My Brother Buddy and the Canary

Cars. I grew up with a “car guy” brother. His name was Buddy, and he was my ticket into transportation or in teen terminology, independence, and freedom. Looking back, he was a car geek or in 1960s lingo, a “grease monkey.” Today he would likely be called a “car enthusiast.”

Buddy was my older brother by 2 years so the journey to my first car was well oiled. He had tested and tried everything with a motor so when my first car came, it was less an arrival and more of an acceptance. While I am not quite sure when and how the 1966 canary yellow Pontiac Bonneville convertible showed up on the street beside our house, I slid behind the steering wheel and began my first car driving experience.

As indicated by the picture, it was long, large, and loud. I don’t remember when we got the “canary,” but my memories were more fear than freedom when I drove it. One story, however, lingers, . . . lingers being the operative word.

Honestly, I can’t remember if this story happened to Buddy or me, but I distinctly remember “someone” in our family taking their driving test and while doing the parallel parking part of the test, that long, large, and loud Bonneville actually got caught on the “pipe” that acted as a curb between the parked cars on the driver’s test site. One of us, and this is where it seems almost impossible it was either of us because I distinctly remember passing my test the first time and yet Buddy was by far the best driver in our family. However, one of us backed up on the edge of that pipe and had to end up using the car jack to lift the car off that metal pipe.

Can you imagine the embarrassment of having the Kentucky state police officer get out of the car and walk back to the testing site building to inform the next person waiting to test that there would be a delay? I can’t imagine that . . . so why do I seem to remember it so well? Could it possibly have been me?

Well, that is the problem with writing about our memories. We remember things we have conveniently forgotten. Maybe I passed my test the second time I took it?