When I was a little girl, one of my most favorite things to do was to go roaming with my Dad. We didn’t go anyplace special, we just went. There was no television to rule the spare time we had. And Dad did not like sports anyway, so weekends and evenings were spent roaming around and discovering.
Adventures is what they were. Mom usually threw some bread, bologna and mayonnaise into a bag and off we would go. Mom was usually in her sleeveless sun dress, Dad usually in an old aloha shirt with two pockets on the front. Both pockets were usually crammed as full as he could get them. One held his cigarettes and lighter, and the other held his sunglasses, or pocket protector full of pens. Phyllis and I would have on pedal pusher outfits that Mom had made from left over dresses.
We would pile into the old car, and off we would go. Depending on where we were stationed would set the scene for where we would go exploring. Roads meant nothing to Dad, and we would head where ever he felt the car would go, road or not. We never got stuck, but I sure do remember some pretty hairy roads along high lava cliffs in Hawaii.
We always had scratches on our cars, and I can remember being embarrassed as I got older at how junky the car always looked. IT was full of any and all emergency supplies you could think of. We had axes, and shovels and ropes, and saws, and shotguns, and shells, and blankets, and water bags, and burlap bags and newspapers and anything that Dad may have found lying along side the road. He was a great improviser!
Dad always drove with his left arm resting on the open window frame, and steered with his right hand up at the 12 o’clock position. He always had one arm browner than the other one, and any chance he could get he would have his shirt off and his bare chest would be getting the sun also.
I don’t ever remember my Dad behind the wheel without a cigarette in his mouth. He smoked Pall Mall reds, or I guess in those days it was camels. No filters! Nope! He always had the cigarette in the corner of his mouth, he could smoke the whole thing down with out even touching it with his hand. He would let the ash get as long as it could then he would aim the left side of his mouth out the window and then blow the ash off, still keeping his lips attached to the butt of the cigarette. Needless to say his pockets were always full of ashes too, and all of his shirts had cigarette burns in them.
Saturday afternoon I was driving down along the Keystone Spit, going to the Store in Coupeville, and I had the window open and my arm resting on the open window frame, Not really worried about getting there any time soon, and the sun was nice and warm, but not hot beating through the windshield, and I felt him right beside me. I could smell the cigarette smoke and almost turned around to tell him to put it out! Then I remembered he was gone, but not in spirit. He was there...we were roaming. It felt good.