In the fifties Dad worked in automobile sales, as a Manager of the New and Used Car Department for an Oldsmobile dealership in Rochester, New York. He taught my brother and I the names of all the trucks and automobiles.
Today, I can’t tell you the names of all the new vehicles on the road.
On long drives with our parents, my brother Vince and I would ride in the back seat and guess the names of the oncoming cars on the highway.
I remember when I was a teenager he rode with us after we received our driver’s permits. Before driving out on the highway, we’d drive back and forth in our driveway. When we learned the feel of the brake and accelerator, he’d let us drive on the highway. After passing our driving tests, we were trusted with the family car. It was a 1955 Super 88 Holiday Oldsmobile hardtop. They were known for their “Rocket” Engines in the mid 50’s, their styled taillights, wrap around front and rear windows and tear drop shaped rear fenders. I loved the sound it made when I shifted in forward gear and took off.
We’d volunteer to run errands for mom and dad just so we could drive the car.
In my senior year of high school I worked part time at Grant’s Five and Dime store. I drove myself to work one weekend. It was about 15 miles away. On my way home the car got a flat tire. I remembered what my dad instructed me to do. I was so proud of myself, I changed the flat tire.
Today it’s much easier to do. Just call on your cell phone and ask someone to come help you.
1999 was the 50th Golden Anniversary of the last 88 Oldsmobile manufactured. They just don’t make them like that anymore.
— Louise Simpson