Sepia Saturday – An Untold Story

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs.

I had to take a break from participating in Sepia Saturday. Two kids moved out of state in the month of September and we inherited a big grand-dog – and I can’t remember what else, but that was enough to keep me away. I didn’t realize the photo I’ve been thinking about was the prompt for last week! Oh well. I’m going with it anyway. I’m just 10 days late.

The prompt photo is titled “The Family Car” and features some men washing and shining up their vehicle. For some reason, it reminded me of this …

My Grandmother wrote “Our Dodge” on this photograph. What happened to the family car?

I called my dad(Jerry) and asked him to tell me. He began by saying that only four people ever knew what happened. At least two of those people are deceased and Dad has now broken his promise never to tell.

The car in question was a 1941 two-tone maroon Dodge. Dad said that my grandfather, Charles Smith, never bought anything brand new, but remembers the car as being “pretty new” when they got it. My little peek around the internet suggests it was a 1941 Two Tone Luxury Liner Town Sedan.

One must have felt very fancy in the smartest new two tone!

“In this combination, Regal Maroon and Speedwing Gray give a richness of color contrast that is truly distinctive. Inside, the cushions and lovely maroon upholstery have arm rests, assist straps, floor coverings and side panels to match … all beautifully set in a background of light gray.”

I can just feel those luxurious seats, can’t you?

Front bumper guards furnished at slight extra cost.” Not only did this car have the front bumper guards, it also had low lamps. Fancy!

My dad’s brother, Mike, took his girlfriend for a drive in the family car. The Smith family lived on a farm near Packwood, Iowa, and Mike was in high school. Perhaps to please his girlfriend (we’ll never know that part of the story), Uncle Mike let her drive.

In those days, even the “main” roads between small Iowa towns were gravel roads. The girlfriend “lost control, went over the side and rolled it,” as Dad tells the story.

Thankfully, no one was hurt.

In this last photo of the series, Grandma Abbie wrote, “After the top had been pried up.”

Yikes! How bad was it before the top was pried up?

Uncle Mike told his mother what happened, but everyone agreed not to tell his father that Mike let his girlfriend drive the car. Dad thinks my grandpa drove the car to Iowa City and it was repaired at a body shop there.

A few years later my Grandpa had to sell the car to save the farm. It was fun while it lasted…

Uncle Mike in the family car

This is my offering for Sepia Saturday. Please visit others who participated this week – but will be responding to an entirely different prompt!

  • Story told to me 9/30/2018

7 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday – An Untold Story

  1. Yes he did. He said that it was one of those times that his dad sent the unspoken message, “Did you learn from this and can I expect that it will never happen again?” and let it be at that. And it is correct that it was his girlfriend that turned the car on its top and that part was left out of the story to the folks.

    • Good to know Dad had the story straight after all these years! Except, of course, that your dad spilled the beans to you, so more than four people were in on the story. I did ask if Grandpa got really mad at your dad and he just said that that he did not, but that if you ever wanted to see him mad, you would curse in front of his children.

  2. I loved this! 🙂 What a story. Oh my gosh! Thank heaven no one was hurt but – that poor car. I love your comment “Yikes! How bad was it before the top was pried up?” I wonder, did Mike continue to see the girl after that?

    • I didn’t think to ask that question … Which also begs the question – was Mike protecting the girl or himself (or both) by not telling his dad the whole story?

  3. Fantastic story, especially in the “retelling and cover-up” aspects. Truth will out, as they say. It’s amazing that neither of the young people was hurt! Poor old car!

  4. A super post! Next to family animal/pet stories, I think old car stories are the best. Considering the lack of seat belts, safety glass, etc. on a 1941 Dodge, any accident without serious injury (or worse) was probably a thankful moment for any father. I wonder how this model was advertised after December 1941. Probably not with red velvet and pearls.

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