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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 27: Cars & Transport

The Book of Me, Written by You is a blogging theme where one can write about their own life using blog themes posted each week.  More information can be found at Anglers Rest here.

This week's prompt is - Cars and Transport
  • Did you have a car in your family whilst you were growing up?
  • What methods of transport were there? And what did you & your family typically use?
  • Your Driving Test
  • Where Did you learn? - Can you drive?
  • Your first car?
  • Your Favourite Car?

I remember a few of the cars our family owned. We had an American Motors Rambler Ambassador which was a station wagon that could fit four kids. Here’s a shot of the car with my two brothers and one of my sisters standing in front.
Our Rambler
Later, my mother got her own car, a Pontiac Grand Prix, which I drove for my driver’s test. It had a big hood and a tight turning radius. I had to re-do the three-point-turn because I made a U-turn instead. I also remember being pulled over once in the car and officer telling me a tail light was broken. However when I got home my dad said it was fine--that he was just checking that I was old enough to drive. I could barely see over the steering wheel so I wasn't surprised the cop thought I was too young.

My first car was another Rambler that my father bought for me so I could commute to Cal State University, Hayward. It was also a station wagon and did pretty well for me the first year until BART opened up out to Walnut Creek and I could switch to taking the train and bus to school. Then my brother drove the car until the block cracked due to lack of checking fluids in the car. I think it overheated.

The first car that I bought myself was an used Toyota Corona. It was light blue and a four-door. With it, I could drive to school again and work evenings or Saturdays in the library. It wasn't really a great car—it broke down a lot. I was in an accident in it once, too, though it wasn’t my fault.

My first new car was a 1978 Ford Pinto wagon. I bought the car after the Toyota broke down one time too many. I went to the dealer looking for a black pickup truck and came out with the wagon instead. It was bright yellow with “wood” sides and looked like a miniature version of the Ford Country Squire. It was a good car—I just hated the black interior which would get so hot in the summer and the yellow color that attracted bees. 
All decorated on the day of our wedding.
 At some point I drove my husband’s 1970 GMC pickup for a while. It had standard transmission—a 3-speed on the column.  It was big and when I drove to San Francisco I would have to drive around looking for a parking space at the end of the block so I could park it!

After my first child was born, I purchased a new car—a 1990 Ford Tempo. It was white with manual transmission. I donated the Pinto to a high school shop class to use for parts. The Tempo lasted 9 nine years, traveling all over and even Girl Scout camping. In the meantime, my husband missed the Pinto and managed to find a low mileage 1980 blue wagon. He still drives the car.

In 1999, however, it was time for a newer car and I purchased a 1999 Ford Explorer, which I still own. With only a few thousand miles on it, I took my girls on a road trip around Montana and Idaho. This car has been to Colorado, Los Angeles and San Diego, and Oregon as well as many Girl Scout camping trips.
Our 1999 Ford Explorer
When the girls began to drive, we purchased used cars for them to use. First a 1988 Toyota Camry that ended up in a head-on accident with another teenage driver. We replaced that car with a 1989 Honda Accord, which was involved in an accident this year.

Now, the newest member to our family is a Nissan Leaf. Driving an all-electric car can be a challenge but it is nice knowing that we are not contributing to bay area pollution as we drive. 
All-electric Nissan Leaf
 Now this theme also included transports, so I felt I need to add the one transport that I did drive: a BART train (though I didn’t drive it, I operated it). I was a train operator for 15 years and then trained other operators for 17 years. 
Old BART console when I started in 1978
I left out this bit of trivia (updated info): My mother wrote that I could identify all makes of autos when I was 2 years and 8 months old.
From baby book for Lisa Susanne Hork, written by Lela Nell Hork

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

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