coming right straight toward us and we had to take refuge under the desks of a doctor’s clinic.
I remember being barely tall enough to see into the car engine Dad was fixing when I brought him a baby doll I had just learned to swaddle in a blankie. I remember him stopping to watch my new skill.
So this weekend, for Father’s Day, Dad and I stopped to look at cars. The best part of the day? All of Dad’s memories.
My friend had a car like this. One day, we were driving around a cloverleaf intersection and he decided to really punch it. Wow. That thing had some power…
My dad owned a car like this once. He wanted me to buy it from him… I wasn’t interested.
I had a friend who drove a car like this and it was so small that every time he shifted gears he would crash his hand against the front window. You’d think he would have learned…
Car after car, memory after memory.
And also a few just plain awesome cars, memories or not.
photos taken at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival Father’s Day Car Show