I’d been saving for a while and although I would soon get my permit, It would be some time yet before I had my license. Danny reminded me that I could drive a motorcycle right away with just the permit.


What I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post is that when Dad found out I’d bought that motorcycle with the money I’d been saving for a car, he approached me with a solution before I even realized I had a problem.

I do so love the memory of my Dad.

“I suppose you plan on riding the bus to school again next fall eh?”

“What do you mean?”

In typical teenage fashion, I had not been thinking that far into the future at all. I was just assuming that when fall rolled around, I would ride my cool motorcycle to school. In the spring of 1975, another Minnesota winter was as far from my mind as it is from my adult mind now… after seventeen years of living here in Hawaii.


“Well, you can’t drive the Skylark, and Mom needs the Bobcat.”

“What about the Malibu?” I offered, already knowing the answer.

“You know that thing hasn’t run for a while now but I’ll tell you what… ”

My adult mind is quite sure my dad had this all planed in advance. He knew I wasn’t going to be able to save enough to buy a car by fall and he knew full well I HATED! riding the bus (see the series of posts about that starting with this one) so… my educator dad’s good boy, was exactly where he wanted me to be. I was in a perfect position for him to start me on my next life lesson.

” …if you can get that old junker to run, it’s yours. You can do whatever you want with it. I’ll pay to get it licensed and I’ll even pay for the insurance, and then you’ll have a car to drive all winter.”

I do so love the memory of my Dad.


It was a 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu station wagon. Dad had bought it brand new and it had been our main family car for as long as I could remember. I have some vague memories of the white 56 Chevy sedan we had before getting the Malibu, and we also had an old Opal at some point but I can’t remember what year. Since I was only five years old when it came into our lives, nearly all my memories of the family car are of that Malibu wagon.

I had no idea when it stopped running. That old station wagon had been sitting in the pole shed next to the tractor and the canoe for years. I’d hardly paid it any attention at all. The other junkers Dad gave us to learn to drive on occupied my thoughts of cars completely. But once the Malibu became mine. Once the car I had known for so much of my life, the car so many of my childhood dreams had included… once it became my car.

My Dream car.

Even my cool new motorcycle became a bit less important to me.

I wonder if Dad was thinking of that too.

To be continued…