Sunday, March 30, 2008


The topic for the 45th Carnival of Genealogy
Cars as stars!
I don't yet have many photos of family cars. I have a photo of my maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch, in a jeep, though it was property of the US Army.

I have a photo of my paternal grandfather, Melvin Newmark, standing by a car. Is it his? Does he have a job as a valet? What kind of car is it? I don't know the answers to any of these.

The writing snipped off at the top reads, in my grandmother's hand: Mel, June 1930. I'm thankful to her for several good photos of my grandfather when he was young. In 1930 she was 16 and he was 18.

My maternal great grandfather, Melvin Van Every, wrote to his daughter in January of 1925,
"The next time I go to El Paso I will go in the Buick and I generally get back the same day. We still have the original tires on it and it is always ‘rearing’ to go. I left the water in the radiator one night and it developed a small leak from freezing."
My paternal second great grandfather, Selig (Dudelsack) Feinstein was a shoer of horses from 1890-1900. And horses were necessary back then to pull carriages. "Car" is just an abbreviation for "Carriage," and was utilized prior to automobiles. Alas, I have no photographs of family in horse-drawn carriages.
And the gilded Car of Day,
His glowing Axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantick stream
-John Milton (1608-1674)
My own personal car history is relatively short.

The first car I ever drove was a hand-down from my father, a Toyota Cressida. It met its end one morning turning left out of a residential neighborhood onto a busy street. There were some bushes that blocked the view of oncoming traffic, and rain deadened some sound, so I didn't hear the fire engine's siren. No one was injured, except the car.

Then I bought a used 1991 black Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. It had an electronic dashboard, and shortly after purchase, the wiring went funky, and most of the time I had no idea how much gas I had, or how fast I was going. The first isn't a problem - as long as one gets in the habit of just filling up once a week. The second can be an issue. The car passed the required state inspections though when I renewed plates. I have no idea how the Oldsmobile met its end, as I was actually able to find someone to buy it from me when I was ready to buy my first new car. (Except for its dashboard issue, it still drove well.)

My first new car was a black 1999 Honda Civic. I only have one photograph of it, taken in 2003.

Once again, no one injured but the car. (And this time, luckily for my insurance, the fault was clearly on the other driver)

My current car is a 2003 Honda Civic. And in August, G-d willing, I will own it.

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