Automobile of Life
by Roy Acuff
Some people are just like an automobile
They'll run fine when everything is right
When the roads are all clear
and the weather is fine. . .
But often they come to a washout
and then get stuck and have to detour. . .
What a novel topic our host for this week's Fun Monday, Sayre at Sayre Smiles , has given us. Sayre is after our Personal Car Fax. What was our first car? Our favorite car? What are we driving now and why? This topic has the makings for some mighty interesting posts because, as Mr. Roy Acuff says, "people are just like an automobile." What we choose to drive reveals a lot about where we are in our lives. Here are the automobiles of my life:
Ford Maverick, color Anti-Establish Mint (first car for the rebel years) I didn't learn to drive until I was a junior in college in the late 60s. No point in it really because my family never owned a car. In college I lived just a short walk off campus. When I was about to graduate and had gotten my first teaching position, my adopted grandfather, who was well in his 70s, taught me to drive in his sporty little car--don't remember the model, but do recall a spunky color and that it was duck-butted. Just the car for Lester P. I got the license and an Anti-Establish Mint (loved this color name!) Ford Maverick, with help from this wonderful man, and headed out for first year of teaching in a town about two hundred miles from my college town.
That first year on my own was great, but I was restless, needing to experience something other than my home state. So, I looked on a map of Florida and picked out the town of Clearwater and the Pinellas County School System as my next stop. I loaded this Ford Maverick with all my belongings and drove to Florida without a place to stay when I got there. I ended up in an efficiency apartment on Clearwater Beach for one year. I made great friends with work colleagues and loved the experimental teaching I did with middle school age students who were potential dropouts. But I was restless. At night and on the weekends I put many miles on the Ford Maverick. One night I decided to drive even further. . .
Island Mini Moke (adventure car) The summer of 1970 after Clearwater I moved on. I volunteered for the Peace Corps and got a teaching position on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. I stored my few belongings, sold the Ford Maverick and became an islander. Another Peace Corps volunteer, who shared my adventurous spirit, and I decided to pool our government living allowances and rent a house out in the country on a working sugar cane estate. For a time we rode an open transport truck to and from work. This truck ringed the island, picking up workers and market produce for the trip into Basseterre, the major town on St. Kitts. Soon my housemate and I tired of the unreliable transport and being stuck in a sugar cane field on the weekend, so we pooled our money again and bought one of the island's dirt cheap mini mokes. Actually, it was little more than a golf cart but suited our purposes just fine.
Chevrolet Concours, Colts, Crown Victorias and Ford Windstar Minivans (the responsible years) After three years in the West Indies I came back to Kentucky and spent the majority of my working life in education. For over 30 years I worked for either the state department of education or Kentucky Farm Bureau, a statewide agricultural organization. With both organizations I was expected to drive their fleet cars for work purposes. My own car became less important--more of a fallback vehicle. I was mostly concerned about hauling capacity because I worked as a trainer for both organizations. I conducted workshops and organized conferences. I schlepped boxes and boxes of workshop supplies and audio visual equipment. Minivans were my friends. After work, these minivans could be used to ferry my friends all over under one car roof. In retirement we often threaten to pool our resources and buy a flower-decorated hippie van for our pleasure outings. :-)
Toyota Scion xB (the retiring years) In 2005 I bought my first personal car in many, many years. It was somewhat daunting taking up the responsibilities of car ownership again, but I was retiring in January 2006 and had to give up the company Windstar minivan. Like everything else in my life, I went after a simple, no bells and whistles kind of car. The Scion had just been released a year earlier. It was marketed as a Y Generation modification to Toyota's reliable Camry. Many of the Gen Y group loved the reliability of their parents' Camrys, but hated the design. So, Toyota "iced" the Camry chassis with this really cool Scion body (get it? Scion? offspring). It was amusing at first to drive this car because of its look. Fellow Scion drivers actually waved at each other as if to say, "Aren't we just too cool for words!" I call my Scion the "bread truck." A friend said she saw a Scion bumper sticker that said "You've just been passed by a toaster!" Anyway you take it, it's a perfect retirement car and probably my favorite of all the cars I've driven.
There you have it, my automobiles of life. And before too long, be sure to cruise on down the road and check out other Fun Monday drives.
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.