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Tire on trunk a surprising memory flashback

March 18, 2012
Messenger News

No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

It's just not right, that's what it's not, to flash so far back into the past, but that's what happened last week when I stopped at Shimkat's service bay to set up an oil change on my van.

So, I'm walking in and immediately notice an old car hooked up to a hose. I say old car, not antique, because it's newer than I am, and I'm not feeling antique these days. Some days, yes, but these days, no.

My figuring mind takes over, and I figure the hose is there to either fill the muffler with sawdust or suck the fumes out of the building. And while I'm figuring that out, I'm confused about the spare tire smack dab in the center of the trunk.

Not inside the trunk, but part of the outside, almost like a badge slapped onto the metal.

Then my remembering mind grabs hold, and I'm seeing my friend's Riviera with the tire in the middle of the trunk hood.

Is that what you call the trunk cover, a trunk hood? I'm no good with cars, so it certainly surprised me that her Riviera jumped into my head.

"Whose car is that?" I ask.

"It belongs to the dealership."

"What do you do with it?" I inquire. Inquiring minds like to know. "Do people get to drive that when their car is in for repair?"


At least he didn't snort. He looked at me like I had two heads just asking the question.

Still, what I really wanted to know was how the Riviera had such a huge fin. I mean a FIN. The only car I remember with fins that big belonged to an old boyfriend, and he called it "the hemi."

OK, so I have no idea how someone who thought herself to be half-way intelligent could not know so much stuff, but among the stuff I did not know was hemi wasn't the car, it was the engine. I just liked the car because it was so powerful.

And maybe he didn't consider himself my boyfriend. We dated a lot, but I never asked.

Oh, the stuff that runs through your mind when confronted with an unexpected reality.

The car, by the way, was not a Riviera, but a 1959 Plymouth Fury, two-tone - black bottom, red top, stylized chrome strip front to back. A gorgeous car, even with a hose stuffed up its behind.

And though I know it's not a loaner, I am wondering what it would take to get a ride in that big-finned beauty. It belongs in a parade, and I could throw candy from the front window with one hand while waving majestically with the other. Then, the driver could mysteriously choke on an errant candy chunk lobbed in the wrong direction, and I'd jump behind the wheel to save what could be a horrible, horrible accident.

After that, they'd have to let me drive. Wouldn't they? That would just be fair.

So long friends, until the next ti me when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson is retired as lifestyle editor of The Messenger. She may be reached at



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