It was docked in our driveway: the USS Cadillac, a white flagship of the Christopher family. This 1973 model seemed to me to be the longest 4-door sedan ever made. Four full-sized adults could easily sit in the plush and comfortable back seat with yards of leg room. Because of the weight of the metal body, a large gas tank was necessary. It burned through gallons so quickly, I fancied I could actually see the gauge moving to “E”. Lucky for us, gas was cheap in the ’80’s. The mafia would have found the expansive trunk very handy – an entire family could fit inside. But my family, for lack of a truck, found it most useful for hauling firewood.
The automakers had not foreseen its use as an ATV, but since we needed wood for the stove in our living room, there was that small matter of getting it from the woods to the house. All of us climbed in and held on for dear life. The car bucked and heaved over the uneven ground, frequently making a hideous scraping sound along the underside like barnacles dragging along a sand bar. I had visions of a punctured gas tank igniting and sending us skyward into the next county. The destination was a felled and cut-up tree in the back of the 15 acres.
We disembarked and loaded up the trunk as evenly as possible. We walked back to the house, following the dangerously low-riding vehicle, and unloaded the wood under the porch of the old log smoke house. When the last load was delivered, we were done and docked the ship once more.