Watching the fireworks last week called to mind one of the first times I ever saw them. It must have been 1970 or ‘71. It was after my parents divorce, and before my father traded in his old Mercury.
I loved that Mercury. I’m not sure what model it was, but it looked a lot like the one in the photo below, and the middle one from the old ad below that. It was a silvery gray color, might have been primer for all I know. But the most amazing thing about that car was the back window. My father could push a button on the dash, and that rear window would raise and lower like magic.
I must have pitched a hissy – let me tell you, I was good at that! – because my father relented and agreed to take me to see the Independence Day fireworks. On his terms, because he hated fireworks and traffic and crowds. He drove to some hilly area that was dark and didn’t have any houses – not hard to do back then despite it being the SF Bay Area. There were still lots of orchards around. It was pitch dark where he pulled over. I was a little perplexed when he parked facing away from the fireworks. Being in the back seat, that would hamper my view.
But then that magic rear window came oozing down and my father said, “Go ‘head, climb onto the trunk, you can watch from there.”
So I climbed out through that wonderful window. I lay down facing the sky, on the wide trunk of that car, totally enthralled with the show. It’s a love affair that’s never ended, actually.
My father passed the time reading by the dome light. Shortly after that, he traded in that big family car for a 2-seater. No more back seats and no more trips to see fireworks.
I never forgot that car though. It will always remain one of the top classics in my mind.
Just like fireworks.