Pictured above is a 1938 LaSalle convertible on a warm New Hampshire Sunday in late August. The car is my age, give or take a month or two, but appears to be in somewhat better shape than I am.
The LaSalle, according to my friend Gordon who owns it, was built by General Motors and was considered a poor man's Cadillac back then. I personally thought it was quite elegant with its shiny leather seats and white-walled tires.
Riding in it last Sunday was exhilarating. The car is only taken for a spin a few times a year, so we were lucky to be there at the right time. There I am in the rumble seat, the wind racing through my hair, and feeling like a silent movie star except for the lack of a long silky scarf blowing in the breeze.
We drove about five miles from Gordon's house, and parked on the town green in Hebron while we took a walk into the hills overlooking Newfound Lake. An hour later, hungry and hot, we climbed into the car for the trip home only to find that it wouldn't start. Remember when cars had chokes? Well this car had one and it didn't help. Normally, Gordon said, they park on a slight downhill so a rolling start is an option. But we were on an ever-so-slight uphill, so Peter steered while Gordon and Christa and I tried to push. We did move the car a bit, but not fast enough to start it. The next thing we knew a hulk of a young man spotted us, parked his car, and offered to add his muscles to ours. In minutes, we were on our way.
It's now four days later, and I am remembering that wonderful ride. I am remembering it because pushing the car uphill used some unused muscles in the back of my calf, and I still feel them with every step.