November 9th…“WHAT WAS THE VERY FIRST CAR YOU EVER OWNED? SHARE A FUN MEMORY, OR TWO, ABOUT IT.”
“Are you kids ready back there?” “Yup, we’re hangin’ on tight, Unk, give ‘er the gas n let’s go slidin’!!” Snow didn’t come often to the Pacific Northwest, and specifically, to our town of Battle Ground, Washington located in the southwest corner of the State. But, on this occasion, the good Lord plopped a thick, white blanket of fun over our area and it was time for some amusement with “Unk” (which was an endearing name for me as their uncle). My cohorts in craziness, that chilly day, were three of the four children belonging to our eldest sister, Rosemary. “Stooba”(Debbie) was the eldest, then came “Dougie” and then little “Beezer”(Denise). The girls had gotten their nicknames from their Grandpa Russell Noorlun. “Stooba” means short or stubby, in Norwegian, so that’s how Debbie got tagged with her nickname. I think he gave the nickname, “Beezer”, to Denise because of her cute little nose glowing like a “Beezer”. Being this was the first car I had ever owned, I discovered that the back seat of my little, yellow 1971 Datsun Coupe could fold down flat for cargo. And that’s just what I used it for when I offered my two nieces and eldest nephew to be my “cargo” and come along for some snow fun.
I surmise that whoever was the previous owner of my little “four-banger” Datsun must have had a grand sense of humor to have the gall to install racing slick tires on the back of that tiny, timid teapot on wheels. But, hey, in our case, on that day, those pseudo racing slicks made for even more fun in the snow. The schools in our area were closed, due to the snowstorm that had just passed, and I knew that the giant, Battle Ground High School parking lot would be empty of cars and possess a thick, untouched layer of snow for “spinning donuts”. That massive expanse of smooth pavement just beckoned us to “come play”.
For all you super safety sleuths out there, I’ll have you just close your eyes and turn away from this story for awhile. Because, when we “fun-a-holics” got down to that wide open expanse of parking lot, I put the “pedal to the metal” as Unk spun “donuts” in all that pristine parking lot snow while I heard tons of giggles from the back cargo area. Glancing back, occasionally, and checking the rear-view mirror, I could see three smiling little ones as they’d happily roll from one side of that Datsun to the other!! It was a blast of fun for three little cuties and this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.