Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What a Lark!

I don't actually remember this Studebaker Lark station wagon. (Far left, I am 4 or 5 years old here.) Was it ours, or our cousins'? Studies were made in my hometown so it was inevitable that we owned one or two.

The cars of my childhood had huge back seats, enough floor space for ballroom dancing, or so it seemed to this tiny tot. I remember my uncle's Chrysler New Yorker, because it had sort of a square-ish steering wheel and a pushbutton transmission. Seat belts? We didn't need no stinkin' seat belts! Wherever we went, a flock of (up to seven) tots bounced around those back seats like pinballs. Amazing there weren't any serious injuries.

I do remember another car, a sedan with fins the size of Montana. I believe it was "The Plymouth." It stands out because it was the site of one of my few childhood traumas: The Cherry (Phthththth!) Pie Incident. Every Friday we piled into the car to go to my local grandparents (Dad's parents) for dinner. I was all dressed up for the occasion, in my black patent leather Mary Janes and lacy anklets. As I climbed into that giant back seat, Mom said "Be careful. Don't step on the (Phthththth!) Pie." Mom had carefully placed it on the floor of the back seat. Unfortunately, the warning came a nanosecond too late: I was already in motion, unable to stop the forward momentum. Yes, the “Phthththth!” was the sound of my foot landing ankle-deep in the middle of that beautiful cherry pie. I looked down and it looked like my foot had been chopped off; my leg appeared to end in a bloody stump. The pie was ruined! My ensemble was ruined! My ever-patient mother was furious!

Yep, pretty much lost my taste for cherry pie that day.

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