Tangent – the Plymouth

Tonight –  not about health, cancer, or diabetes.  Tonight, a car tangent.

When I was in grade school, my family got a new car … a Plymouth station wagon … pale yellow!  OMGosh, I loved that car!  It had the third row, bench seat, facing backwards! My brother and I thought that was the coolest thing ever invented on planet earth. We called it, the way back, as in, we’re sitting in the way back!  And OMGosh, the rear window! — it magically went up and down with the push of a button!
… until it didn’t.

My sister started driving when she turned 16, as everyone who turned 16 did. She used the car frequently, with full parental permission. One of the very FIRST times she drove my adored car out the driveway, she scraped an entire side against a stone pillar!!! No, no, no, I thought.  My car!  It was badly scraped and dented, pale yellow paint gone! 

Dad, of course, was very practical and said, I can fix this. I was relieved!  He went to Benny’s and bought a can of spray paint with rust inhibitor. The only yellow they had was MUSTARD yellow. Dad then proceeded to “fix” the damage. (“A car is simply something to get you from point A to point B. Doesn’t matter what it looks like. We just don’t want the dent to rust.”

Don’t know if it was weeks or months later, my sister was again using the now disfigured Plymouth. She backed out of her boyfriend’s driveway and, CRUNCH! Oh my goodness, was that a CAR parked on the other side of the street?

Dad went to Benny’s again. I was skeptical.  This time he found a tail-light replacement kit. My adored Plymouth with a mustard yellow, four-foot long dent on one side, now also had a missing left tail-light, previously a sleek rectangle, replaced by two round, red light-up disks. They reminded me of those brake lights the fancy kids got for their bicycles — I had always wanted one of those, but NOT on my Plymouth station wagon!  That’s also when the rear window no longer went up or down.

But hey, it’s 2020 now, and we’re all grown ups! Occasionally my sister will mention things from our childhood that she thinks I might resent her for.  None of them register.  It was JUST TONIGHT, remembering my fondness for that pale yellow car with the way back seat, that I realize, if there’s any true sibling resentment — it stems from the Plymouth!

To be continued  … the Gremlin. 

6 Replies to “Tangent – the Plymouth”

  1. My Father and Mother had his and hers Ford Country Squire station wagons with the same jump seats in the back — I thought them quite cool when I was a lad. The years passed and I inherited the use of my Mom’s car in high school. I used it for normal teenage boy things — commuting to school, my part time job and to transport my sheep Lex to the Vet.
    Despite the fact that the car ran pretty well and was was unscratched it wasn’t much of a babe-magnet by the time I brought it to Brown. Lex’s droppings in the crevices of the jump seats probably didn’t help.

  2. We were saved from some of this growing up in a city where it was way too expensive to have a 16-year-old driving a car. But I do remember fondly being able to run around in the back seat when we were much younger without seatbelts…playgrounds had metal contraptions over poured concrete…no wonder our generation is so much more resilient. We lived and played in death traps constantly. 😂

    Thanks for sharing; great memories!

  3. The Way-back, that’s what we called it too, but ours didn’t face out, so we avoided the way-back! I am afraid that I was the one who did the most car damage when we were young. My first serious lie-by-omission occurred when I told my Dad that I had been run off the road into a dumpster when someone cut me off. This was all true, what I didn’t tell him was that my sister had egged me on to race a teenage boy down the Chausee de Waterloo at 1pm after drinking a few beers. And that the boy was the one who ran me off the road into a dumpster. The boy was the son of his boss 🙂

  4. I love everyone’s stories ! Being the culprit sister here I think it is worth mentioning how self focused our childhood memories are. I have no memory what so ever of the third seat in the way back !!! I probably never sat in it. And our father (rightfully so) made me spend many hours sanding down the area of the car I scraped over our stone wall so that it was prepped for his spray paint. And I had no idea my sister loved that car. But I was equally saddened by the awful appearance of this car from then on. Thrifty parents meant no professional car body job ever !

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