Welcome back to Times Past in 2017. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. It seems like such a long time ago, now that we are already into our second month of 2017 and the world order seems as though it has subtly (or not so subtly) changed. Here, however, we are not looking at the future but rather delving into our past or that of someone that we knew/know well. We are looking at whether there is a generational difference and whether the geographical place we grew up creates differences between different generations and those that are the same. Go here for full information on the challenge. Remember though when posting to include what generation you belong to and whether you lived in the city or rural area of what country. If you have any subject prompts or would like to do the challenge as a guest prompter I’d love to hear from you.
This month the topic is Wheels. Automobiles played a large part in my life as they probably did in yours. I didn’t appreciate them for themselves however, but rather for where they might take me. Where did cars fit into your life?
The Mclaren car was not a part of my youth but for my husband’s (Silent Generation, Rural city England), seeing this car parked in our street memories came flooding back of his time at Shoreham where he worked for BMW as an importer/exporter (customs agent). A Mclaren racing car had come across and he had to deal with its import. Already tempers were flared by the team as the racing season had started before the car’s arrival and they had commenced with another car. My husband’s boss wanted to try the car out that they had sitting on the wharves and he took it for a spin. The power was incredible and disastrous. He put a rod through the side of the car leaving a gaping hole. One of the conditions of entry to the country was that the car would never be driven on the road. It now obviously had and during the customs inspection Roger had to drape himself over the car covering the blemish so that the inspector would not realise. They got away with it but I bet there were some irate people when the car was finally delivered.
For myself (Baby Boomer, Rural Australia) one of my first memories was of a car trip which terrified me. We had been picked up by one of my Father’s new congregation from the New England Tableland for the trip down to our new home in Casino.
This trip on the winding dirt road left me neurotically fearful of such roads for the rest of my life. The family’s first car came with the job as did all his cars until he left the parish. Not only would it be used for home visits and to get to the Sunday Services held in the remote churches in the farming area but we would go on holiday. On these occasions my Father accentuated my fear by pretending to be close to the edge and about to drive off into the ravine below.
Not only did cars take me places but they also supplemented my meagre income.
I learnt to drive as soon as I was the minimum age allowed to get a learner’s permit (16 years). My mother taught me and her fears were as great am my own. On our first day kangaroo hopping down the street and stalling had her yelling at me. When I did finally get going and I needed to stop I realised she hadn’t told me how to and a tree proved a convenient method. Luckily I was going very slowly. From there I progressed into the car park until she felt I was safe only to have me go into another tree. Back to the car park and when back on the road her scream of terror “Watch the car coming the other way” saw me apply the brakes with such force, thinking I was about to hit something, that I spun the car around. The car, when I saw it, was so far away that I needed a telescope to see it. Finally, however, I successfully passed my license test. For my entire P (provisional license) plate year I did not drive. I went nursing and had no need of a car.
It was not until I was part way through 2nd year that I decided to buy a car. I was told Donny, a wardsman at the hospital, was the person to see to help buy me a good second hand car. This I did and I was so proud when he turned up with an old Valiant for me. He parked it in the nurses car park and when next I went to drive it I found it would not start.There it sat being used as a motel for nurses who had missed curfew and could not get back into the home without having the wrath of the home sister fall on their head.
I didn’t drive again for ten years as I took up motorcycle riding but that is another story.
I’d love to hear how important cars or anything with wheels was to you in your younger days or even currently. Do a post and link it back here or put your response in the comments section here. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Baby Boomer Australia City
Baby Boomer England Rural
Baby Boomer England whilst travelling in Asia
Gen X Rural California USA