Garrettsville – The last Garrettsville Cruise Night of the season was just peachy, thank you very much. Joe Leonard got to take his “new” fire engine out for several spins, with passengers and the ever-popular plush dalmatian on board. The band was keeping things lively, interrupted at intervals by the inimitable Jerry Kehoe announcing winners of various raffles–prizes from all over town. The crowd was sitting in chairs–shaded, if they were early…and lucky, strolling from vehicle to vehicle, catching up on the latest news, eating all things peach–peaches with ice cream, peach pie, peach pie with ice cream, peaches plain, peaches fancy…didn’t see any barbequed peaches, but I wouldn’t put it past anyone; I know that there is a peach salsa. Where does one go from there?
You can tell by the shine that the entrants in the car show LOVE their cars and tend them assiduously–polishing here, upholstering there, historical accuracy, ineffable “cool”, all on wheels. Fun!I can mostly relate to cars…and trucks…by remembering who I knew, once-upon-a-time, that owned any particular set of wheels.
For instance, we once owned a Model A truck, which we got from a little old lady and gentleman down the road (who probably bought it new). They were the oldest-looking people that I had ever seen up to that time and the most arthritically-gnarled. That truck was just a hoot to go to the fair in. We’d load bales of hay and cow feed ( We were 4-H ers) and the four of us kids in the back and head to town (Seatbelts? We don’t need no stinkin’ seatbelts!). Probably looked like the Kettle Family (from The Egg and I –book and movie) or maybe the Beverly Hilbillies; it was a hoot! It also worked well for Dad to drive around the far end of the herd of milk cows, spewing kids along the way to encourage the cattle–a shiftless lot–to head to the barn for milking
(They would have gone anyway, eventually, but they had their timetable and we had ours–ours was the trump hand.)
Louie, the neighbor, had a hankering for a new car(Cadillac, I think it was) and headed to town to get one. He went as he usually went just about anywhere, shirtless, barefoot, straight from the field. He told the fellow (not much of a salesman, as it turned out) in the showroom that he wanted to buy a car. The fellow looked him over and allowed as how Louie should probably go around back to the used car lot to look over what was available there. Louie might have been from the sticks, but he knew when he’d been “dissed”; he pulled a “”horse-choker” of a wad of bills from his pocket, slapped it downon the hood of whatever vehicle was handy and told the guy that he’d be off to another dealership where someone might work harder for his custom. I remember that car.
I remember that my aunts–there were three of them–owned a Ford (What year? What color? Not important, it was probably a Model A–black) that had a rumble seat. Who wouldn’t remember that?
I remember a blue Chevy. I remember that we always got Grandpa’s used Pontiac when he decided that he was going to get just one more car before he died (He was into new cars, having owned a dealership himself at one time). I remember that NOBODY had more than one car and kids seldom had cars at all, certainly not until they were seniors in high school.
I remember that trucks were WORK vehicles. They could haul cows or fertilizer or bales of hay or cement blocks, not ball teams or tailgate parties.
It’s fun just to wander through the rides on display, sort of a mnemonic road trip through stuff buried in the back of my memory.
The pie was good too.