In April 1957, I moved to Rochester, New York to work for Stromberg Carlson. I had driven my 1949 Chevrolet convertible with a hole in the floor behind the driver’s seat – all the way from Boston to Rochester, NY. The hole was big enough to see the street underneath! I had a small apartment in an area bordering the city, and in the evenings, I parked my car near my apartment. Months passed, and spring turned to a brief summer, then to winter.
One night, I parked the car, and snow began to fall in earnest. The next morning, it was still snowing even harder. I looked and looked for my car, but it was GONE. I called the police, and explained that somebody stole my eight-year-old car with a rust hole big enough to put two feet through. The cop chuckled, and said it was hardly likely that someone had stolen the car! It was probably parked on the wrong side of the street – perhaps ODD or EVEN numbers – nobody recalls now! He checked his records and -- sure enough -- he found the car was towed during the snow emergency.
I bundled myself up in a heavy coat, hat and gloves, and stood out on the corner of Alexander and East Avenue waiting for a bus to take me to the police station in downtown Rochester. I waited and waited with a bunch of other people. Finally, some Good Samaritan picked up some of us lucky folks, and I was driven to the police station, where I paid the fine and towing charges and received a receipt.
But the fun was just beginning! The car was NOT ACTUALLY THERE -- it was parked in a field outside of town. So, I had to get on another bus, and then a second one, to get to the tow lot. I finally made it, and I showed my receipt to the guard at the lot. But, the lot was not plowed! There was a narrow area between the cars where it was OK to drive and walk, but there was snow up to the car's hubcaps. Without a shovel, good luck! However, I remembered that the guard had something stashed behind his chair. I trudged back to the guard shack, and asked to borrow the shovel. After much cajoling the guard reluctantly parted with the shovel, and I was able to finally dig the car out and drive home.
As Northerners know, you HAVE to go, even in the snow. The blizzards in upstate New York – Albany – Syracuse - Buffalo - are spectacular. Asked about the summers in upstate New York, one friend of mine said, “When summer falls on a Sunday, we play golf.”
The Digital Couple: The Geezer and Ellen Kimball