Jason Carr: Remembering all those times in my dad’s old cars

Jason Carr Live on Local 4+ (WDIV)

DETROIT – Chack-atta, chack-atta, vroom VROOM, chack-atta.

The sound of a hot rod idling at the Taylor Big Boy or at Daly’s drive-in mixed with the smell of gasoline and my father’s Marlboro reds. At one point, he had a Model T, a Model A, and a Corvette. Also, improbably, a Ford LTD that was green inside and out.

I remember the LTD because of the time we went to Baskin-Robbins and my chocolate fudge cone melted everywhere on the back seat. The cool thing is I don’t remember Rick being mad -- just a lot of laughter among our three-person family, before the divorce.

Maybe it wasn’t chack-atta but more gotcha-ka-gotcha. I digress.

Dad’s ‘Vette eventually grew side pipes in the way that men of a certain age grow ear hair; it’s a given. And against those side pipes my 6-year old legs would dangle and... ooooohhh the pain! You think I would have learned after once. But no, it happened several times. I have a distinct memory of getting out of that car at Painters Supply in Lincoln Park. The scars were on my calves for years. Years!

One time, we were in my dad’s hand-built “doctor’s rod” (what was with the ‘70s fascination with doctor as a word?) and I was in the front seat between my parents, and it was about 48 degrees on a June night and -- we interrupt this story to point out I was about 5 and in the front seat of a car that was hand built without seat belts and no air bags. What in the actual what? But we can laugh about it now. Child safety didn’t exist in 1976. -- And my parents, who had me young, were barely adulting.

Or maybe it wasn’t chack-atta or gotcha-ka-gotcha but wocka wocka. Or maybe that was Fozzie the Bear from The Muppets. I loved that show.