WE GO TO LA GRANGE
WE GO TO LA GRANGE
By Nettie Hallam Steinbeigle
After Pa (best mechanic in the world) finished working on the car and taken his bath (and dancing thru the house in his shorts) he said, “Come on everybody we are going shopping in LaGrange.” We all piled in the car; three kids, grandma, Pa and I. The dog, Tippee, and Junesy Poo (cat) tried to squeeze in too but we told Tippee he had to stay home and take care of the house and Junsey. Tippee sat down and Junsey sat between his legs and they looked at us with sad eyes. Watched us drive out of the drive way.
The car was a 1924 Chevy. The hood had a hinge down the middle and you lifted up both sides to work on the engine. We started off everybody singing and in a jolly mood. Kids looking forward to going to the five and dime store. It really was a five and dime, you could buy things for a dime or nickel. We usually gave them a quarter; sometimes grandma would add a dime or fifteen cents. Ray usually bought a model airplane kit and comic book. Don just bought comic books. Iris would buy a book and a toy or clothes for a doll or a cut out doll with clothes.
We were driving along merrily when all of a sudden the car stopped and refused to move. “O.K. everybody out and push,” says Pa. Out we got and start pushing. Pa steering the car. After about a mile of pushing and Pa’s French words the car sighed and seemed to say, “I guess I might as well start they are not going to let me rest.” We climbed back in the car and sat silently with fingers crossed until we got to La Grange.
Pa let us out of the car. He went to the garage to see if he could find out the trouble. After two or three hours of shopping Pa said, “Are you ready to go home?” Everyone said “Yes,” with fingers crossed behind our backs. We get in the car, it jerked, stopped, started, jerked some more all thru town until we hit the highway heading for home. Then the car started purring like a kitten. The closer we got home the better it ran, until we felt like we were flying, and looked it too – both sides of the hood came loose and were flapping in the wind. That broke the silence and everyone started laughing and singing again. I broke out my coconut bon bons (my favorite). The kids took out their candy bars and we flew all the way home and when we drove in the yard, stopped the car, the dog and cat were happy to see us.
After we were in the house awhile we heard a noise; looked out the window and the front door of the car had fallen off. Ah happy days!