Archive for the ‘Personal Stories’ Category

Saying Goodbye to a Childhood Memory

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

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It’s the end of an era…and a great number of childhood memories.  Yes, I’m talking about the station wagon.  Volvo — long known for their station wagons — is the last automaker to pull the plug on this icon from my childhood. 

My grandfather owned a Chevrolet dealership, so he could drive any vehicle he wanted.  He chose a station wagon.  Why?  It allowed him to space to pack the car with his wife, daughter, son-in-law, two grandkids, and all the supplies we needed for a weekend at our lakehouse.  It had plenty of space to pick up friends — and their luggage — at the airport when they came to visit.  And while we never took long road trips, the station wagon was roomy enough for the extended family and our luggage to get to and from the airport for vacation.

I loved our station wagons.  Usually a Caprice.  Often red — Gramps’ favorite color — though the classic white with the wood grain siding was a staple in our middle-class neighborhood.

I have fond memories of sitting in front between my grandparents while the A/C blew arctic breezes directly in my face.  Why they didn’t use the vents to redirect the blasts is beyond me…I just know I wore a sweater while the rest of the family was “comfortable.”

My brother and I always got excited when there were plenty of adults to haul around, because that meant we got the backward facing seat in the rear of the vehicle.  There was just something exciting back then about a view of where we’ve been vs. where we were going.  Well, that and the fact that we could wave at the drivers behind us, make faces, and just play.  One time I put barrettes in my brother’s then-popular bowl haircut and he cried.  I laughed.  Hysterically.  I think that was the end of us sitting in the back, because “[I] just couldn’t be trusted to behave myself.”

Change is inevitable.  Companies have to make decisions that make a positive impact on their bottom line.  It’s not always easy when the product life you’re ending is one that “made” your brand.

But we’ll always have the memories.  And no minivan “crossover” will ever have the same impact as the station wagon for me.  

Do you have a station wagon memory to share?  Has your business faced a “station wagon” moment where you had to pull the plug on a product?  Share your experiences here to commemorate the end of the station wagon era.



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