Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Joy Rides in the Backfields

My father was a funeral director and ever so often in the summertime he'd drive a big, black transport-of-coffins type van home for lunch. Back then the vans were not sleek and shiny and full of bells and whistles like they are today. This was more the type of a haunting getaway car for the gangsters in a "Godfather" type film. It didn't matter to us. It made the vehicle all the more intriguing so while my father was eating lunch my cousins and I would take the van for a ride-a marvelous joy ride amongst the clover and hay. Of course we told him we'd be careful; that we'd be right back but once we made it over the rickety bridge spanning Sucker Creek and then up the hill-it was a straight shot to those backfields. I can't remember how old we were. I don't think that old for my mother had a fit. (My father was always the one we'd go to first.)

Once we were on that straightaway the fun began. Down came the windows as we stepped on the gas; our hair flying in the breeze as we flew over one bump and then another; turning in circles; dodging trees and shrubs and any little creatures that might have been curious. We never wore seat belts. No one did back then. Our heads would hit the top of the van but we never felt a thing. We were free spirits. Nothing else mattered until zipping around that raceway we saw my father in the distance flagging us in. Lunchtime was over and so was our joy ride in the backfields-until the next time.


  1. Wow, how that brought back memories. Ours wasn't a van but a 1953 Plymouth. I grew up with cousins that lived with us. About seven or so would jump in the car and take a ride thru the woods. The roads were not straight and we had so much fun. I remember driving when I was eleven or twelve, we all took turns of course, you could hardly see over the steering wheel. By the time you were sixteen, you knew how to drive. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    1. Such fun-just flying along with no cares in the world! Thank you for sharing too, Sheila!