The Days of the Skylark

After graduating from high school (Mankato) and college (St. Olaf) in Minnesota, most everyone I knew headed west. No, not me. I headed east. My adventures began when I purchased a Buick Skylark, a little car that would hold all my belongings. I headed off to seminary (Colgate Rochester) in Rochester, New York and found I could do that trip in 2 long days of driving. By then, the Interstates were created for expediency. I recall how a 12-hour trip was very tiring. I would shift my left leg to the gas pedal and stick my right leg straight out to the passenger side. That brought some relief.

I often left Rochester on the Ridge Road headed to Niagara Falls. Then I would jump the border and travel across Canada, coming down to Detroit and on to Chicago. I hated driving around Chicago due to the traffic and toll booths. I don’t remember the exact cost of the tolls, but once I got behind someone who deposited all pennies into the hopper. My travel time was sure delayed that day.

That little Skylark got me through numerous long-distance trips. Once, I got caught in a flood and drove through water over my headlights. When I got to high ground, I heard such a screeching sound that I was sure I had ruined the car. I left it parked along the street and ran home in the rain. I arranged for a tow truck to retrieve it the next day. When they did, they discovered that I had been pulling a smashed up garbage can under my car. The universal joint was wet, but the car still ran. However, all good things must come to an end. The Skylark and I departed each other some five years later.

What is to come? Stick with me.

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