Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Look Who's Behind the Wheel

May 19, 1966, Appleton Post-Crescent
Seeing this type of steering wheel reminds me of a bit of family folklore I heard a few too many times growing up. My father used to tell, what I took as a cautionary tale as I approached driving age, of how my older brother inadvertently hit the gas instead of the brakes one night in backing out the family car, accelerating rapidly across DePere Street into the neighbor's tree.  In his telling of the tale, my brother returned to our house, shaken, holding the steering wheel in his hand. 

In later years, my brother confirmed that it wasn't the steering wheel at all, but rather, the horn ring, as shown above.  I guess the damage to the back end of the car played second fiddle in this story because that aspect was rather boring, if you think about it.  I mean, didn't we all spend our childhoods laughing at cartoon characters crashing their cars and stagger off, wheel in hand while birds or stars flew around their heads?  Naturally, Dad's version was a more entertaining and alarming version, though I wondered, if through repetition, it just got more and more involved.  Or did he really remember it that way?  In retrospect, hearing the true story wasn't as much fun as the original.  It was sort of like when I learned the truth as to why the final "e" was added to my last name by my Italian grandfather.  But that's a story for another day.

1 comment:

  1. Looks just like the steering wheel of the 1965 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport (SS) w/327 cubic inch engine, that my bride and I purchased in September 1967 from Gibson's Appleton, to post to Fort Bragg, NC. Drove it back to Menasha in August 1969, and kept it until November 1972, when we posted to the Pacific Northwest (over 250,000 miles on it.) "Forrest Gump" in the Pacific Northwest.