Thursday, June 7, 2007

A car named "Oswald"

All through my childhood we had an old car named "Oswald." It was a 1932 Model AB Ford that had been given to my parents in 1940 as a wedding gift from Aunt May, the original owner. There are many stories about Oswald. Recently I have written about an incident involving Oswald in the late 1940's: "An old car in Danvers Square" [published June 7, 2007, in the Danvers Herald; see previous post.]

My parents continued to drive Oswald for many years. It was registered up through 1955, and then sat in a barn with its 1955 Massachusetts license plates for additional years. In the early 1960's I practiced driving Oswald in a cow pasture. My father said that if I could learn to drive Oswald, I could drive anything!

In the late 1960's, when the barn was about to be demolished, the fate of Oswald was uncertain. I wanted to save Oswald, and thought I could use it as a second car in Rockland County, New York, where my husband and I were then living. My father loaded the old car onto a trailer and hauled it to NY for me. (He said it only fell off once.) My husband did some repair work and then we tried in 1969 to register the car in NY, but could never get the required paperwork. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts had not retained records as far back as 1955, so there was no official proof that this car existed! Ridiculous! It had been in the family since 1932! A wonderful old car.


Kris said...

Hi Sandy,
I'm glad you're writing for the Danvers Herald and at this blog. I grew up in Danvers, as did my Dad. I've always had a special attachment to the town, and I live here now with my three kids. (although we're planning to move)

Just wanted you to know I enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Your story about the car was nice. Having lived there myself, I also remember going to purchase shoes at Stride-Rite, riding the pony, and shopping down town with my parents.
One day, in front of John's (an early version of 7-11), my mother had parked her Buick Riviera, and left my younger brother and I in the car. While sitting there, a car came from behind and hit the Buick. It slammed my head into the windshield, and my brother's into the back of the front seat. We both had split lips. My mother came out furious, let the guy have for not watching what he was doing.
Another time, she blew through a red light at a Rt 62 intersection, yelling out "No brakes, no brakes" as a cop watched in disbelief. She really had no brakes, the car was old, and the cop gave us a free pass after mom stopped and walked us home.
My favorite story? The winter of 1978. I had just bought my first new car, and we were on our way home from Boston where my dad worked. As the car was in my possesion for only a few hours, my brother was following in our 67 Caprice. This was about 4:00pm,and the storm had been going strong since 10:00am. The roads were treacherous. At Route 1 just outside Everett, the Caprice died. We pushed it off to the side as much as we could, and all 3 of us got into my new Toyota and crawled the rest of the was to Danvers.
We never saw the Caprice again. Someone told us that many cars were lost or demolished by snow plows. Because marshall law was called the next day,no one could drive on public roads for the next week. Nonetheless, my trusty Toyota and I went everywhere as soon as the roads were clear, and though I totalled it a few months later, I thought it was one of the most reliable cars ever built.

Lajuana said...

Great work.