Our mom was locally famous for driving this rig everywhere. Friends would say, “I saw your mom on Center Street the other day…”, so we were never exactly incognito when she took us to the rink or dance class. The boys begged her to drop them off a block away from school so their friends wouldn’t see their mom’s “cool ride.” She’d drive them to concerts before they could drive, and would just find a parking spot nearby and relax in the back until they were ready to leave (usually past 2 am, but she never complained).
When mom and I started making costumes, we’d regularly have to drive into downtown Dallas to Dazian’s Dance Supply on Commerce. I’d usually drive, but one week we needed to get supplies and my car was in the shop. I groaned when she said she’d drive (yes, the camper), so we lumbered down the “toll road” 30 miles into town. Parking was always a little dicey in “the canyon” but normally you could at least find a spot in the public lot a couple of blocks away from the old store. Even in the car it usually took a couple of trips up the one-way street past Dazian’s while a sharp-eyed passenger kept a lookout for a spot, but parallel parking was scarce since they put in a gym and boxing club next door to Dazian’s (talk about an odd retail mix…). After a couple of loops looking for lot parking, we came past the store just as someone was pulling away from the parallel spot right in front. Mom says, “I can do that!” And proceeded to put her blinker on and maneuver the camper ahead of the spot for her first zig at zagging into that spot.
It was a beautiful thing to see! She did a perfect 3-point parking job and had that thing parallel parked before I could say, “are you crazy?” As we got out and stepped up onto the sidewalk we heard cheering and looked up to see several pumped up guys standing in the window of the gym yelling “way to go, grandma!!!”.
So many of our family stories revolve around this beast…. and its sister, the Great White – an even bigger white Ford with the cab-over camper that made every corner into a carnival ride. It’s a miracle we survived in these contraptions! What good memories….thanks for letting me reminisce.