Last Tuesday, I asked C if after dinner he wanted to take the boys by a local John Deere place to see a huge tractor they had out front. C had taken a picture of it to show the boys earlier, and I thought it would be a nice way to get out of the house for a bit. As we were yielding to traffic, I saw the above car. I know it doesn't look like much, but it's an old Plymouth Valiant. My dad had one. Actually, my mom bought the "old Val," as the car was known, brand new in 1965 for about $2,000.00.
After my parents married, it became my dad's, and he drove it until it wouldn't drive any more. I sat in it on cold mornings with neighborhood kids waiting on the bus, I rode to school in it in junior high. It wasn't cool or even retro with its push button radio (push the button, the little dial flew to the next station). The paint was chipping off terribly on the front. A brick had been thrown at its side. Still, I didn't mind. It was like your ratty old comfy pants. Daddy did have the engine rebuilt after it "wouldn't drive any more," and then it was our Sunday-afternoon-drive car. By then, I was old enough to appreciate what the car meant to my dad, still I did manage to drag the right front bumper of my second car along its side one night, leaving a nice black line. I went right in and 'fessed up, even though the friend with me urged me to "tell him when we got back." Then, something went wrong with that engine, and the old Val never rode again. After my father's death, we ended up having the car towed away, but not before I asked C to take out the glove compartment door.
Yep, white with red interior!
I always thought the glovebox was neat with its little spot for your drink to sit and nice surface to sit your burger and fries on at the drive-in or a place with car hops bringing your food.
So, when I saw that car on the road Tuesday, on the fifth anniversary of my daddy's death, I didn't think, what a coincidence. I thought, thanks, Daddy, I miss you, too, every. single. day.Drive on...