Wednesday, January 19, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Cars!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
Week 3: Cars.  What was your first car? Describe the make, model and color, but also any memories you have of the vehicle. You can also expand on this topic and describe the car(s) your parents drove and any childhood memories attached to it.

I *wish* I had a picture of my first car. She was something to behold. A 1969 Ford Torino purchased from some good family friends. Puke green with black racing stripes along the side, and one of those air cam-thingies on the hood. Oh, and a V8 engine, which was probably too fast and powerful for this teenaged country girl. Her name was Myrtle. Myrtle, The Turtle, The Mean Green Driving Machine. And she was all mine. She was huge -- I swear, I could fit my sister and another five or so friends in there and we'd turn up the 8-track stereo and go cruisin', usually up and down Pacific Ave. in Stockton, California (do kids still cruise?). She was also easy to spot in a crowded high school parking lot full of big, new, shiny pickup trucks, Camaros, Firebirds and the like. Sadly, Myrtle left us in around 1983, after I went off to college, when my little sister was driving her and was run off the road by some crazy madman (so we're told, anyway...). Cindy was fine, Myrtle was not. R.I.P., Myrtle. You are still missed.

In lieu of pics of my own beloved first wheels, here are some photos of our family's cars through time. To be honest, it was easier to find pictures of my people on horses and bulls than with their cars!

I think that was our family's 1967 Ford Galaxy (c. 1971 or 1972)

Not sure, but I think these are Bartrams

Grandma Edith, Great Grandma Brittain and Dad: Road trip! (c. 1955 or so)

Grandma Edith -- Glamming it up on their road trip

Uncle Johnnie Bruhns with his puppies and car

Great Grandma Ethel Modena Martindale Hunt (Grandma Dobbs
to us!) and her mom, Nancy Dezina Jaggers Martindale

My dad, William Lee Brittain

Grandpa Woodie Brittain, holding my dad in front of their car (c. 1942)


  1. Great family pictures! Love Uncle Johnnie with his pups!

  2. My first car...1967 Ford Fairlane (same year as me), root beer brown, crinkled rear end, gaskets made from cardboard boxes, $96 cash money...bought it my Senior year of high school. I didn't have a license yet so my 'boyfriend' ( the guy I was dating to P**s off my parents) drove it. One Sunday afternoon he drove out from town to pick me up for the day. On our way back to town the cotter pins that held the hood down gave out. The hood flew up...hinges bent and useless...and was deposited in th ditch. I don't know what ever happened to it. We drove it for months like that. The day I graduated high school said 'boyfriend' was busy stealing his neighbors Corvette. I never saw either of them again! I did rescue my best dog ever from the people he left her with. Three good things came from that relationship: the memories of my biggest rebellion ever, the knowledge that for the first time I had power over my life path and my Sheena