My father taught me many things, and not too far from the top of the list is a love for convertible cars. Every car he ever owned (in the em era) was a convertible. For a long time he preferred the big luxury convertibles: he had 2 Oldsmobile 98 convertibles—white on red and then a silver on black. His next car was a Cadillac Eldorado (blue on blue). This was a great barge of a car, but so styling. My seat assignment was front row middle, so he had easy access to do that maneuver that parents do to their kids that tickles and hurts at the same time—the dreaded leg squeeze, aka The Front Seat Penalty. I’d even know it was coming, but there was no defense. To the young em, looking out over the dash and out the windshield, the hood of that Eldorado seemed miles and miles long—how in the world did he steer that thing! Easy, my father was absolutely the coolest and most capable guy in the entire world.
So after the red Fiat, I got an orange Fiat, and again barreled all over the place in it. For some weird reason, my next car was a Saab, and not a convertible. I liked it though—compared with those 2 tin Fiats, the Saab was a tank of a car. But I got back to business with the next vehicle--a Mustang convertible. A big tree fell on that car and crushed it. I was not in it at the time.
And now, a few more cars down the road, I’m happy to report that my children and all their friends know The Front Seat Penalty well. Yup, it feels mighty good to hand down important knowledge and skills to the next generation--just doing my part to advance society.