Monday, July 2, 2012

what poodles skirts and 900 old cars mean to me.

sometimes I joke that I grew up in the 1950's as well as the 1980's, on account of my dad being the president of the redwood empire classic chevy club.  the club met once a month at Round Table Pizza, which was the big deal dining opportunity.  they had a salad bar there.  and yes, that's the kind of kid that i was.  i was more excited about the glamourous salad bar than the pizza.

on weekends i donned a red felt poodle skirt held up by the most boisterous petticoat my mama could find and a high ponytail for the 'chevy runs', driving all over california in a long line of sometimes breaking down classic cars, turning people's heads.  In parades my sisters and I wore roller skates and skated around the car with food trays.  my dad had us convinced that his 1956 chevy's antenna only picked up the oldies station.

naturally, there was no air conditioning.  this wasn't ever really an issue in sonoma county, land of the mild.  it was more of an issue on long trips, like when we drove down to flagstaff arizona one august for a convention in my dad's 1956 red and white bel air 9-passenger wagon.  let's see, there was dad, amy, abbie, our french exchange student marie-claude, naomi, and me.  that only made for two people per bench seat--practical luxury.  until you take into account that naomi and i, being the youngest, were always relegated to the back third seat.  the one with no windows and interestingly, no carpet on the red painted metal floor.  this was the trip where i first saw a sky full of summer lightning (astounding!).   this was the trip where i first learned the temperature could break one hundred (and beyond!  all the way to 125 through the appropriately named death valley).  and this was the trip where i learned you'd better damn well pick up your feet and sit indian style (oh wait, that's not pc anymore, right?  criss cross apple sauce?), if you didn't want to get any more car burns on your eight year old spider legs.  that counted for the sides of the car too,  where you'd better not let the probable interior temperature of 150 degrees lull you into a sweaty sleep, lest you accidentally slide up against the unopenable window and sizzling metal wheel well.  and by the way, complaints?  not allowed.

clearly, the chevy club functions were a huge part of my childhood, so i was happy to be home for my dad's annual extravaganza, in which 900 plus classic cars overtook downtown santa rosa.  and to share the madness with jade.

click on the link below to see the complete flickr set.