A family history in cars, continued

I’ve not been feeling well these past few days, so I thought I’d write a followup to my previous post, in which I highlighted the various cars our family owned when I was growing up. Turns out, I missed or forgot several of them. There are more still that I could mention but will leave it at these.

Chevrolet Citation

None of them was a real winner, let me tell you. The Chevy Citation was one example; another was the Dodge Omni. I think it was the Citation that we drove out to Gothenburg, NE in 1980, which was a memorable trip because the car had no air conditioning. I can also remember its plasticky back seat very well 😉 That, and eating the ham sandwiches made by my Aunt Harriet for eating on our way home.

Dodge Omni

The Dodge Omni was no stunner, for sure, but during one memorable summer it was driven to Calgary, Alberta as well as to New York City. At least that’s my recollection.

We also had a 1980s Dodge conversion van that sat 9 or 10 people. I searched high and low for a photo of it but the one that’s shown is the closest to it that I could find. Ours was longer (sat more people) and was white with a blue interior full of captain’s chairs. We always thought it looked a bit like an airliner with its portal windows and individual seats on each side of the center aisle. It, too, was driven on a highly memorable road trip to Calgary. It was 1981 and my nephew, Nils, was three months old. My sister-in-law, Petra, brought along her parents and one of her sisters from Germany. It was a full load! On that road trip we learned firsthand about cross-cultural experience 🙂 This is where I learned to like cream cheese and jam open-faced sandwiches. I also learned that Germans don’t like air conditioning. Petra’s mother kept opening the back windows, sucking out all the cool air. We visited the Badlands and the air conditioning broke down. Another memory is when we went hiking with friends in the Kananaskis and Nils had a massive diaper blowout. On the way home, my two oldest brothers made the (bone-headed, in hindsight) decision to drive all the way home. As a result we stopped in the middle of the night at a fleabag motel in the middle of nowhere. And I do mean fleabag. The two of them got into a big argument over who would pay the bill.

Dodge Conversion Van

And how could I possibly forget that other clunker, the Ford Fairmont? I think my sister, Debbie, had a fun time in it when it spun out of control on a patch of ice near the Block’s farm north of Villa Grove, IL. Even if this vehicle had been brand new at the time (which it wasn’t), it would be considered a junker. It had the acceleration of a lawn mower and the handling of a boat on wheels.

Ford Fairmont

And I just remembered that my sister Becky’s first car was not the Toyota Celica GT mentioned previously. Instead it was a somewhat zippy little two-door, blue, 1980s Toyota Corolla like the one pictured here. I remember the “cool” thing about it was its tape deck, and how I used to blast Amy Grant’s “Age to Age” album while driving to/from the grocery store while in high school. Sad, but true.

Then there is the first car I ever owned: a blue, 4-door, 1980s VW Golf. I actually co-owned it with my sister, Debbie.

Toyota Corolla
VW Golf

Last but not least was a 1980s Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale, white with maroon interior. It drove like a boat, too, but it was a good ride.

Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale

Now here’s the obvious question: How on earth did we go through so many cars? (Keep in mind, I’m still missing several others!) I don’t really know.

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