Sunday, November 2, 2008

The White Wagon, Part Two

The White Wagon
---Part Two---

Let’s get down to brass tacks here. What we are talking about is a 1982 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Station Wagon. It was a squat-shouldered, wide bodied monster with room for a family of six. It lived in our driveway until my younger sister Karen killed it sometime in the fall of 1998. It was a sad day for us all. The White Wagon was one of the largest and least fuel-efficient mass-produced station wagons ever built. It was extremely ugly as well, and probably quite dangerous to drive. But she was ours.

The ’82 Caprice was one of the last of the great family station wagons. The Dodge Caravan came on the scene in 1983 and changed the suburbs forever. We never owned a mini-van as a family and I am very proud of that fact. We were never mini-van people. We were station wagon people. And the station wagon that our father bought used in 1984 was a masterpiece. The radio had a casette player. The rear window had a defroster. The speedometer worked.


Anonymous said...

I like the idea of you writing every day for a month. It has been a long time since you have opportunity to use your creative writing skills before the public. I have always admired your ability to turn the mundane into something unique.

I know that you are over thirty. I have no right to discuss word choice with you. However, I never let you use that word you used repeatedly in your text. I just wanted to remind you. Love Mom

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind editorial comments, mom. You are absolutely right. I shouldn't use the words crap and crappy in my writing. I also shouldn't use words derived from the word crap, like crap-head, crap-face, and crappypants. I'll try to avoid them in the future.

Thanks for helping me become a better writer, and a better human being. To show my appreciation, I'll make today's mandatory blog entry about one of your favorite things: Polish Pottery.

Love, Tom

Anonymous said...

Tom, I love your recollection of the white wagon. You failed to mention the wire in the back seat that stuck out only to seriously scar it's passengers. When mom or dad drove my swimming carpool, I had to say, "Watch out for the wire." It was pretty sad that we had a car that put it's passengers in danger. You also failed to mention that you were part of the reason that we had that car for so long. While my friends got nice cars for the 16th birthday, I didn't get one of my own because you needed an upright bass--and we needed to keep the wagon so we could hall the two of you around--as Sam would say, "That not fair mom." I will watch for part three.

Your sister,


Karine and Tom said...

Don't worry Anne. Its all going to be in there. Most of it is already written. And, as I remember, you did get a pretty sweet car for your sixteenth birthday, a white1972 Mercury Grand Marquis with red vinyl interrior. Its not our fault if you chose not to drive it. It was a cool car. I think I saw it in a Snoop Dog video one time.

Anonymous said...

Did Larry and Dick consult each other on the white station wagon deal? I forgot that you had one, too! Actually, Dick loved them so much that we had two or three of them--retired CF safety station wagons with an American flag decal by the side mirror. The only cool thing was the neat spot light that you could use to look for deer (when no cars were coming your way)! :-) Love your story about the Polish pottery, too! Family memories are great! Keep writing!

Anonymous said...

Sorry--forgot to sign my name. Joani

KarenLew said...

So yes, I killed the wonderful white wagon and I am PROUD of that! Granted, I did hydroplain on standing sprinkler water. The beast had to die. You failed to mention that as a result of it's death, it was donated to Tech High School so that it could be rebuilt (thanks to Dad). You also forgot about the "way-way back" and riding on the hump (front and middle). Part four could include our trips to the cabin with a topper and the Jill Seman, Jim Seman, and Dophine. Suddenly our family went from six to seven which added a whole new level to the white wagon expierence. These are the memories that I cherrish. Oh, and Dad saying, "watch out for the wire". I sure do miss him.