The sum of my transportation existence from 1963 – 1970 : rollers skates, skipping to and from school, and an aqua-colored Ford station wagon.
When I turned 4, I got roller skates: the metal kind that you tightened (screwed) onto your shoe with a “key”
I roller-skated every day. I remember being upset about snow because it disrupted my skating (thank-goodness for sledding as a semi-reasonable alternative). I remember my first waking thoughts were being excited to grab my skates and roll down the bumpy sidewalk outside our house. I thought about it when I wasn’t doing it, I felt free when I was and my little brother Joe often walked alongside me. I still have major scars on my knees from falling down, but I got back up. And kept skating.
Skating was flying. One small effort and weeeeee…..
I was always losing that darn key, though.
I skipped to school. Then I skipped home.
Skipping was my transportation mode of choice when I couldn’t be rolling on my metal skates. Skipping is the next best thing to flying. If theye ever do come up with a contraption to help us all fly like birds, I bet the take-off will involve skipping, because it is, really, at its’ core, a short flight.
I was a fabulous skipper. I skipped the 4 blocks to school and the 4 blocks back, every single day – for 5 school years.
Almost unfathomable to imagine in this day and age is the fact that I was never once delivered to school by car, nor picked up that way. My mom walked me to Kindergarten my first day and was there to accompany me home, that first day only. I walked to school each morning that first year with my cousin, Diana (who was in the 5th grade), but I skipped home alone. And I sang the whole way – that is why you see musical notes on my path. From Wallace Elementary in Des Moines, Iowa to my house at 1723 York Street.
I skipped to and from my school, rain or shine, snow and even sleet. Kindergarten, first, second, third and fourth grades. Five years of skipping and singing. And roller skating when I got home…IF I could find that darn key!
My dad’s pride and joy. He bought us a brand new 1967 aqua-colored Ford Country Squire Station Wagon and it was a beauty.
It was aqua – how divine is that? Not blue, not teal – aqua! The back door opened out, which was an amazing development in station wagons. And there were 2 fold up seats facing each other, so wonderful for after-church girl talks with my best friend, Debbie.
That car was a ministry car, for sure! We picked up 2 other families for church in that thing. The Rogers family: Don and Irene and their 2 young children Timmy and Laurie (and sometime Irene’s teen daughters from her first marriage, Brenda and Sharon), and the whole Sable clan, Evelyn and her 5 kids (and occasionally her husband) along with my parents and their 5 kids. I’d say that car averaged about 17 people to and from the Highland Park Church of God in those days. There were no car seats but we probably could’ve rolled 20 times before any of would have been dislodged!
Above: This is not the right color, but the shape of it and the direction I often saw of it as I skipped in to the house from school – this is it.
I recall coming home one day, and there it was, in the driveway. We took her for an introduction spin in the early evening (late spring, I think) and picked up my Grandpa Baker to show him. Never before or after was I in a vehicle with him. He and my dad looked under the hood and Grandpa approved. :)
It was warm out, during this first ride in our fabulous new station wagon – the windows were down and the breeze flew through my hair as if I were in flight – and that is an experience I still love to replicate to this day.