Back in the late fifties one of my brothers was able to get his hands on a very used automobile that we as a family shared a lot of great times in. I remember in order for my sister, myself and my other brother to get to ride in it we’d have to chip in on the gas money which was a quarter a gallon—remember this was maybe 1957 or so. I remember most times we could only put together enough quarters between us to buy three or four gallons but back then you could go a long ways on a dollar’s worth of gas.

On top of having to chip in on gas money most times we’d have to get behind this source of travel and push it until it fired up then we’d run real quick, hop in and hope it didn’t conk out until we got to where we were going. Just picture two teenage girls wearing skirts or maybe dresses bent over the back bumper pushing as hard as we could and our teenage brother also pushing with his best dress pants on while the other one sat behind the wheel. Both my sister and I were very feisty back in those days and so were my brothers and we can still be just as feisty today if need be!
There were times that we had to give our only means of transportation a push, jump in and get to ride out to our favorite dance spot and the four of us teenyboppers would just dance the night away.

The moral of this story is even if we have to do a little pushing to enjoy our lives, it’s worth the ride.

—Helen Valcaniant,
Imlay City