Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Love Affair

Some families have addictions.  Systemic, maybe genetic.  My family has a love affair with speed.  I recently thought about a trip my sister, Rosalind and I made from Albuquerque, where we were both going to school at UNM, to Hobbs in two vehicles.  She was driving a friend's station wagon and I was following in my father's 1965 Ford Mustang, a powerful little car that still had trouble keeping up with my "lead-footed" sister in the car ahead.  In case you don't know the road from Vaughn to Roswell, in the early 1970's, it was a long straight stretch of close to a hundred miles, little traffic, and nothing interesting to see.  The speed limit was 80 MPH.  When the state trooper pulled both of us over we were going considerably faster than that.  He was not at all sympathetic to my explanation that I was just trying not to lose my sister.  Two tickets were hard to explain to my Mother!

In an earlier post I shared my grandmother's subterfuge about how long it took her to drive from Hobbs to Illinois.  You can read about it here

My grandfather test drove Harley Davidsons in the early 1900's and eloped with my grandmother riding in a sidecar. Unfortunately we don't have a photo of that event.  But here is a great poster that makes me think of them. 
Image Via

The folks in Hobbs used to joke (OK, they were in deadly earnest) that the prestige plate on my grandparent's Cadillac with my grandfather's initials R.O.W. really meant "give them the RIGHT OF WAY!"

Mom crashed her uncle's Model T when she was about ten year's old which would have made it 1927.  Now I wished I had asked Mama just how mad her uncle was with her.  My uncle Ben told me the story which mad Mama mad at him.

In her eighties, my mother, Rose Lee,  still loved cars, and nostalgic for the 1965 Mustang that my Dad had purchased years before, decided to replace her 12 year-old-Buick with a new Ford Mustang Convertible.  Many of our friends were skeptical that this was a good idea as they were all trying to convince their parents that they should quit driving altogether.  At that point, Mama was still picking up my daughter's from school and taking them out for her "adventures."  They loved being picked up in her new yellow convertible.  In fact, all of her friends always wanted Mama to drive as well. 

Even my sister's and my friends were tickled when we occasionally borrowed it for a special ocassionHere is a photo of a friend of Rosalind's birthday party with my Mother in front.

Yesterday, I was reminded that it might be good if I slowed down just a bit, as I scrapped the undercarriage of my car as I flew into a friend's driveway.

American's love affair with their cars (and traveling fast!) began when Henry Ford introduced his automobile and made it affordable for many folks to purchase.  Ford Motor Company is celebrating the 150 anniversary of his birth with many events over 2013.  For a calendar of events, click

Celebrating Henry Ford’s 150th Anniversary

Can you imagine your life without a car?  I know that many cities have wonderful transit systems, but out here in the West, we would be pretty lost without our cars.  Are you ready to go back to horses and wagons, bicycles, or even walking to the store?  Do you do that now?  How much time do you spend in your car?  Do you think a car-less society would be easier or safer?  Would love to hear your thoughts.


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