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Why Old Station Wagons Make Bad Getaway Cars

While researching my memoir, I came across a story I'd written on my old blog. Like the last relic I shared, it's also about sneaking out.

What can I say? My friends and I did a lot of sneaking out.


One day, way back in 1989, my friend Joanna, a couple other Jersey Girls, and I piled into Bessy, the old brown station wagon Joanna had in high school, drove off school grounds (ILLEGAL!) and headed out to lunch.

We drove down the main road of our tiny town, belting out Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" when Joanna spied her mother (who, by the way, was like some kind of ninja CIA agent, somehow always catching us when we were up to no good) in the rear-view mirror.


"Holy sh*t! That's my mother!" Joanna screamed.


"No!" I spun around in the backseat. And there was Joanna's mother, leaning over the steering wheel of the car behind us, squinting at Bessy.


"I gotta lose her!" Joanna yelled and slammed on the accelerator. Bessy lurched and then continued to drive at the same speed we'd been going. Poor Bessy was old and she had a little hitch in her get along. As much as she probably wanted to, there was no way Bessy could outrun Joanna's mother's brand-new Maxima.


"Turn into the church!" One of the other Jersey Girls yelled as if God would protect us and Joanna's mother would somehow not see us turning off the main road.


Joanna yanked the steering wheel to the right. All the girls the backseat crashed into me as Bessy turned hard into the church parking lot.


Behind us, honking blared. Joanna's mother's car was so close it was practically attached to Bessy's bumper.


A defeated Bessy rolled to a stop.


"Get back to school!" Joanna's mother yelled.


We shrank in fear. Then we went back to school.



What kind of wheels did you roll around in when you were in high school?


Green station wagon with wooden panels.
Sadly, this is NOT Bessy, but hopefully this car gives you a feel for the time period. I don't have any photos of the real Bessy, but maybe Joanna does. ;)

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4 Comments


heidi.green
heidi.green
Feb 14, 2023

When I was a teenager, I mostly just had my bike. Most of my friends had bikes. That may seem odd but it was the 70s. Simpler times.


I did have access to my mom's car, a silver Honda Civic, when she was feeling generous. My mom used to straighten the fringe on her carpets three times a day. If I brought the car back anything less than spotless... well, I have no idea what would have happened because I never did it.


One weekend afternoon, she let me borrow the car to go to my boyfriend's house. I didn't get home until 5 AM. As I was sneaking in the door, I saw my mom sitting on the sofa,…


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Suzanne Casamento
Suzanne Casamento
Feb 14, 2023
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Wow. That's a beautiful story. I can picture all of it from the fringe on your mom's carpets to her squinting through cigarette smoke. Thank you so much for sharing!

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What!! You did what??

Good grief! This memoir is going to kill me🤣😂

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Suzanne Casamento
Suzanne Casamento
Feb 14, 2023
Replying to

Oh, that's nothing. You're going to need to take Xanax before you read the memoir. 😂

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