It happened quite by accident I can assure you, which is a down right shame. It was one of those times when you’re reminded of something subtle, but something that has faded into history like a Hula hoop.
I’m not sure why it’s so easy to get distracted and betrayed by technology and creature comforts. Then again, most of us overestimate the strength of our fallen flesh.
When I was a boy in the sixties and seventies, life was different in a lot of ways, but just one of those differences in day to day life was automobiles.
Cruising was still en vogue. People were still smitten by the idea of a decent car that could take you from point A to point B. Sometimes it was like Chuck Berry said, “With no particular place to go.”
We get in our vehicles now-a-days and they fire right up with no special skills needed. That wasn’t the case back when most cars were half a block long and burned oil like gas and leaked it like a sieve.
Each car or truck was different. One you’d have to pump the gas peddle like you were keeping time to “Dueling Banjos”. If you pumped other ones more than twice the carburetor would flood and you’d be stuck.
I even learned from watching how to talk to a vehicle to entice it to start. My dad and brothers would turn the key, brows pinched, a stern look required. While they were pumping the peddle they’d talk to the vehicle, “C’mon – c’mon – c’mon!” With each repeated “C’mon”, their voice would raise an octave.
If and when that old engine would fire yet again it was a small victory. You could see the satisfaction on their faces.The windows in those days, in majority, were hand cranks and air conditioning was rare. We had a/c in a Plymouth Fury once, but it worked for like a day. And when it did work any hill or warm day was more than the old Mopar could bear.
We had priorities then that most people don’t have to contemplate anymore. It was Arizona and no air conditioning. We drove with the windows down and we didn’t worry a whole lot about our hair getting messed up. If I was riding instead of hoofing, it was all good.
It’s cooling off in Arizona this time of year, especially at nights. It still heats up pretty good in the day yet.
Our garage was holding heat from the day before. I didn’t want my protein bar to melt before I got to it so I hit all the electrical switches in my truck and rolled down the front and back windows to cool the cab off. I was engulfed by a beautiful fall morning. The sounds and smell of the outside were all around me – just like when I was a kid.
Some of the greatest gifts we have we lock out of our lives because of the minor gifts we’ve come to define our lives by… and that’s a down right shame.