Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Welcome to the 80's


When I was visiting Chicago a couple of weekends ago my mother gave me this picture. It was taken sometime between '82 and '83 I think. The car’s name is Bill in honor of a guy I was dating momentarily. I was living in Lakewood, Ohio and this was my first car. It was an upgrade from my mother’s old schwin ten speed. The bike had baskets on the sides which were useful for carrying groceries. I used the bike for shopping and running errands around town. Now, with this car, I was no longer tethered to public transportation, and was able to get yet a third job, working as a waitress at the Colony Restaurant on Wednesday nights after work at my first job as a receptionist at the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, all in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. I needed the money. Weekends I worked my second job usually on Saturday, cataloguing the insect collection at the Natural History Museum at University Circle, free of charge and for the love of biology. My younger sister was living with me at the time. She worked part-time for a temporary agency. We bought a six pack every night for a week one summer and I couldn’t pay the rent that month. I think a six pack was $ 2.50? It was bad. Then she got a real job that paid decent and she split. She upgraded to a flashy condo on the east side. It happens.

As you can see from the picture, my sisters are piled on top of the car, plus my brother in law, with me on the door. Standing next to me is my brother, and then my future brother in law. I left Bill with my mom and moved to Chicago, which happened rather impulsively the following spring. I had a friend at the theatre that was moving to California so he gave me a lift. I took two trash bags of dirty clothes and was dropped off at my older sister’s house. She was already living with her husband in Chicago beginning a few years earlier. It seems like my older sister, whose only three years older than me, has been married forever. And we, my younger sister and I, were forever either drinking her beer (me) or using her washing machine (Laura), so it was no surprise to my older sister that I showed up in Chicago with dirty laundry. Anyway, I gave my jobs in Cleveland four days notice (they were thrilled for me) and my roommate a months rent (she was not, quite angry infact). Oh well. It happens.

Eventually, I sold the car in Chicago to four young Guatemalans. They dressed like Sandinistas and reminded me of the Clash album cover of I think the same name. Only one of them spoke English and they offered me $750.00 for the car. My ad had said $ 700.00. There was a rough moment as I deliberated this but then I only took $ 700.00. Oh well.

5 comments:

madame x said...

This is just such a great picture...in so many ways. You all look so happy and unincumbered.

Bill looks like a 'happy little car-car*'.

Car-Car is what I called my '68 Volkwagon. Offical name was 'Zipper Von Peep' (because it had a little squeak when it went fast).

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the story and the great picture. Your getting pretty good at the written word...keep it up.

Laura also ate all our food!

Dan said...

That is a GREAT photo! Look at those moustaches! You and your sisters are hotties! :)

Oh, and I always prefered the first few Clash album to "Sandanista". :) I actually saw them live 2 or 3 times.

gmcountrymama said...

I love the picture. I also posted an '80's picture last night.
I got here through Suzy's blog Where Hot Comes To Die comments.

alice c said...

You all look so carefree - it must be the effect of all those sixpacks! The 80s seem like a foreign country now.