Friday, July 18, 2014


Spring Break 1976: This fuzzy photo of me and my friend Joni
is the only one I have that includes a view of my dad's 1956 Thunderbird.

Today would have been my father's 91st birthday, so in honor of the occasion, here is a little story about one of his prized possessions, the peacock blue Thunderbird, seen above, to the right, under wraps. Believe it or not (even now, I can scarcely believe it myself), I was actually allowed to drive the Thunderbird one time in my life, when, for some reason that I can no longer recall, my dad was picking me up late after school instead of my taking the bus. He was driving the T-bird, which in itself was quite out of the ordinary, and although I surely did not have my license yet -- I must have just turned sixteen and had my learner's permit -- he slid over and said, "Why don't you drive home?"

Unlike the girl in the Beach Boys tune, this did not sound to me like "Fun, Fun, Fun." I was honored but puzzled by my dad's unfounded faith in my driving skills, and terrified of causing an accident. Petrified yet anxious to enter into the spirit of the enterprise, I gripped the steering wheel with all my might, having always held the flawed but firm belief that this is the best way to control a moving vehicle, and away we went!

Somehow we managed to arrive home safely with no harm done to the prized car! That afternoon is a happy memory for me now, but I've often wondered if Daddy regretted his offer, especially when I took the left turn from Highway 94 onto Highway N without slowing down, a technique unrealized by me at the time. I bet he was hanging on for dear life and doing a quick mental review of our auto insurance policy while I tried to keep it straight which was the brake and which the gas!

Whew! Crisis averted . . . for a time yet . . .

1 comment:

  1. Joni writes: What a great story Kit and an even better memory. That pic is like the only one we have of the Honda 600. Long story but also a rare bird.

    Honda 600. V ery few existed. I blew it up while Curt was away on spring break. They were not made for American long distance driving. Motorcycle engine. We sold it after we blew the engine, and the guy came, and he and Curt lifted it into his pick up bed. I am not lying!