Monday, January 17, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Cars

Week #3 – Cars

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 very first car was a gray 1987 or 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier. My parents bought the car from a family friend in 1997, the year I turned 16 and got my driver's license. One funny thing about the car is that our family friend used to let her dog in there, and sometimes he would use the bathroom. So we affectionately called it the Peemobile. Below is a picture of a 1988 Chevy Cavalier (just picture it in gray):

The bad thing about getting my driver's license was that just two months after getting it, I had to leave home for boarding school. I attended a state-sponsored boarding school in Natchitoches, Louisiana, for my junior and senior years. We were not allowed to drive our own cars while staying at the school. We could only drive them to and from our parents' houses on the weekends. There was no gallivanting around Natchitoches allowed, except on prom weekend, and only then with a signed permission slip from our parents. If we wanted to go to the movies or Wal-Mart or out to eat on the weekend, we had to wait for the big yellow school bus to come pick us up, or we could walk downtown (in groups of three only) to the shops and restaurants on Front Street.

Despite not being able to use the car in Natchitoches, I used it quite a bit to go home on weekends. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive from my parents' house, so I went home every other weekend. It was always fun going home because I always brought along several friends who were also from southwest Louisiana. I was the only one of us who had a car. We used to jam to our nineties music that we burned on CDs (this is right when sharing music files online became popular, and it was not yet considered illegal)....Hanson, Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, etc.

Of course, being ten years old, the car only lasted until spring break in 1999 (my senior year). My friend Beth and I were on our way home for a week-long spring break when the car started smelling funny on Hwy 171 near DeRidder, Louisiana, just an hour or so from home. We pulled over on the side of the road in front of a house, and the guy who lived there just happened to be mowing his lawn at the time. This was in the very early years of cell phones, and of course, being in the middle of nowhere, my phone didn't have a signal. The guy on the lawnmower came over and took a look under the hood. He told us we could go up to the house to use his phone. We called my parents and Beth's dad, and they determined that Beth's dad would come get us, since he had means to tow the car. So we waited on the porch (it was REALLY nice weather) and drank iced tea (some of the best tea I've ever had). The family that lived in the house were so hospitable. I think they even offered us dinner.

Finally, Beth's dad arrived just as it started to get dark. He brought his big truck and a tow rope. Now that was the scariest thing ever. Have you ever driven a car that is being towed? I will never do that again. It felt like I had no control of the car whatsoever. The rope finally broke on Hwy 27 by the skating rink in DeQuincy, about 30 minutes from home. I was sort of relieved. From there, we called a tow truck. I never saw that car again because it wasn't worth fixing.

Well, that was fun reminiscing about my car. Most of all, I think of all the fun trips to and from school with my friends.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History is a series of weekly blogging prompts created by Amy Coffin of The We Tree Genealogy Blog to encourage researchers to write about their own lives. Details can be found at GeneaBloggers.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyable story. I don't think I would want to be towed with a rope either. Sounds terribly scary! It's too bad you had to do it at all since the car was junked!