Monday, March 31, 2008

Cars as Stars!

I really love the topic for the 45th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, Cars as stars! I’ve enjoyed looking at old car pictures and reminiscing about all of the cars I’ve owned.

I know very little about my grandparents cars. I know my mother learned to drive by practicing up and down the driveway. I have no idea when or where my father learned to drive but he and my grandfather always owned Chrysler brand cars, or so I thought. Check out Grandpa Loved Franklin’s, it has a bit of a surprise ending. If you are trying to identify a car from an old family photo or need a good photo to fill in for a gap in your own album, be sure to check out John MacDonald’s wonderful site, Old Car and Truck Pictures. If he doesn’t have a picture of it, he probably has a link that will help.

I bought my first car in 1976 and have gone through quite a few since then. I’ve come Full Circle and it was fun looking back at the cars and the memories that they brought back.

Cars have played a big part in my life. We towed a camper for family vacations. We usually traveled by car or in the back of a pickup truck to visit my father for the summer. We love to retell the story about my mother’s Plymouth Valiant. She drove it to the plaza and parked between McDonald’s and K-mart’s auto shop. She went into McDonald’s and when she came out her car was gone! In a panic, she walked over to the repair shop to use the phone to call the police. The phone call wasn’t necessary as her car was on one of the lifts. The key to someone else’s car had worked in her ignition.

When I was learning to drive there were many that were betting I’d be the world’s worst driver. I backed a tobacco trailer into a support knocking down one of the barn awnings. The first time Dad let me get behind the wheel of his car he warned me to just tap the power brakes. After he peeled himself off of the windshield he started wearing his seatbelt if I got behind the wheel. We were at an auction once and Dad asked me to move his car. I backed it right into a clothes pole. Accidents prior to the age of 15 don't count, do they?

I now drive for a living. I never planned to be a school bus driver but I can’t imagine doing anything else. I started as a substitute driver in 1994 and looked on it as a form of community service. I now compete in the local Roadeo and work with new drivers. I am very involved with bus safety programs and I will be taking classes to become a Child Passenger Safety Technician in May. There are times when the job is sad others when it is stressful but The View from My Window makes it all worthwhile. And I never pass up the opportunity to try driving something new!