I catch an unexpected whiff of mint and remember Doublemint gum. Sitting in the front seat of Gram’s Cadillac as she ran errands, I knew there would be gum. It was always Wrigley, and always Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, or another flavor – also mint? – that came in a white wrapper.
I called the Cadillac “the pink car,” although in truth it was more metallic mauve, with fins and long, gleaming lines. I was quite sad when they traded it in for a newer model, boxy and white, in the mid-70s. I actually went out to the garage to say good-bye to the pink car when they told me they were selling it. Dad & I lived with his folks, so the pink car was my ride—to church, to friends’ houses, to piano lessons—everywhere except to the cabin. For that drive over dusty, bumpy, rolling, rutted dirt roads, we took Pop’s pickup.
Today I have Pop’s pickup—a 1970 Chevy—out back of our house. My husband won’t let me drive it until we get the front end worked on, which may cost more than the pickup is worth. But there’s so much play in the steering wheel that he says it’s not safe. He’s probably right.
But the bare-bones cab of that truck, especially on a warm, sunny day, smells jut the way it did forty years ago. For that reason alone, we’ll get it fixed one of these days.
There is a truly pink Cadillac in a neighbor’s yard up the road. A few days ago, two guys were working on it as I walked by on my way to the mailbox. The engine ran rough, and a belt was squealing.
I wonder if there were any sticks of Doublemint on the front seat.