Tuesday, November 15, 2016

OT: My Mother's First Car

As I get older, I go into periodic nostalgic reveries. A good deal of it has to do with cars. When I was very young, just learning to talk and walk, I was well-known for being able to identify car models, years and brands by their shapes, marques, hubcaps, etc. It's a skill I still
have to some extent, at least for cars between say 1939 and 1969. Beyond that, not so much.

I was cruising Hemmings where I hang out now and then, and today I stumbled on this little beauty:

Please visit the site if you're so inclined, and by all means, buy the car if you've got a spare 50 grand or so lying around! ;-)

This one is cool for me. Although I doubt I would have been able to recognize what it was when I was a toddler -- not unless I could find its badge -- I know what it is now, because my mother had one very much like it. 

It was her first car, purchased for her by her step father who was the service manager at Ed Ruebel Dodge in Santa Maria, CA, where they had lived from 1917. She told me she absolutely adored that car, and she kept it until she went into the Army during WWII.

Of course, I was not around in 1934, but my sister was, and she said she remembered her mother's first car very well. She said it was "OK" but by the later '30s and early '40s it may have been getting a little ratty and by then was certainly out of date.

My mother bought a full-sized Dodge in 1969 as a kind of nostalgic remembrance of that first Dodge she had, but she found out very quickly that there was no comparison, and she really hated the new Dodge and got rid of it within a few months. She bought a Pontiac LeMans which I found for her, and she kept it for the rest of her life.

I knew about this car, the 1934 Dodge Coupe, because I'd seen a picture of my mother standing beside it, dressed to the nines in almost movie star glamorous fashion, the car gleaming in the sun. I'm not sure anymore, but I think she said it was burgundy; of course the photo was in black and white, so I couldn't tell from the picture.

I remember the photo very well, but I'm not sure where it came from. I don't think my mother showed it to me; I think my sister did, so it was probably in her possession. I think she showed it to me in the mid-sixties sometime. But again, I'm not sure.

Anyway, a friend here in New Mexico is currently restoring a Dodge from the era, and who knows, maybe before I die... well, we'll see.

I'm posting this as a little break from the current hoo-hah over the election. I, like many others, have lost sleep over it and I get more worked up about it than I really want to. But there you are. It's the way things go. We do what we can, and we think of many things along the way.

Message: Be good to ourselves.

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