Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jump Rope Rhyme Stories...The Galaxie

Bluebells, cockle shells,
Eevie, ivy, over....

When you are little your life is directed constantly. You don't get to make too many choices in your everyday life. Your woken from bed, fed breakfast, clothes put on and so the day goes on. At the end of the day it is all in reverse. You don't have a clue of what your parents are up to and really don't seem to care either. Just so long that it is a happy place you can feel joyful in your little universe.
I lived in the small town of Atwater, California when I was 2 to 6 years of age. It was a town occupied by a lot of Military families who were stationed at Castle Air Force Base. We lived there for that reason as my father was in the Air Force though I have no memory of my father during that time. We lived in a typical neighborhood rather than base housing, where our elementary school, Elmer Wood, was just down the street from our house on Linden Street. One door down from our house was E. L Walters Park where I got my first bee sting. It was a happy time from my memory though at that age it is hard to remember much. At home lived my brother, my mom and myself with my Nan coming over often as well. My Nan worked as a nurse at a hospital nearby. My mom was a stay at home mom and did various social events that Military moms seem to do. Teas, bridge clubs and such.
The part of what you don't know about your parents is what is really going on though. They see to it that your world seems just like all the other friends families you know. Yet military families are not like other families. We move around a lot, and often the dads are not around at all. That was our case.
Our next door neighbor was quite nice to us. I don't remember much about him at that age except for the day he got the Ford Galaxie. I was about 5 years old and the year would have been 1963. It was a warm summer evening and my mom told us we were going for a ride in our neighbor "Bill's" new car. My eyes saw this white convertible with the top down in his driveway. Wow! I am sure that was the first time I had ever noticed a car other than our own. We climbed into the backseat my brother and I with my mom and Bill sitting up front and off we went.

We drove onto a country road with no stop signs and just flew. The warm air blowing in my face, whipping my hair back. The whoosh of warm air bringing tears to my eyes as I tried to sit up higher to look out all around me. I wanted to sit up on top of the back seat and feel that push of invisible warmth. The car was wide and long with blue vinyl interior. The convertible top was hidden under a blue matching cover as though there was no top at all. Silver chrome trim sleeked horizontally down the body of the car. It was a thrill!

My other memory of the Galaxie was sitting in the car with several of my neighbor friends in Bill's driveway. Our mothers were inside the house while we waited for them. We were going somewhere. We were waiting in the backseat when one of them thought to get in the front seat and pretend to drive the car. That little smarty pants pulled the gearstick on the steering wheel while he was trying to turn the steering wheel round and round. That put the car in reverse! Thankfully we were not on a steep incline. We just rolled back out of the driveway, across the street where we stopped when we hit the curb. The car had been parked at the edge of the end of the driveway to begin with. Of course we all knew we were going to be in big trouble. I am pretty sure we didn't go anywhere as had been the plan.
My mom eventually married Bill and we moved to Salinas, California just before I started 1st grade. I didn't see my dad again till many years later. The Galaxie was sold at some point as well and our family bought a Ford Station Wagon with fake wood paneling. Not quite as exciting as the Galaxie.

I like coffee,
I like tea,
I like ____to jump in with me!

1 comment:

Shannon Marie Pace said...

Fun piece, Ellen! I like the childhood fascination with a neighbor's new car...

I also like learning all these new things about your youth.


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