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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE (AN ESSAY ON CARS & DRIVING)

In case you need driving directions here's a map for you.
This is a map of an area in Hemet, CA.
There is also a street near the dump in Placerville, CA
called Throwita Way

(A compilation of several old posts & some new ideas fresh out of my head.)



A client of my husband’s once gave him a new car. My husband is not impressed with new cars.  He kept this car for a long time.  He is diligent about maintenance.  When its 13th birthday was approaching, we thought it would be fun to throw a party.  Since we are Jewish, we thought a bar car mitzvah would be appropriate.  (Note to members of other tribes:  When a Jewish boy becomes 13 he is eligible to become a member of the Temple & to be regarded as an adult.  That’s why he says, “Today I am a man.”)  We had it all planned.  Since, at that time, many dealerships were failing it would have been no problem to rent an empty showroom for the night & park the freshly washed & waxed car in it.  I would make it a prayer shawl (size xxxxxxxxxxlarge) & a yarmulke (skullcap).  We would read passages from the owner’s manual.  Unfortunately, this never came to pass because some people in our family thought some of the prospective guests who were Orthodox Jews might feel we were insulting them.   I still think it was a great idea!!  It probably would have been covered by TV.


He isn’t our car

I love to drive!  My first Mustang, which I think was a ’69, was the first car I had which my husband hadn’t driven for years prior to my driving it.  It was also the first car I had which (deliberately) could not hold a troop of Boy or Girl Scouts.  The government had a ban on manufacturing convertibles at that time because of safety concerns.  There were, however, no laws about making your own convertibles.  We had the car decapitated & a convertible top put on! Once I was driving about 4:00am on a virtually deserted freeway when I glanced at my speedometer.  I was going 105!  I reluctantly slowed down.

My husband, Bud, drives slightly differently.  I have accused him of being a graduate of the HELEN KELLER SCHOOL OF DRIVING.  He is apparently more comfortable driving by Braille, because he is constantly on the Bott’s dots (the little reflective markers used to separate lanes) so he can feel his way along the road.  He used to travel a lot.  When he was out of town, I would sometimes drive over the dots so I could pretend he was still home.

I could never understand why men doubt women’s ability to drive.  Once, when I was backing out of a parking space at Sears, a very simple thing to do, I noticed a man standing behind me, directing me & waving me on.  He said, “Plenty of room, lady!”  I wanted to kill him!  If I had, I’m sure a jury (of women) would have found sufficient cause to set me free.

Another example:  I drove through a very narrow, twisty entryway into a crowded parking lot. The attendant then told me they were full.  I asked him if there was someplace I could turn around & he told me there wasn’t—I would have to back out the way I came in.  I told him OK & put the car in reverse.  He started to give me a lesson on how to back my car out.  I leaned out the window & said, “No problem—I used to drive race cars for a living!”  A total lie, but who cares?

I will to admit the occasional accident.  While trying (unsuccessfully) to make a left turn I got T-boned by another car.  The paramedics (Are ALL paramedics cute?   It may be a job requirement.) thought I had two broken wrists.  It turned out only one was actually broken.  I now have a 7” plate in my arm.  My new Mustang, which had less than 1,000 miles on it, suffered extensive damage.  It’s all better now.  The paramedics caused me more (mental) pain than the accident did.  They took scissors & cut off my brand new black leather jacket.  I loved that jacket!   I’d bought it in a consignment shop, but it was new to me. 

Around 1975 we bought a condo on Maui.  A client of Bud’s gave us an old VW bus & had it shipped over.  My kids & I brush painted it Yellow Cab yellow & covered it with cartoon drawings.  (How often do kids get to paint pictures on a car with the owner’s permission?)  On the front it said, “Holo holo manu” (wandering around duck) & had my fishducky picture, wearing a lei, on it.  I was taking the kids from Kaanapali to Lahaina one day & stopped at a hotel to pick up a friend.  A lady approached & asked if this bus goes to Lahaina.  I told her it did.  She asked the cost & I told her it was a free shuttle.  I drove her to Lahaina.  She may still be there waiting for a ride back.  If you see her, tell her we went out of business. 

(That's me in the bus.)

Some more views:


Do you ever feel you are being watched (by cars)?




















Get in, buckle up, close your eyes (& pray)----fishducky

 




16 comments:

  1. Big smiles.
    Knowing you would have to be a heap of fun.

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    Replies
    1. What good is life if you can't enjoy it?

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  2. What EC said goes for me too. I really like the yellow bus. I like the 'watching' cars that are smiling, but the back of that grey VW looks rather grim.

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  3. I LOVE this one Fran. I write my column this morning for Sunday's paper. I didn't hVe an idea for a piece but I'm reading a book of Rick Bragg's columns and he mentioned a Chevelle. I got to thinking about how cool the cars were in the 60s so an idea was born. Then I visit your blog and I knew I was on the right track.

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  4. Love the bus but love a 69 Mustang better!
    Lisa

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  5. Loved your race driver comment. Your yellow bus was awesome and how nice of you to take on a passenger. When I was much younger, I once had a loaner van, stopped to pick up dry cleaning in the fire lane of a mall and had a hand full of seniors climbed in who told me to take them back to their Century Village condo. I did and they each paid me a quarter which they wouldn't let me refuse. Thanks for the reminder.

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    Replies
    1. Damn--nobody ever offered me a quarter for the ride!!

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  6. I just love your volkswagon bus!!! These cartoons were so funny today.
    I think I would have been really upset about the leather jacket too at the time. ;)

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    Replies
    1. At least the kids knew what to get me for Christmas that year!!

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  7. Your VW bus was AWESOME! Growing up in your family must have been a blast.

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  8. Somehow I knew you were part of the hippie generation.

    That dog video is awe inspiring!

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    Replies
    1. He drives better than a lot of humans Ive seen out there!!

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Your comments make my day, which shows you how boring my life has become.