Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Smile for the Camera: Travel
Well, no one is actually smiling in this picture. That’s because no one is in it – except for our poodle, Pierre, and you can’t see his lopsided doggie grin. Of course, there is always the much-ridiculed Edsel face with its goofy-doofy grille grin. That’s what made me smile when I saw this picture today. I was looking for pictures of our trip to Death Valley and at first thought that this was one of those “disposable” pictures with nothing much in it. Then I caught sight of the Edsel. It was like seeing an old friend.
The Edsel is the only car I remember my family taking on vacations. You can read about it in Memory Monday: Our Edsel. It was also the car that we drove to Texas in; that trip is described in Memory Monday: Visiting with Grandma Brinlee. My mother, father, and brother took turns driving over the long stretches of highway through California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas during that long-ago Christmas vacation. It was particularly painful for my father, who was suffering from a slipped disc that had been misdiagnosed as kidney problems. After learning the hard way that Pierre could not ride in the back seat due to carsickness, my parents allowed him to ride in the front seat the rest of the way.
The car trip had some exciting, if not downright scary, moments. When we were driving from New Mexico to Texas, I seem to remember some winding roads, and it had been snowing. All of a sudden I heard my mother screaming: “Cow! Cow!” Apparently my dad, tired after a long stretch of driving, had spaced out with his eyes open, and did not realize that a cow was on the road straight ahead. At the last minute he swerved off to the side and into a snow drift. No damage was done to the Edsel or to its occupants, so Mom took over at the wheel and we continued on our way. Later a favorite family joke was to point and yell “Cow! Cow!” when someone could not see what was in front of them.
On the trip to Death Valley we went with some friends of my parents, Frank, Marge, and their twin boys. The guys slept outside in the tent and truck and Mom, Marge and I slept in the trailer. The Edsel was a good car for travel through the desert, because it never overheated.
I cannot remember what ultimately happened to our Edsel – whether it was sold off as a victim of our declining fortunes or was kept long enough so that it could be honorably “put out to pasture” at an advanced age. I hope it ended up with someone who appreciated it.
Submitted for the 15th edition of Smile for the Camera, hosted at Shades of the Departed.