The other day was my grandpa George’s 82nd birthday. After work I went over to my grandparent’s house for dinner and to visit.
My grandma was busy playing cards all day, like she does every Wednesday, so she left my grandpa in charge of dinner. Whenever he is in charge of dinner, we always know what he is going to make: hot dogs, fried potatoes and creamed corn. That is always his “gourmet” meal that we anticipate.
After dinner I went with my grandpa to pick out a new computer – he is still using a computer that runs Windows XP. He asked me the other day if I thought it was time for an upgrade… I told him that was an understatement.
As we were driving in the car he began to tell me about his first car – a 1937 Chevrolet.
He saved up all his money working for his father, Ellis Clark Ivory, all summer in 1950. His Chevrolet was black and he was telling me how he and his buddies installed custom rear tail lights they called “blue dots.” I found a video showing the tail lights like the ones he installed on his car.
Shortly after he bought the car, he and his buddies took a road trip to Los Angeles. I remember him telling me this story before, but this time I got extra details. He said by the time they got to Mona, Utah, they were running out of gas, so they pulled off the highway. They had a 5-gallon gas can with them, but no money to buy gas. So, what did a group of 16-year-old boys do? From the words of my grandfather’s mouth, “We found a nice garden hose in a local yard and cut a decent piece out of the middle of it.” I knew exactly what he was going to say next and I began laughing so hard. He next said, “I shouldn’t be telling you this!” I replied, “Oh yes, you should! These stories need to be recorded for all posterity to hear!” He continued the story and told me they siphoned gasoline out of another person’s car in order to make it all the way to Los Angeles.
It is stories like these that I love to hear and I try to record so people can hear or read them in the future. I am very fortunate to still have two of my four grandparents still alive to be able to ask questions, hear stories and learn more about their lives. It is stories like those that if not told and recorded, they will disappear and never be heard again.
A.C. Ivory is a professional genealogist, blogger, product manager, ux designer, computer geek, and traveler.