Even with a photograph in hand, I can’t tell you much about this car I helped to wash so many times. I never knew the make or model, and todayI’m not even certain of the color.
On the other hand, I remember the back seat perfectly well. My world-on-wheels came furnished with a red plaid wool stadium blanket, a plastic solitaire game with red and blue pegs, and a doll suitcase filled with crayolas and colored tablets, paper dolls, and a pile of Golden Books. Whether it was a jaunt over to the A&W for root beer floats, an evening at the drive-in movies, or a trip to my grandparents’ house, the back seat was mine. It was my castle, my refuge, my tiny bit of homestead to do with as I pleased.
On longer trips, tiring of books and paper dolls, I’d stretch out on the seat and pretend to sleep, while the low murmurings of my mother and father tucked a conversational blanket around me. Sometimes I drifted into sleep, secure against my pillows, enjoying the sense of movement and the soft hum of tires on concrete.