It was 1968 and the Viet Nam war was going on. My mother was 45 years old; a pretty, blue-eyed blond.
My mother was hired to work at The Springfield Armory making guns, 2nd shift, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.. This would be her second time working at The Armory as she had worked there during World War II, as well. When she was offered a position during WWII, she said to the Supervisor “What about Sophie?” “Sophie?”, he replied. “Yes. You have to hire Sophie Dalto too because she has the car.” That’s how she, and Sophie, were hired.
The Armory paid well. The thing was she didn’t have a car of her own in 1968, either. So, she applied for a car loan at the credit union, was approved, and bought a brand new 1968 Pontiac Firebird. It was a hot-looking car. Of course, she didn’t tell my father because he would have had a fit. Exactly what set him off, I am not sure because she had worked most of her life, and she knew how to drive. Yet, it was a surprise and he certainly didn’t like credit or loans. He bought all of his cars brand new, cash.
As I said she worked 3-11 p.m.. When she came home from her shift, she drove her new car and parked it in front of the house. Joe was at home, likely watching television or asleep. When he got up the next morning and opened the curtain and saw the bright new shiny car, all hell broke loose. That was my father~he raged for a short while and then it was all over. My mother said nothing and just went on with her own business.
I was 13 years old at the time, a freshman in high school. When I turned 16, I learned to drive on the Firebird, as well as a silver 1955 Rambler that my high school boyfriend gave to me to drive around town in, with my friends. He painted a big black star on the driver’s side door. I eventually got my drivers license when I was 16 1/2 years old. I sure had fun driving those two cars around town.
Lesson Learned~ When you want something, buy it.