Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cindy's Firebird Story...

I was talking to Cindy today about blogging, and we talked about mine and hers and of course, the topic of cars was at the center of most of the conversation, and she told me this on the phone (but I asked her to email it to me to share with all of you)

Here's the story...

I had the kind of father that some people only dream of. His name was James Pollard and he was a man who truly took care of his family and had pride in his work as general contractor. He actually built his first home at the age of 17. His parents had to sign the contract with the buyers because my dad was underage and not permitted to do so. Fast forward several years.

My 16th birthday was on a Saturday in 1970 and I had asked my dad for a car. I had been eyeing a Firebird the night before in Pontiac’s showroom window and of course, I begged for it. Instead, my dad decided that I should have a brand-new Cadillac. I was mortified, but I went with him to the dealership. Hey, at least I’d have wheels! (By the way, my mom always stayed out of those kinds of decisions.)

So, on that sunny afternoon in January, we drove straight to the Cadillac dealership not far from our home in Glendale, California. We were looking at the cars on the lot when all of a sudden, I spotted a 1967 Firebird. It was a trade-in that was in primo condition--gold with a black vinyl top and black interior with only 3,000 miles on it. I could tell that it had my name written all over it.

Needless to say, my dad wrote a check and the car was mine! I spent the next 8 months driving it to school and most importantly, to the beach in summer. I used to wash and wax it every week. Then, in August, I had to go out of town for a couple of days to a camp with an Exchange Student we had staying with us from Japan.

When I got home, it was dark and I immediately went to the garage to see my car. But, it was not there. Before panic set in, my dad who had a big smile on his face, announced that he had a surprise. He had always felt bad about not buying me a brand-new car for my birthday. So, while I was out of town those 2 days, he got me a different car. He was so happy that he would make his teenage daughter thrilled.

But, Folks, here’s the punchline. He bought me a brand-new Toyota Corolla--white with red interior. I started to cry. My dad thought it was tears of joy. However, it was tears of sadness. He was so proud because he thought I would really like it, so I never told him how disappointed I was.

How do I look at it all now? Oh gosh, I think I never would have parted with that Firebird--ever. But, my father passed away over 20 years ago. I remember seeing the pride in his eyes that night in 1970 and it was definitely more important than the piece of metal in front of our house. What did I learn from that experience? If I ever go out of town, I take my car keys with me! And more than that, I learned that we should always appreciate those we love. Time is so fleeting.

By the way, Cindy has given out a lot of blogging advice:

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