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Faded Pictures from a Life: New Cars

New Cars


Straight through Aberdeen runs US Highway 12. Our house sat on the South side of the highway and directly across was Loel Lust Chevrolet. In those days the release of the new car models was a major event. Banners, balloons and music created a festive atmosphere across the street. The neighborhood children were drawn to the dealership like flies to honey as there was free food, candy, key chains and, of course, pamphlet after pamphlet with glossy color photos of the new cars. But the highlight was the new cars themselves. The slick, shiny paint, the sparkling chrome, the jet black shiny tires with white walls, and the smells made for a complete sensory experience. There is still a new car smell but in those days it seemed more pronounced. Outside the tires smelled rubbery and the paint smelled waxy. Inside who knew what was off gassing to create that strange, indescribable, distinct odor.

My father bought all his cars at Loel Lust. The first was a 1954 blue and white Belaire and the second a 1962 tan Impala. He had the Impala to the day he died. He also bought two more new cars there. The first was a 1965 red Nova for my sister’s high school graduation and a 1968 silver Nova for my graduation. He probably paid about between $2000 to $2500 for each.

New Cars, 9″ x 12″, acrylic on shuen paper. 2021

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