Around 1955, my dad purchased a not-so-new Studebaker. I was in awe. It reminded me of a bomb or a torpedo; like the future. No one could have convinced me then that in the not-too-distant future, the Studebaker, along with the Hudson, the Nash and Nash Rambler would be near obsolete and just a memory or a collector's trophy. But, I was young and never even dreamed that, one day, cars would be without running boards, rumble seats and horns that simply said, "beep, beep," much like the Roadrunner in a Warner Bros. cartoon.
I took it all for granted then, much like I do now, believing all things will remain the same. But they didn't then and they don't now. Much the pity!
Progress is truly wonderful and awe-inspiring.
I drove my dad's Studebaker a few times, and I felt like Buck Rogers on his way to the moon - impossible then. Oh, indeed it was grand! A car that dared to be different - I felt special just driving it. A "different" that would only visit once and never return.
As mentioned, I look toward the future with trepidation and concern. I watch young kids bent over video games while books lie unopened around them; so absorbed in killing games that the carefree laughter in playgrounds is now a silent minority. I'm just old-fashioned, I guess. At least that's what I'm told. "Old!" my wife just chimed. "But you haven't got a clue in the closet about fashion." I don't know why she'd say something like that, especially when I'm wearing my teddy bear slippers!
I wish at times that I had loads of money so I could find and buy an old Studebaker, restored to almost new condition. Boy, that would be something! I wouldn't drive it. I'd sit and stare at it much like an art connoisseur stares at an incredible painting. I might just sit in it absorbing the memories of when I thought all favourite things would always be and never fade away. I'd grip the steering wheel and in my imagination, drive it back in time when all things were new. When tomorrow wasn't as scary as it is today. When imagination wasn't challenged and only a cow could jump over the moon. Sigmund Romberg said it best in his song: "Golden days, when we were young."
I liked being young then - in those days when I couldn't wait to get older. I don't think I'd like to be young today - wondering if I ever will get older.
If you have fond memories of the Studebaker, you'll know what I'm talking about. Cars today have every bell and whistle imaginable - power windows, keyless entry, air bags, remote start, high-falutin’ sound systems, navigational maps that talk and the list goes on and on. I remember my dad's Studebaker had a radio with two knobs. That was special! My grandson just said, "You're kidding!" I guess you had to be there!
JUNE 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER ISLAND
JUNE 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER & LOWER MAINLAND
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