Friday, January 21, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy, Week 3: Cars

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
Week 3: Cars.  What was your first car? Describe the make, model and color, but also any memories you have of the vehicle. You can also expand on this topic and describe the car(s) your parents drove and any childhood memories attached to it.
My first car was a baby blue 1975 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.  It was as long as a Navy ship, and I loved it.  It had white interior.  The most important feature to me at the time was the radio.  I was 16 years old and barely knew how to drive.  My father made me so nervous when I drove with him, and my mother drove a straight shift, which I had little interest in learning.  I basically taught myself how to drive in that Monte Carlo.  I remember the freedom I felt when I drove it... a feeling I never experienced at home.  I remember driving to a friend's house, singing along with "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers on the radio.  It was a boat, but I loved that car.  

I had nothing to do with picking it out.  I never thought I would get my own car at 16.  But I guess since I made good grades and had a part-time job, in a weak moment, my father felt proud of me and decided to get me a car.  Or more than likely, he didn't want to have to drive me to or pick me up from my job, and he surely believed in having a car, so he got me one.  Anyway, I just got off the school bus one afternoon, and there she was.  (This was not unusual; I never knew what I would find when I got off the school bus each day... a car for Mom, a truck for Dad, a motor home, a backhoe, a new tractor, a car for me...)  I am sure I loved her at first sight... my very own car... my first very own car.  It wouldn't have mattered what kind or condition.  

Getting a car was the start of trouble for me.  A new kind of trouble.  Give a 16 year old kid a little bit of freedom when she has NEVER had any, and there is going to be trouble.  Not being where I was supposed to be, a ticket, car damaging mishaps... and then finally, the wreck. I think I was a senior by then.  Daddy took the car away from me, and I was back to riding the school bus.  (Oh the humiliation!)  Eventually (when he finally forgave me) he sold my beloved Monte Carlo and decided he would get me something that got better gas mileage for me to take to college.  I think I got into trouble one more time or something, and I never got a car for college.  I was given an old Pontiac my parents owned.  It had no a/c, no radio, and once thieves tried to break into it, no lock on the driver's side door.  (Like what in the world did they think they were going to get out of THAT car?!!  It didn't even have a radio!  They wasted their time and energy on that one!) 

There are have been several cars since then, but I do remember the first one fondly.


  1. Hearing about your Monte Carlo reminded me that my parents had one, too. It was a tank! Thanks for sharing about yours.

  2. I remember the Monte Carlo, it was a cool car, one of the ones I wanted! In my family my dad was the patient drive instructor, never got excited, even if I started veering off the road. My mother, on the other hand, seemed to screech a lot and stomp her foot on the floorboard. Needless to say I preferred for Dad to teach me. Thanks for the memories!