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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)

TITLE: Part of the Family
By Pam Ford Davis
11/23/09


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We began our life as newlyweds with stars in our eyes and big dreams in our heads. I felt my world turning upside down. We were moving from the only life I ever knew in the north, to make our home in the south. We packed our few belongings from the efficiency apartment, loaded them in the 1961 white Chevy Impala and headed south. With a rapidly beating heart and a lump in my throat I snuggled up to my husband. We did not feel the restrictions of seat belts back then, giving me freedom and pleasure to stay close at his side.


The snow covered New York State Thruway opened asphalt arms to a lovesick couple. We drove all day listening to the radio and sharing our thoughts about the new radio job in Mississippi. The farther south we traveled the less snow we saw. This seemed so strange to a Yankee! January means winter; and winter weather creates snow banks several feet high on both sides of the road! I felt very excited about the new things I would see in the south.


I did not mind the delay for a honeymoon when we married three weeks earlier. Our trip to the new job and home would be a delayed honeymoon. We stopped for the night at a big motel in Boling Green, Kentucky. We were both tired after the long drive, but romance still high lighted our night together. I changed into my white bridal negligee and made an entrance from the bathroom. My heart and life now belonged to the groom.


We reached our Greenville, MS destination and soon we were settled into life as newlyweds. The Impala displayed a big WDDT Radio magnetic sign on the door. The car gave us our first start on a blind date, brought us to this new land and seemed like my second home. Soon we got exciting news of expecting our first child! Life took another turn and I battled bouts of homesickness. It is scary to face childbirth with your mother and sisters 1,000 miles away. Cravings and weight gain stretched across comings months; and my body showed stretch mark scars as visible evidence! The Impala served as taxi to Sunflower Hospital. Our daughter made her Mississippi entrance and I awaited a visit from Mom and my younger sister.


Roads led us back up north to the state of Ohio two years later. The faithful Impala showed years of wear and tear, but continued to serve us well. We did not plan to invest in a new vehicle. News of a second child came and we purchased our first dream home. We were active in a church across the city, which meant about a thirty minute drive. The floorboards in the car were rusted out and we dealt with that the best we could. One day we drove in the pouring rain and water splashed up from the floor! We arrived at church in sopping wet clothes! We began to face the facts; we really needed a new car!


Problems with the Chevy Impala brakes meant stopping did not coming easily, or with guarantees! My parents and brother came for a visit and while they were there we were forced to replace the Impala, as much a part of the family as any car could be. We would adapt to a brand new vehicle. The new car, fresh from the factory showed no resemblance to our big Impala. The compact Ford Maverick featured bucket seats and seat belts were included. It is not easy to strap a seat belt around an expectant mother! The car could be spotted easily on the highway or located in any large parking lot. There are not many orange vehicles on the road! I did not have my driverís license and my husband patiently gave me driving lessons. He cautioned me to be very careful; we did not want to ding or scratch our brand new car. Accidents happen. He still speaks of when he put a long deep scratch in the shiny orange paint job! Our metal link fence jumped out and scratched our car! How did that fence get there?


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Member Comments
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Yvonne Blake 12/02/09
Cars certainly are a part of our lives! Thanks for sharing some of your memories.
Jeanne E Webster 12/30/09


Your article surely brought back memories from another era: the days when you could patch up your car and make it last a long time. Nowadays a car owner does well to be able to change the oil and lube the vehicle.



I remember our old '73 pickup truck, with the hole in the floor on the passenger side. I took a piece of plywood and fitted it into the hole to prevent my feet from dropping down. Then I patched the rusty door frame and made makeshift rocker panels. It really didn't look bad after I painted all the restoration areas. Those were the days, huh?!