A Drive Down Memory Lane

our family "hot rod"

My dad sent me a photo this week. He and Mom drove their 1921 Model-T Ford to a July 4th church picnic. Dad commented on how much he enjoyed giving rides to friends who were there.

Looking at the picture took me back in time.

Our family used to take Sunday afternoon drives out into the country; Dad driving with Mom beside him, my sisters and I piled into the back seat, all of us with our hair pulled back or wearing a scarf to keep our hair from whipping into our eyes. There was something heady about waving to all those people who stared and smiled and honked as we passed.

Or the time my folks and my sisters dressed up in 1920s costumes and drove the Model-T in the community 4th of July parade. (That was the year I marched with the library summer reading club, and lost my “glass” slipper while dressed up as Cinderella—but that’s another story.)

And somewhere I have a treasured photo of my grandparents taking the car out for a spin when they came for a visit. That became their Christmas Card photo that year.

And after I was married, Dad taught my husband how to drive the Model-T. We would take the car out for long rides in the country. Once we took his grandma for a ride, and heard her joyful memories of driving a car just like it when she was a young woman so many years ago. And there are photos of us taking our first baby out for rides in the special car as well.

For years, the grandkids loved to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house…and take Model-T rides in the summer. After my folks moved to a river home, the younger grandkids looked forward to canoe rides and windsurfing. Water play was fun…but the loss of puttering along in the old car was sad.

As the years passed, the car started acting its age. The starter was unreliable; the engine ran rough. The car languished in the garage. My dad mumbled about maybe selling it, then backed down when my sisters and I loudly argued that the car was a treasured part of our childhood and MUST be kept.

Finally, my sister helped get that old Model-T repaired. New wheel spokes were made by an Amish woodworker. The engine was repaired and cleaned til it sparkled. The car was all “spiffed up” just in time for the family gathering to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We all piled into and around the car for a family photo.

So now a treasured part of my past is back on the road again. Whenever I hear the putt-putt of the engine or even just see photos of the car, I’m ready for another ride down memory lane.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. almelle
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 18:27:51

    You’re talking about Grandma Helen?! I like this post a lot… you know I like the thoughtful memory stuff!

    Reply

    • jecolorfulheart
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 07:21:12

      Yes–although she will never be anything but Grandma Emmelhainz to Dad and I!! She was SO pleased to be back in a Model T when Dad took her for a ride. Can you imagine regularly hand-cranking a car before heading to work? (She taught school for awhile and drove the “Tin-Lizzie” to and from work.)

      Reply

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