We were driving the yellow VW Rabbit. When you think of great cars in human history, this one ranks somewhere between the Edsel and the little known Model T-Bag. It looked a lot like the Model T, but when you were done driving it you just dropped it in the local lake and everyone has fresh tea. Not sure why it never caught on...
I learned to drive on that car. It had a stick shift that was all but impossible to find reverse or first gear. Also, it wasn't touchy...at first. But once it reached the point where it engaged it became super touchy. Hence the numerous jokes about "I knew Rabbits jumped, I just never saw a car do it" when people saw me attempting to learn on that fine machine.
On the bright side, once I was able to drive it, no other vehicle has ever provided issues.
I wish that car was the worst piece of metal that ever served transport, but it has to rank way behind the Yellow, the blue, and the Green Station Wagon, behind the Wheeled Egg, and maybe even behind the half-car-wide "pinstripe"....it was actually a pretty good car.
As the trip developed, we would play a bit of chess each evening. Dad really encouraged my chess playing when I started. He got me books so I could study the games of the masters, got me a book to record my own games, showed up at my tournaments, and so forth.
The downside to all that support is somewhere around 4th grade I got better than him and he had a several year losing streak to me. But we still enjoyed the games.
The hunting itself was not a great success. The only deer that passed away did so when struck by a rabbit. A yellow, metal rabbit driven by a father and son on a road trip...
Fortunately the car was not badly damaged. On went the trip.
It was a fall trip and we were both huge Dodger fans. They had somehow gotten to the World Series but everyone figured the As would win the Series handily.
Well, we were still driving, listening to the game. It was on AM radio so it was fading in and out. Sometimes you were able to hear an entire sentence, other times just a word here or there and sometimes just scratching and crackling.
Well, going to the final inning, we talked about how great it would be to have a 3-2 count, 2 outs and winning run on base in the bottom half of the inning.
For non-sports fans, that is exactly what happened. Kirk Gibson hit arguably the most dramatic home run in baseball history. Oddly, the circumstances of hearing it on a radio that was fading in and out as I traveled with Dad probably make it even more memorable to me.
Well, later in the trip, something else really bizarre happened. Maybe I was distracted. Maybe it was just time. Who knows? What I do know is one night our chess game had a strange outcome...he beat me. And instantly retired. To this day we have not played another game. And I think it is pretty funny.
Well, we ended up getting side tracked and never did make it to the Grand Canyon. Somehow, that doesn't matter. Until I am struck down by Alzheimer's or something, that trip is something I will never forget but will always look back on with fond memories.
And every time I get in a car that is not that Rabbit...I smile.