You see, this was once a very special time of the year. Summer was coming to a close, school was back in session (yuck), but it was worth it because the new model year cars were just about to debut.
I know it’s hard to believe, but there was a time, a very special time, when cars actually changed in appearance from year to year. And there wasn’t a kid worth a lick who couldn’t call out the make, model, and year of any car from at least two blocks away.
Starting in mid August, car carriers would roll into town with the new vehicles tightly under wraps. Dealerships would paper over the display windows so the public could not see in from the street, the excitement would build and build. Then a few days before the official unveiling, a hole would be cut into the paper so that one could at long last get a peek at the shinny new cars inside on the showroom floor. (OK, so it sounds silly, but I’m telling you it’s true.)
My father was a Pontiac man, most people back then were brand loyal, and the Heinaman-Perry Pontiac dealership was no more than a mile from where we lived. It’s important to understand that the entire time I was growing up, my dad and I never once played catch, or went to a ballgame. We never had a long father and son talk, or even went to the park, with but one exception. The day, the very day that the hole was cut in that showroom paper, we walked down to gaze in at the bright new cars housed inside. Father and son, side by side, dreaming dreams.
How is it possible that things that were once such a big deal, now seem so silly and trite?