My Dad and Cars

My husband suggested that I should devote the “Softer Side” to my Dad’s interest in old cars. I have to admit that as a teenager, I didn’t think much about cars, except as a means to get to a dance, a ballgame, or a friend’s house. In my earlier years, Dad was always busy farming (milking, making and selling butter, haying, plowing, sugaring, selling insurance, being a Selectman and banker. He was also a Grange member and a Mason. Restoring and/or working on an old car I don’t remember. Yes, he had a 1935 Packard, a 1936 and a 1937 Chevrolet, as well as that 1928 Dodge coupe I wouldn’t drive, preferring the family 1955 Chevy station wagon! I know, shame on me. Sorry, Dad, —and Wendell. Guys of my teenage years were always fixing up a “clunker” car and then driving it around town to impress the girls, and each other. Cars now seem to be more of a status symbol, not a tribute to the authentic restoration of a car. But back to my Dad. Growing up on a farm certainly builds character and gives one an appreciation for work being a good thing. (Of course, for some it means to get away from all that work as soon as possible.) We learned that when the hay was dry, it had to be raked, put into windrows, and pitched onto the hay truck to the person “treading” the hay to get as much as possible on at once. When the beans, peas, tomatoes, etc., etc., were ripe, they needed to be picked, made ready for canning or freezing right then. Cows need to be milked twice a day. Basically, my brother and I learned the valuable lesson of not putting off what needs to be done. Our reward usually was a trip to the “dairy bar” for ice cream cones or frappes (I’ve learned to call them milkshakes, but in New Hampshire, a milkshake had no ice cream in it).

Presently, I do appreciate classic cars (I know, I still have only driven the Dodge twice) and truly enjoy riding in them, plus being impressed over and over again by the patience and tenacity of classic car restorers. So, kudos to you all!

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