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Friday
Aug042017

CARS OF A DIFFERENT COLOR

Our first car as a couple was a nineteen sixty-four Nash Rambler that we bought from my sister and brother-in-law.  We made monthly payments and, as a wedding present, they let us slide on the final payment.  Maybe we should have tied the knot sooner although I don’t know how far their generosity would have gone.  It was an aqua blue and white box with wheels but it served its purpose, getting us around town safely.  I took public transportation to my job in downtown Chicago and Jerry had the Rambler all to himself.  I still didn’t know how to drive anyway.  My family didn’t own a car and public transportation was readily available.
The Rambler was still running by the time our three year anniversary approached but was having some serious problems that were costing us time and money.  On the day of our anniversary Jerry, after going through the local classifieds, found a vehicle that he was sure would be perfect for us and on the way to a dinner appointment with his parents, we stopped to take a quick look at it.  It was a used, white Volvo 1800S sports car just like the one Roger Moore drove in The Saint television show, a show Jerry was a huge fan of.
You guessed right if you figured we bought it.  After a ten minute lesson from the salesman on how to drive a manual transmission, we lurched out of the lot and sped across town to our already way late dinner, praying for continuous green lights and, when we did occasionally have to stop, praying that he could get the damn thing in gear before we started a riot of angry motorists trying to get around us.
We finally made it to the restaurant without any damage to the Volvo and only severe nerve damage to ourselves.  We looked; I’m sure, like members of an Olympic rowing team who had tried hard not to come in last place, exhausted, disheveled and perspiring like wet pigs. His parents were pissed off at having to wait so long but I think his dad was secretly envious of our purchase.  His mother thought we had gone crazy and for once, I had to agree with her.  We also had to deal with the fact that we still had to get it home that night.
We got to our place late that evening after a few more trials and errors, some more dangerous than others and some noisier, especially while trying to get the stick in the correct notch. We were now living in our four story walk up which was situated in a suburb that did not allow overnight parking.  We had a spot we paid for a few blocks away for the Rambler to be legally parked but until we could rent out another space, the Volvo would get towed away unless we called the police and tell them where, why and how long they were going to have to ignore our vehicle.  
We set up for a nice spot in a tire store parking lot next to where the Rambler spent its nights until we got it sold.  A few months later, after a snow storm, we walked to the lot to retrieve our vehicle and found out that it had been damaged by a snow plow.  A white, low slung sports car does not do well when challenged by a plow on an early, overcast snowy morning.
The Volvo was only a two-seater but with a hump behind the bucket seats, we occasionally, were able to jam upwards of four adults or nine juveniles all in uncomfortable and physically challenging positions behind us.
 After spending a huge fortune each month on repairs and constant tune ups to keep our Volvo mechanic in the lifestyle he had chosen for himself and his family, we finally had to let her go and replace her with something more sensible and cost effective.  Enter the orange Volkswagen Squareback!  At least we didn’t have to worry about snow hiding it; we did have to avoid parking too close to fruit stands.
Sharon

 

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