My Dad, Jim, had three loves in his life. His family, his cat and his Kingswood. The Kingswood was a metallic green monster, the Incredible Hulk turned into a car. Like everything else in our little house in West Footscray, the driveway was narrow.
Every evening, Dad would manoeuvre the Kingswood up to the garage, squeeze out of the side door and gently put his baby to bed. In the morning he’d back it out again. Only he could accomplish this. The proverbial camel through the eye of a needle had nothing on this operation.
On Sunday mornings Dad would park the Kingswood out the front of the house, lug the hose over and wash it from top to bottom, paying particular attention to the tyres. Sometimes, he’d take a break halfway through to watch the wood chop on World of Sport and he was always finished in time for the roast lunch.
Dad was a bus driver. For years he drove a Sitch bus along Anderson Street in Yarraville. And he drove the Kingswood in the same way he drove his bus, very slowly and always hugging the left hand curb. Even when he had to turn right in five hundred metres, he would tootle across three lanes of traffic to get over to the left, then make his way back again to make the turn.
Dad drove that Kingswood for over thirty years until he was well into he was well into his eighties. He did wear a hat so at least people were warned. Towards the end of his life he’d often say, ‘I had the worst day of my life.’ The day he sold the Kingswood probably was.