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June 16, 2006

Dads... Daughters and Cars


Wagon In the spirit of Father's Day Coming up next Sunday... I thought I would share my personal story on my introduction to the love of cars.

My Dad in his 83rd year, still active playing golf and all kinds of hobbies, was an aerospace engineer before retirement and worked for the same company in the same location for 43 years! He worked on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. Dad a conservative type, raised in the depression with four daughters to raise, fixed everything around the house including our family "Wagon". I being the youngest of a crop of four girls and no brothers was very un-interested in learning sewing , cooking and how to polish my nails, became the Tomboy of the bunch. I constantly followed my Dad around to help with "his" chores, one of them taking car of the family station wagon, (one pictured above circa 1962).

Many evening's after a hard days work, Dad would go out into the garage to "tinker" on the wagon. The long hot summer nights are most memorable as Dad's prepared the "Wagon" for our annual summer camping trips. He gave me the most important job...holding the flashlight still while he worked on the engine!  I felt soooooo important!  Except when I my attention would wander and the flashlight wavered in it duties, Dad would snap me back with "Jode, hold it steady, I'm almost done." My reward was an ice cream sundae with Hershey syrup, prepared and shared with Dad on the front porch of our home in the San Fernando Valley.

Dad had a complete "shop" in the garage with every tool Sears stocked and plenty of other gadgets to fix, repair and handle any household crisis including the dreaded "plunger" that was in his words, "the hardest working tool in the garage, you girls use way too much TP".

The family wagon was my personal ticket to worlds un-yet explored each summer on our two week family camping vacations to every National Park and historical site west of the Mississippi, stopping along the way at each, ( it seemed like every), road marker of any consequence.

Dad drove on vacation like he was completing a military "mission", AAA maps plotted for exact routes and stops, including scheduled "rest stops", which by the way, as the youngest were always too far between for me. Road trips with Dad were often referred to as the "green blur" as between scheduled stops he drove from point A to point B, mileage calculated to the 1/8th of a mile with no good argument to make an unscheduled stop no matter what good reason any of us girls or Mom would conjure up!

The family "Wagon" represented excitement, adventure, freedom , fun , relaxation, family unity, bonding and all kinds of fun antics. Often when we would pull up to an unsuspecting ranger station to "check in" to camp, Dad would shout out "Chinese Fire Drill", what a site for the rangers .... five girls and my Dad running in circles around the "Wagon"  giggling and laughing and enjoying the heck out the rangers surprised reaction. The rangers were always rewarded by Dad each summer for "humoring" our antics with an invite to our campsite for a campfire and some homemade ice cream.

I am still camping every summer unlike my older sisters who would rather stay in a bed and breakfast or cabin on their vacations. I've carried on the family tradition with my kids and grandkids by tent camping , trailer camping and recently the more deluxe camping experience in my RV.

Dad gave me the love of 'wheels' and to date I own a Magnum "Wagon" the coolest station wagon on the road, a 25 foot RV, a Toyota Supra and a Harley Davidson....Dad wished he was younger so he could ride a Harley too!

Happy Father's Day, Dad and thanks for the many fond memories on wheels!

Jody Devere

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...and those who are just amused by stories from them! Today the Carnival of Family Life is up. There are posts about Daddies and their girls, an outing from the Netherworlds, free stuff to do with your kids this summer, and why Daddies are great ..... [Read More]


Thanks for this--I've linked. From a mom of three daughters whose handy husband is teaching them all to love tools and cars.

Happy Father's Day

Even at my age, Yes I am still a Daddy's Girl! He's my shining star and my best friend. He said my prayers with me before tucking me in at bedtime, he cooked breakfast for me before school, he even did my hair[even if my ponytails were crooked] I was always proud because my "daddy did it". I always believed I was the luckiest little girl in the world! Thank you dad for everything...because it is still true, I am the luckiest girl in the world because I have you!


Thank you all for sharing your Father's Day thoughts, stories and Kudo's!

Ask Patty

What a great story to share with the carnival. I'm sure your Dad will love reading it!

OK... I will confess the sensitive side of me! When I read these absolutely beautiful stories of "daddy-daughter" experiences from these POWER WOMEN... I can't help but get all teary-eyed! Oh...but THATS OK!...CAUSE I'M A WOMAN! WE CAN DO THAT...YOU KNOW! :-)

I just had to add a post regarding my terrific father and to say kudos to all the great fathers out there who help inspire their daughters!!

I remember when I was a little girl and my Mom and Dad would constantly race on the way home when they were in different vehicles. Whether it was my mom going thru a super shortcut to beat Dad or my Dad pulling thru a field just to beat Mom to the driveway. . . my family has always been competitive.

That is probably why I'm in the field I'm in . . . NASCAR! My dad put me behind wheel of a vehicle at the tender age of 10. My first trip was driving in a brown aerostar minivan on the interstate, no less. I was sitting on top of his briefcase and he was controlling the pedals, while I took the wheel! I remember very vividly how I felt that day . . . I felt like I was the luckiest kid in the world for the dad I was blessed with.

I just wanted to tell my Dad how much of an important role he has played in my life. He is one of the main reasons I have believed in myself to reach such goals in auto racing. He was one of the only people to help me realize that if you can see it, you can achieve it!! I LOVE YOU, DAD!!

My fondest memories of my childhood center around my Father and his constant tinkering with his vehicles. Today he still has an assortment of classic Volkswagens around his yard that he is either working on for his grandchildren or getting parts off of for other vehicles.

In my earlier years the family would go on 'Sunday Drives'. Not to anywhere special just somewhere that my Dad thought would be a good driving distance to see something of interest (I now believe it was to make sure that the car was in proper working order). Back then most families only had one car and they had to make sure that it was in reliable working condition. My Dad took this very important task to heart.

Of course, in those days people could work on their own vehicles. Now it is a bit different and we need to rely on various mechanics and service departments to make sure that the light on the instrument panel just means service needed and not that the engine is about to fall out.

I was and am still amazed at the amount of knowledge my Father has about cars. The sight of him leaning under the upraised hood or stretched out underneath a vehicle is a very special notation in my childhood memory book.

To this day my two sisters and I rely on our Dad to answer any vehicle maintenance questions. Although with each new car purchased we hear him referring us back to the dealerships from whence the cars came. We still rely on his initial diagnosis and are secure in the fact that he is still our 'first mechanic'.

Dad, thank you for the great memories. Happy Father's Day!

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