Thursday, November 19, 2009


1960 Rambler American

Back when I first rode around in a 1960 Rambler, I didn’t think about getting married or having a family or even whether or not I’d get an education. I don’t know what I thought about, but it wasn’t those things.

The first time I rode in that Rambler M and I were spending time together in a different way then we had previously. We’d been friends for a couple of years but I had another boy friend. Now I didn’t. I remember he put his hand on my knee as he drove and we listened to his only 4 track tape, “Happy Trails” by Quick Silver Messenger Service.
I thought it was strange that he didn’t stroke or caress my knee, he just left his hand there, still. Now, I relish the memory.

The Rambler had a four track tape player in it. Four Track tape player technology had such a short life span that they were obsolete before I’d ever heard of one and people have forgotten all about them now. The eight track tape player is infamous, but this was a four track tape player. Even in 1970 I don’t think they were much available. But I remember that tape because we listened to it over and over again.

We both lived and worked at Multnomah Falls during the summer of 1971. It was the summer after my junior year and the summer after M’s graduation. The Rambler was our mode of transportation. We’d go 90 miles an hour down I-84 between Troutdale and Multnomah Falls. We were never pulled over. I guess the police just figured their radar was wrong, a Rambler couldn’t possibly be traveling that fast.

M still had the car when we married two years later. Then, it was our car. It broke down a lot. We often had to borrow cars. One reason we moved further into town was to be nearer the better bus service so M could ride the bus to work. We might still be living in that first depressing apartment that smelled like mold and dirty carpet, M and I usually need compelling reasons to move. Of course that would mean also that we’d never have had any children or been given acreage in Corbett, but you never know what the true catalyst is for the rest of your life. Maybe the Rambler was low on gas the night my oldest daughter was conceived? I don’t remember, so it could be we had sex instead of going out for dinner. Speaking of sex, the Rambler was the best car for making out. It was good too, since it was really the only car we ever really used for that purpose. Marriage tends to move that activity indoors. It had a bench front seat. That bench would lay completely flat. Cool huh? Couple that with dark country roads and well, we were too young to be out on our own.

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