Driving with Dad

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photo courtesy of “Nationwide Picture Cars”

As a child I lived in the country, so everywhere was a ‘drive’ away. We spent a lot of time driving. My father was a blacksmith, yes you read correctly a blacksmith, and no I did not grow up in the 1800’s. I will come back to my father and his trade at a later date, he was quite a character and there are not many modern day blacksmiths around anymore. Though he could make pretty much anything out of metal, his bread and butter was shoeing horses. He did work at the local racetrack but he would also travel from farm to farm practicing his trade. Before we started school my younger brother and I  would go to work with my father every chance we got. I mean what on earth can be more exciting for a young boy than a horse farm?

For me one of the best parts of going to work with my father was the driving. This is going back to the early 70’s, we did not know what a Honda civic or a Toyota Corolla was. Compact? A compact was what a woman carried in her purse to put on make up. No way, this was the day of the Chevy Challenger, Ford Mustang the Impala and the Caprice. Big old cars that didn’t even have seatbelts in the back seat (well none that we could find anyway). My brother and I would just roll around back there like two marbles in a garbage can.

My father always had good stories to tell on drives, he was a natural storyteller, he was also a fair singer and loved music. One of the things we loved to do while driving was to sing. To this day it astounds me the songs I remember from my childhood, songs that I don’t even know that I know. I will be listening to some oldies show playing the hits of the past when all the sudden I realize that I am singing along to whatever is playing on the radio. Songs like “Let’s Stay Together” and “Summer Breeze”, “Maybe I’m Amazed” and the Theme from Shaft! Don’t stop me now, what about “Reeling in the Years” and “You’re So Vain”, ok that’s enough. These are songs that bring me back, I am once again sitting next to my Father, singing and watching the miles go by.

I still drive plenty, and will admit to listening to talk radio now and again. However, there still is nothing like the feeling of putting in a CD, cranking it way up and heading down the highway. In my car right now I have a ‘Rolling Stones’ greatest hits, an Eagles greatest hits and Motown compilation CD. What is in your car right now?

Gus

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2 thoughts on “Driving with Dad

  1. I used to LOVE going to work with your dad! Every summer I would visit and spend at least a week, going to work with your dad and then babysitting you boys in the evening so they could go out and get a break. What a great memory of driving around with your dad, and occasionally hitchhiking when the car broke down, and listening to the radio.

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