When I was about six, my mom started taking me to the movie every summer Wednesday night. It was what they called "bank night." You put part of your ticket stub into a box and kept the other half, and at intermission, they pulled several numbers to distribute prizes and money to the lucky winners.
We watched the movie, but we kept an eye on the time for intermission, as it was often more exciting than the westerns and horse operas they showed. One particular hot summer night, my mom had fallen asleep. I tried to wake her just as the ticket selection began, but she wouldn't budge. They called several stub numbers and those people won dishes or small gift certificates. Finally they got to the big prize......$400 cash. That was a huge sum in 1946! They called the number three times and I fished the stub out of mom's pocket just in time to scream from the balcony...."We're here!" That woke mom up and as soon as she got out of the fog she was in, she ran down to the stage to receive her cash. I was a hero that night!
Jeff, at the WVSR mentioned something today that sent my memory reeling into the distant past. Do you remember when children used to ride in the window ledge above the back seat of cars? As a very young child, I used to love riding up there, warmed by the sun on the window. Being in motion always made me a little carsick, so climbing into the warm window ledge put me to sleep, and I could tolerate the ride without getting sick. I never could figure out why it made my mom mad for me to sleep in the car. She and my dad loved to go for rides on Sunday afternoons and they would think nothing of driving 100 miles before heading back home. Of course those were the days of 20 cents per gallon gasoline (or less). Mom thought I should be taking in the sights, but I had almost no interest in seeing crumbling barns and farm animals. Small towns and cities held my interest a little bit, but they were few and far between on the routes my parents selected.
Now if my parents had a car old enough to have a rumble seat - I might have enjoyed the ride. I envied people who got to ride in them, although by the time I remember riding in cars, those with rumble seats were ancient relics of a former time. I always thought it would be great fun to ride in a car's rumble seat while my parents were inside the car. I saw it as a measure of independence, I think, which is ludicrous when you think of it, but at the time, it made perfect sense to this girl of seven. Maybe the love of a rumble seat was what also caused me to love convertibles. We never owned one; my parents thought they were too flimsy; cold in the winter, easy to break into and dangerous with the top down. I scoffed at that opinion and vowed to own one as soon as possible. I dated guys with convertibles no matter what they looked like, just to get to ride in one. (Should I admit to having been that shallow?)
By the time I could afford a convertible, we had children and decided not to get one. The next time I could have had one, I started my business - and it is rather hard to deliver flowers in a convertible - so I opted for a minivan, which was perfect for it. Now 20 years later, I am still driving a minivan (my 4th one) and I'm still wishing I could have a convertible. Maybe I'll get one for my 70th birthday. That's only 3 years away. Can't you see me driving down the highway with an Isadora Duncan scarf flying behind me?