Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Old Buck

When I was growing up, my Father (henceforth referred to as Don C.) was for the most part a Chrysler man.

When I was small we had a Chevy II. But after that, it was big Chryslers for a lot of years. Fury III, Newport.

Most of the family vacations I remember are in one of those two cars.

Uncle Al, Don C's brother, used to laugh and say that "your Father doesn't like a car unless it has 10 yards of steel out in front of the windshield."

Don C. liked big cars. But since both Don C. and Sainted Mother worked, they needed a second car. Mom got to drive the nice family car, the Chrysler, to work.

That's when Don C. entered us into the world of the two car family with a series of used 'work' cars.

But the one we all have laughed and had the most fun over, was a car known in our family as "Old Buck."

Old Buck was a 1954 Ford, if memory serves me, and Don C. bought it used as his work car. It was black. Similar to the one in this photo from the internet.

Of course, Old Buck had no air conditioning, and also, someone had carved the "F" word into the driver's side door in large letters. Don C., being the clever sort, converted the dirty word into the more socially acceptable, Buck, with his pocket knife.

And thus a family legend was born.

My parents always took good care of their vehicles and ended up keeping each for a lot of years, so that when it came time to trade them in, it was like losing a family member.

I talked some recently about The Natchez Trace, and Emerald Mound, and how we would go over there and swim in Cole's Creek (which, last time I went, swimming was no longer allowed).

Old Buck was the car I remember Don C. taking us there in on many occasions.

But the funniest memory of Old Buck was with regards to Big Sis.

Big Sis was in her early teens when Don C. added Buck to the family. And for Big Sis, seeing Old Buck was hate at first site.

It doesn't take much to embarass a teen age girl, but having to ride in Buck was the lowest of the low on Big Sis's personal scale.

If she was riding in it, ALWAYS under protest, and even suspected that anyone would see her, she would drop over sideways in the seat and hide.

Of course, being the oldest child, she always rode shotgun, but that also allowed her the best chance of seeing someone she knew and hiding before they saw her.

I never understood it, Big Brother and I loved Old Buck. But then as young boys, we didn't have the delicate sensibilities that Big Sis had. I just remember sitting in the back on numerous occasions and seeing her drop over sideways in the front seat as if she had been shot.

I do know that Bigfoot has more confirmed sightings than those of Sis in Old Buck, such was her complete concentration and determination NOT to be seen.

We lived in Vidalia, Louisiana at the time, and Don C. worked across the bridge over in Natchez, Mississippi. Not too far a drive.

But later, Dad started working on offshore oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. He would work 7 days and be off 7 days, but his drive to and from work was much longer, so we finally saw the last of Old Buck. He needed a newer, more dependable car.

Don C. eventually traded in Old Buck and bought a nice used 1967 Mercury Cougar, which, in itself was a great car. Beautiful gold color. Bucket seats.

Don C. was stylin'!

But the memories of rides hither and yon in Old Buck are still special to me. I'll have to see if Sainted Mother has any photos of Buck that I can scan.

Too bad there are no pictures of Big Sis ducked over to the side in fear that a high school chum might see her in such a beaten old car.

Old Buck still rides the highway in my memories though.

Do cherished family cars get to go to Heaven?


Marsha (Big Sis) said...

OMG, it is all true! I had forgotten about Buck but it all came flooding back to me! I remember well crossing the Miss. River Bridge and dropping over like a lead weight! I was so embarrassed to ride in the old car!How do you remember all this stuff?

JAM said...

To be totally honest, I think you've always been a high-energy person with a life.

While I have a life, I've always been a slug in human form. I watch more while you do more.

But my mind is hyperactive. I remember in pictures and what things I can recall, I can either picture in a snapshot or recall scenes like in a film. In excruciating detail most of the time.

For example, that's how I shop for groceries, before I go, in my mind, I walk up and down every isle in Walmart and picture myself taking whatever, and putting it/them in the buggy. I can picture the whole store and pretty much every item. It's kinda like that with my childhood memories. I actually recall a time Daddy took Me, Paul, and Guy and Johnny Dore to Coles Creek and Johnny's t-shirt flew out the window on the way home. It had been on the deck behind the back seat, but at highway speeds, the wind grabbed it and sucked it out the window. I can still see it happen, I was up front but had turned around, and I can still see Johnny's face with the realization of what happened.

I can remember so much, in vivid detail, but lots of things I would like to remember, I am blank.

I can remember stuff, but it's as if I have no control over it.