Friday, January 8, 2010

The Eborn Clan's Modes of Transportation

The earliest automobile that I can remember owning was a pickup truck.  I was old enough to stand on the seat between Mom and Dad.   I think it was a greenish color and had a stripe running around the cab about an inch wide.   The next car I can remember was called a Durant.  It was quite old when we got it and had spent too many days in the Bear Lake weather.  It was a rusty brown in color,metal inside and out and with very little cushion on the seat.  If you're not yet getting the picture, it was ugly.   It was similar to the one in this picture but not as well cared for.  I remember the family getting all dressed up to go to town on Saturday.  We would all get in the car, mom would work the choke and gas pedal and dad would insert the crank and begin to crank. It was very difficult to start and many times it would not start.  When it wouldn't start after Dad had cranked his guts out for a half hour or so there was nothing to do but go back in the house, change our clothes and go back to work.  I remember how frustrated I was at so looking forward to going to town and then not being able to.  I was probably 9 or 10 when we owned this car.

When the Durant was sold or fell in to the garbage dump, I''m not sure which, dad bought a 4-door Chevrolet similar  to the one in this picture except it was black.  It was more reliable and looked much nicer as well.  It still had to be cranked however.  I remember coming home from Montpelier one day and the kids were egging Dad to go faster.  He really steped on it and we watched as the speedometer went clear up to 55 MPH.  That much speed was really scary.   This was the first car that I ever got behind the wheel and tried to drive.  I started the engine and put it in  gear and drove a few feet forward and a few feet backward.  That's how I learned to drive.  One day when I was going through this little ritual I ground the gears and Mom came out and made me quit along with a few words of "don't ever do that again".

In Idaho, at least when I was a kid, you could get a drivers licensee at 14 years of age.  That worked wonderfully well for me because about the time I turned 14 Dad bought a brand new Plymouth.   I thought I had died and gone to heaven.   It was so nice to drive and smelled new and I was sure the "chicks" would like me now.    I drove it all through my high school years and at least some of the "chicks" liked me -- well at least one.   As I look back, I think Dad stuck his neck out a little when He bought that car.   He was pleased at how happy I was--and the rest of the family as well.  It was his first new car.

About 1956 when I was in college Dad traded in the 1950 Plymouth for a 1956 Plymouth Fury.   It was a very good looking car and had a "push button" transmission with the buttons just left of the steering wheel on the dash.    The family mode of transportation had come a long way from the days of the Durant.   I don't think we had any cars for some time after Dad and Mom were married.  I remember Mom pushing me in a "buggy type" contraption when I was little.   Until I was into my teenage years we always walked to church and to get the mail which was over on the main road by Uncle Harlen's house.   In the country transportation is important and I appreciate the sacrifice they made to provide nice cars to drive, especially when I got into my teenage years.  Cars and gas were expensive then just as they are now relatively speaking.  

By Ellis

 Below is a picture of Dad by that new 1950 Plymouth.  It was his first new car.  That must have felt like quite an accomplishment after only sixteen years of married life,  farm paid for, five kids already, and now a new car, not to mention all the other improvements that had been made around the place and home.  Dad and Mom worked hard together and they were fortunate in the respect that they could actually look around and see what they had been able, with the help of God, to do and create.  Dad used to often say how he enjoyed working in the fields, because at the end of the day he could look back and see where he had been and that he had, indeed, had an effect on things.
By Bart


  1. We sure have come a long ways since then. Great Post Ellis. I am so glad that this is pulling us all together and giving us all reminders of our history.

    Love you all.

  2. I remember most of this too, but there is one sad incident that Ellis didn't mention. It happpened when I was in collge and had a part ime job at USU. Ididn't have a car,but had found a ride home with one of my friends who lived in Star Valley and he was going ohome for Christmas. I had to be back to work for a couple of days during the holidays and Dad agreed to let me take the 1956 Plymouth. It was still realatively new. In Logan Canyon there was a blizzard. I had an accident when another car was coming around a sharp curve and we couldn't see each other very well. We ran into each other. The police came and neither of us got a ticket, but we were told rather sternly that we shouldn't have been out on the roads in that kin dof weather. I remember how bad I felt for wrecking the car. I also remember Dad and Mom later telling me how greatful they were that I wasn't killed or injured. The car was totaled, so it was pretty bad. I didn't want to drive for quite a while after that.