ODE TO AUTOMOBILES

Oh Lawrence’s Veteran Supply stick shift van

How grown up I felt,
Delivering pizza supplies and Solo cups and pizza sauce
To places all over the city.
Our last stop Gino’s in Roseland
Was the best – always a taste before departure.
And thanks to Cousin Lawrence for teaching me to drive.

Oh 55 Chevy of Fr. Walsh,

You were a beauty and gave me the chance,
To run an errand with you.
Oops!
Got a little too close to that other car in the parking lot downtown –
Looks like you were formally baptized by Tony.

Oh Dad’s 55 Chevy two-door,

You too were a beauty,
And you took me for my first driver’s license-
But with no insurance and only one car,
I was a sad teenager
With nothing to drive.

Oh EC’s 4 in the floor Chevy Hot Rod

EC was the coolest at the hot dog stand and liquor store,
And we got along quite well as he was teaching me to be cool.
How cool he made me feel,
Driving his hot rod on the East Side.

Oh Mr. Jacobs’ Jaguar

What excitement for my brother and me,
To use the Jaguar to drop off things at IIT.
But rain became a challenge,
And turning the windshield wipers on
Made for anxious moments on the way back.

Oh Hot Rod souped-up car (too hot to handle)

The fraternity dance at Illinois Beach Lodge,
Was so anticipated with date and car lined up.
Vroom Vroom Vroom Vroom!
Shouldn’t be done in the parking lot
With great speed.
With a tow bar in place the following day
Taking the blown rods and chassis to the owner’s mechanic.

Uncle Tom’s Red Chevy

The red chevy with black interior,
Was the coolest car to be driving to Ravinia.
The date wasn’t memorable,
Nor the performance that night.
Just fond memories,
Of a car so right.

Dad’s New Chevy Bel Air

The blue 4-door
Was Dad’s first new car
But he didn’t drive it very much
(he got sick right away)
And I smashed it up anyway
(he wouldn’t have been happy).

Carl’s Green Plymouth 4-door

Though not much to look at,
It helped us a lot
When our 57 Chevy
Was in the shop.

The 57 Chevy

Our first car purchase together,
Was a good one indeed.
Though it burned a little oil
(the ten quart oil can in the trunk was security).
It was a good $250 investment
Which ran for two years.
The burning driver side floor board,
Was easy to fix.
(Try to find asbestos backed sheet metal at Home Depot today!)

Joe’s Used Car “Gems”

It started out with the brown Dodge sedan,
Which after two days spewed smoke as it ran!
Oh, Joe, what is wrong?
It’ll be OK – just have to put some gunk in the engine.
Good bye.
But Joe, next day still the same after 20 miles?
What’s this I found later in the glove compartment?
Be darned’ – owner’s registration in glove compartment.
How many miles did the Dodge have when you traded it in?
Joe: guess what?
You turned the odometer back – bad, bad, boy!
OK,  give me the car back.
How about this two-door Chevy
(my mechanics car)?
OK, you got a deal
(the Chevy gave good service for a year or so).
Luck was with us.

The VW used Beetle

The dealer saw us coming,
They knew it was a junk!
Before Ralph Nader
No one was protected.
The major repair bills,
Happened every 12 months.
And frostbite was common
Between December and March.

Carl’s VW Camper Van

What a pleasure to us,
Driving to Prairie Du Chien.
Uphill at 45
And downhill at 58;
Also no heater,
But we loved that car so.
Hated to sell it,
But it was ready to go.

The Used Buick Wagon

The car was an eye sore,
The owner said car washes done it in.
But we bought it anyway,
A mistake that I made.

The Brown Dodge Station Wagon

So proud of our new car,
Until it stalled at many corners.
Carburetor was a problem
Which was never really solved.
But it did hold a lot
Including a sofa and two chairs
In a single trip.

Tom’s Beat Up Chevy Wagon

As second cars go,
It served its purpose
Though no air conditioning
And nothing to look at
It was used in demolition derby
In the NSCDS parking lot.

The New Buick Wagon

The new car smell,
Was a pleasure at first.
But all mechanical things,
Eventually break down.
The trip down to Georgia,
With a blown head gasket in Indiana,
Was saved by Uncle Jimmy
With the repair work the next day in Columbus.

The Infamous Audi

What a sucker again!
But what a cool, impressive machine?
Again, buyer beware –
A new gas tank for an old Audi
(discovered when getting an estimate for new exhaust system)
Was quite a surprise!
But not as surprising as its catching on fire on Michigan Avenue.
Good bye and good riddance.

The Olds Cutlass

Not a brown beauty,
Though the rust spots were somewhat concealed,
It ran like a charm.
Its cassette player was my favorite,
Almost worn out with the Brandenburg concertos.
John’s first driver’s license,
Gave the Olds much to think about
Though denial was its choice.
But at the right time,
John drove it to California
And it served him well
for quite some time.

The Pontiac 6000

What a fast car it was,
It gave good service till the end
When one of the boyfriends
Finished it off.

Oh NO! – The Ford Explorer SUV 4WD

What a truck – never intended as an everyday vehicle
And flip overs at the very beginning
Were denied by Henry’s lemmings.
It drove like a truck and gave one that macho feeling,
Until one had to stop – better be timid and think far ahead!
With poor gas mileage and a noisy interior,
We were glad its tires blew up
When the garage caught fire
And caused its demise.

Thank You Honda Motor Corporation

With three Accords
And three Odyssey Vans –
A pleasure all of them!
No matched pistons and cylinders required
Their machining was superb
At the very beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to ODE TO AUTOMOBILES

  1. Christina says:

    Fabulous! What a word picture you’ve painted.

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