Car (Ac)culture

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Car (Ac)culture

To adjust to life in a new country,
I had to kill my American dream.

hen my grandfather died, I was a very tiny baby. In the last picture ever taken of him, he is pale and thin, sitting in a stuffed armchair, holding the two-week-old me. No one was aware of it at the time, but the vehicle that would one day become my first car was in the garage outside.

When her husband first became ill, my grandmother didn’t know how to drive. My grandfather persuaded her to take lessons so that she could get herself around after he was gone. In the same year that I was born and he died, he bought his soon-to-be widow the biggest, safest car that he could find, the landlubber’s answer to a battlecruiser: the 1970 Plymouth Fury III. It was 18 feet long, with a 10-foot wheelbase, and avocado green inside and out.

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Elaine Kasket