Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
One way of marking time is counting how many vehicles you have owned through the years. To some people the automobile is just a form of transportation to others it is a way to show your style and character. My dad used his vehicles as a tool or a means to an end. I do not think that he ever washed the inside windshield and he never worried about a dent or scratch. Mom on the other hand always tried to keep the family car neat and clean. Living twenty- three miles out in the country and 19 of those miles were on gravel roads our car was dusty more often than not. While I was growing up Dad taught me to love horses, but my brother, Virgil, showed me how to appreciate the sound of a smooth running engine.
Dad and I would saddle up and ride and Dad would show me how to get pleasure from the canter of a well-bred horse. It is not that we raised exquisite equine but he broke many horses for other people. Some of those people paid a lot of money for a good horse. So I had the opportunity to see different kinds of horses. When I would fall in love with one that he was breaking- I would try to get Dad to buy it for us. That is when he would explain that we could not afford to spend that kind of money for something that we already had. But when I would tell him that I liked the other better than what we had already in the corral- That is the time that I would get the talk on being practical and that I should be happy that I had the chance to ride such an animal. It was hard to understand but deep down I knew he was right, but that did not keep me from wishing that the owners would forget that they had left their horse with us. They always came for their horse and I would ride it for the last time and show them how well the horse responded to its training.
Virgil would let me go with him sometimes after he had worked hard on getting a vehicle to run. We would sit in the car or truck- in the front yard and he would rev the engine and ask me if I could hear whether it was missing out or not. He taught me how to listen to the engine and try to understand what it was trying to tell us. Whether it was getting enough gas or too much- He got as big a kick out of a hot rod that Dad did out of a quarter horse. So between the two of them they ruined me. I love hooves and wheels- none of which is a money maker more of a money taker.
Back to marking time by the cars that you have owned. When I dated Jim - he had a beautiful red Mercury Cyclone with white interior and had a 351 Cleveland engine. I loved that car even though it had electrical problems- when Jim traded it in for a Ford Pinto- I was crushed. I know that it was a lot cheaper to run- but --it was soooo coool. Jim has always been more practical than me. I wished we still had the Cyclone as there were not many of them made and they are collector’s item now. My first car was a Chevy Vega- then after Jim and I got married we bought our only brand new car- a black and silver 1978 Mercury Cougar XR7. Oh, I thought we had really done it. We have had several cars- and each one holds a special time in our lives. Maybe things have not changed all that much since the early years of our grandparents- I am sure they could have marked time by the different teams of horses, buggies, and wagons. Funny how different we think things are or are they?