Susann’s First Car

My mother bought her first car, a model T I think, when she was 19 in her first year of teaching, breaking every rule in her conservative Mennonite family’s rulebook. This did not phase my dad who cycled to visit on Sundays, and stayed for vaspa, as was the custom. She drove him home after with his bicycle in the rumble seat. She bought every car they ever owned with a passion for Studebakers as they were of Packard lineage, the last car her father bought, but had to put up on blocks because it was too big and heavy to be a dirty thirties Bennett buggy.

She had this picture silk-screened onto white t-shirts. She gave one to each of her children and grandchildren.

One of her proudest moments was buying an Oldsmobile on her credit card for the air miles, the Steinbach salesman’s eyes bugging out. She paid the $23,000 charge off in cash within 3o days. She could do this because mum and dad had a deal. She would buy the cars and he would pay for their maintenance, while she saved for the next one.

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