Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Ed and Barbara
This picture was taken around 1958 or so. My grandmother had given my parents this car and I'm sure my father was pretty happy with it.
The property on Lake Tahoe had been sold and my grandmother had received her share and she had gone to Paris.
My father always loved her: she had great style. She was always dressed up in straight skirts and high heels and wore heavy perfume. Her voice was craggy from smoking and she had a standard poodle named Fi Fi.
This car was from Paris.
The property on the lake was huge and awesome and had been a stop for the Tahoe Steamer in the early years of the century. Rubicon Park it was called. There was the main house on the lake with a large stone fireplace downstairs. But we stayed in the carriage house when I was small. You could sit in the window and listen to the wind through the pine trees. There was a stream with a bridge and across the bridge was a burro. There was a dock on the lake and a strange diving suit my uncle had made when he was young. It was not a destination for a steamer when I was young. That had happened before my time.
My great grandmother (Josephine Frost) ran the park and was married to Horatio Harper and had four children: Horatio (called Ray), Perum, Locke and Helen (my grandmother). My great grandfather abandoned the family when the children were grown and supposedly ran off the with money and the maid. He was never found and neither was the money.
So the property was sold eventually (no one could afford to keep it up any longer) and to this day my family members still climb the hill and look down on it from the adjacent state park! The grandchildren (my mother and her two brothers) were each given a five-acre parcel across the highway and everyone sold theirs except my Uncle Locke. So now there is a small A-frame cabin he built himself where my children go for a week in the summer. Thanks Uncle Locke!
My parents were middle-class people and a car like this must have been sort of an anomaly at the time. I vaguely remember my father taking me for a ride and being embarrassed when he honked at young boys and pointed to me. I never knew where he learned that horrible trick but I could have died.
This car was traded for an old Mercedes with running boards. I remember that car too...and then I believe an MG came onto the scene. I remember how the leather smelled and the sheen of the wooden dashboard and shift knob.
Ed and Barbara were divorced a few years later (maybe five years) and it could have been the car's fault!