When we rolled into Oysterville the other afternoon, I felt that I had traveled backward in time – not an unusual impression when arriving in our little village after a day in the ‘big city.’ But this time, the only evidence of human habitation was a little 1928 Model A parked in front of the church. It was packed-to-overflowing with boxes and baskets and trunks; the sign on the back of the rumble seat said “Just Hitched.”
My grandfather had a Model A of about the same vintage. There is a picture of me standing nearby it, probably taken in 1940 or ’41. It wasn’t packed up and ready for a road trip like the one the other day, though, and it looked to be still shiny – not nearly so battered as the one belonging to the newlyweds. But, after all, seventy some years ago it was a ‘new car’ by comparison.
The bride was standing near our garage with an elaborate tripod and camera set-up. Her view of the car with the Oysterville Church in the background was definitely a déjà vu sight, I whipped out my little digital camera and took a couple of pictures, myself. Interestingly, because the sun was just right (or wrong), my images turned out ‘as seen through the mists of time.’
I talked for a few minutes with the newlyweds. They had been married Thursday, in
Vancouver, I think they said. They were on a short honeymoon trip, but the worldly possessions (which included a rocking chair and an old tin coffee pot) tucked here, there, and everywhere, were not the necessities for their current road journey. “Oh, the car always looks like that,” said the groom. “Only, most of the time, the sign on the back says ‘Seaside or Bust.’ This sign is just for this trip.” And he and the Mrs. exchanged a fond look. And then the penny dropped.
“Were you down in Forest Grove last summer at the Concours d’Elegance?” I asked. “Yes,” was the groom’s reply. “I go most years but this was her first time,” again with the smiling glance at the bride.
Déjà vu again! Nyel and I had seen that very car, packed much the same way, sitting in front of the restaurant where we ate a late lunch. Our assumption was that it belonged to the establishment’s owner and was a sort of advertisement. When I said so to the smiling couple, they said they often park it in front of a business when they are traveling. “The owners love it!”
“We have other cars – mostly old,” I was told, “but we like to take this one on trips.” When I asked, he told me it gets thirteen miles to the gallon. Wow! Déjà vu or not, I’m sticking to our little Prius…