Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Friday, May 14, 2010

Buggy Bios

In the forthcoming biographical sketches, besides the usual life events that people wish to share, I'm asking everyone to send in their responses to one special multi-part question.

It is a question that reaches across time. I tried to find a question that would have little to do with your jobs, whether you had kids or pets or where you lived. Of course, life decisions will come into play in your answers, but I wanted to find a question to which we all could relate, which mixes in likes and dislikes, history and journeys, choices and practical events.

The question I will be asking everyone to answer is this one:

"What was the make and year of the first vehicle that was all yours, and what kind/year is your present one?"

People are answering this question with some elaborations, so to show you how large a canvas you may use to paint your own pictures, I'm sharing some examples, below.

This topic has a sense of fun & the past within it, and something we all have shared. Not being a car person myself, even though I am a guy, I know there is no stereotyping people regarding their interests in cars and other vehicles. People pick what cars they have owned for a variety of reasons.

Below are three people's answers. All will be tied to these folks' future bios posted here.

Here are the three sample answers to the above vehicle question, to serve as models of what I'm getting at with this one. Since it only seems fair that I reveal my own story as a example, see if you can guess the one that is mine.

Person #1.

"My first car, purchased in my junior year of college, was a lemon yellow 1960 VW Beetle Covertible. My current car is a 1995 Ford Escort wagon--perfect for throwing my kayaks on top and gear inside with no worries about scratching or damage; it still runs great, and I get better gas mileage than many late model hybrids. Actually, my very first car was one my brother and I bought when we were around 13 or 14--a 1928 Model A Ford Coupe--but we only got it up and running a few times--and of course, couldn't really drive it around town."

Person #2.

"I got my first car from my parents, a gift sometime during the summer of 1965, after I graduated from MacArthur. It was, as I remember, a 1960 Plymouth, gray, with those pointed fins on it. Must have been a Sport Fury. I went to SIU-C a few weeks after getting it, and never really drove it much. You couldn't have cars at SIU, as a freshman, so I left it behind. I went home once during the fall of 1965, on a break, and discovered my middle brother had totaled it. I'm glad he didn't kill himself, of course, but he never said he was sorry and never replaced it. Nine years later, in California, I bought my own first car, an orange Datsun pickup truck, about a 1971. My car right now is a 2006 black Chevy HHR, I bought in 2009, because I like the 1940s look of it. But having always bought and owned Datsuns, Nissans, and Subaru trucks and station wagons, I don't know if this HHR was a good move, especially in the winter. I like the storage, space, excellent mileage, and especially the Art Deco feel, but, the rotors are terribly thin, and you can hardly see out of the windows, due to the framing."

Person #3.

"What was my first car? It's times like these that I really miss my Dad. He bought me that car and he would have been able to tell me chapter and verse about it. All I remember is that it was a 1960 blue/green Olds 4-Dr and that my Dad signed it over to [my future husband] before we got married. I always wondered why he did that. Was it some sort of dowery? I'm sorry I never asked him while I could. Perhaps in the 60s that didn't seem as odd as it does today. We really have come a long way, baby. My current car is a 2007 Toyota 4-Runner Limited. While I love 4 Runners in general (I've had 3), I hate this particular car for a variety of reasons. If I hadn't accidentally ripped the door off my 2002 4-Runner, I wouldn't even have it. FYI - if you leave your receipt in the gas pump, do not leave your car running and your door open when you get out to retrieve it - or at least make sure your car really is in park. To my husband's credit, he didn't kill me. Not a day goes by that I don't regret ruining that car."

If you guessed the middle paragraph was my story, you were right. Persons #1 and #3 will be identified soon, in bios posted this weekend. Watch for them.

So, get ready to share yours, if you will, for the reunion blog and booklet.

If you are a graduate from the Class of 1965, MacArthur High School, Decatur, Illinois, I'm collecting all the bios (including the question above) for the booklet on everyone, to be distributed at the 2011 reunion and beyond. Get a head start now, and please submit your three paragraph bio sketch to me via using this safe contact form here. Everyone is interested in what you've done, no matter what it is because all of our realities and stories have been our own.

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