Although the day my dad died, thirteen years ago this week, is etched in my mind, I prefer not to think of that so much. I like thinking of his life in total, the good times being so much more of what he was about. My earliest memories all center on riding in the car. Dad was the guy who drove the car back then because mom didn't get her license until I was around five. The first car I remember was the thirty nine Packard with the big running boards. Dad used to make us sit out on the running boards when he'd buy us ice cream cones. He didn't want us to drip that shit on his upholstery. Despite how bad that sounds, the car wasn't moving. We were parked in front of the Tastee Freeze. He wasn't that mean. What I remember most about that car was sitting up on my mom's lap at night, on our way home from my grandparent's house. I suspect that the Packard didn't have a working heater because what I remember most is how cold it was. I also remember the dashboard lights, especially the radio. When My mom would get tired of holding me on her lap she would stand me on the floor between my dad and her. Yes, cars used to be huge, gigantic beasts, with lots of room. There were no children's car seats back then. There were no seat belts, no padded dash, no breakaway knobs on the dashboard, no law that said you had to put the kids in the back seat. No, I rode up front where the action was, free and unencumbered. Not like these little pussies we have now. Oh, little Johnny needs to be strapped into the back seat like a mummy. Little Joanie has to wear a helmet, and god forbid, if she isn't strapped, positioned, and padded just right, mommy goes to jail for child endangerment. But I have strayed off my subject, dad. Dad would never have purposely put us in danger. It was just how things were done back then. Hell, when my mom and dad were kids, they let them run off to join the circus or work in a meat grinding factory. It's all about perspective, isn't it?