Monday, June 11, 2012

"In My Merry Oldsmobile"

Something I saw on another blog several months ago brought back a memory.  Actually it's kind of a second hand memory because it is a memory from my mother's childhood that she told to me during MY childhood....all of that adds up to a story that happened a looong time ago!!. 

I never met any of my Great Grandfathers, but my mom vividly remembered her father's father.  Evidently there was absolutely no doubt who was in charge of that family.  My great grandfather ruled with an iron fist.  Both he and my great grandmother were from Germany and as many Germans of that time, he was a hard-line disciplinarian and unchallenged head of the house.  I believe it is fair to say that he intimidated his wife and all of his children (of which there were six or seven, I believe.) rather consistently.  What Father says, goes!  No questions.  I don't really know much about him however.  I have no idea how he supported the family.  I don't know his profession.  I don't believe he was wealthy, but I do think they were "comfortable."   I have never seen a photograph of my great grandfather, but I have always thought of him as a rather large man, dressed to the nines,  who bellowed!

Even after my grandfather married and had 11 children of his own, his father remained the head of the family....his WHOLE  family up until the day he died.  A case in point....

At some point in the 1930s (after the start of the Depression) my great-grandfather bought a great, big, shiny, black car that  would hold quite a lot of people.  I don't remember what make mom said  it was, but in my mind it has always been an Oldsmobile, probably because of the song "In My Merry Oldsmobile."   The car may well have been an Oldsmobile, but after hearing mom tell the story, I'm not at all sure it ever could have been considered "Merry"!!

You see, my great grandfather couldn't, or wouldn't (I don't remember which) drive, so he let my grandfather have use of the car.  The hitch was that Great-Grandfather wouldn't let Gramps drive the car alone!  He insisted on going along where ever and when ever they were going somewhere!   Mom told me he would sit in the back seat, like an enthroned king, and proceed to drive my grandfather crazy with his backseat driving!!   Mom said that when they got home from one of their rides, Gramps would be in a bad mood for the rest of the day.  I can understand why.  I'm sure he resented being told how and where to drive by his father!  Still, I guess it was a small price to pay for the use of an auto when you have none of your own!

Going for a ride was a highlight for all the kids.  The 11 kids in mom's family would have to take turns going with and they used to argue fiercely about whose turn it was to go for a ride in their Grandfather's big shiny car.  The kids had a great time.  Even though their grandfather was a tyrant, I guess they all thought it was worth putting up with, just to go for a ride.  I probably would have thought so too!

I don't think this is the same car, but since this was taken around 1949, I guess it could have been.  But one thing I do know for sure, my Gramps had a much better time driving without his father in the back seat!  He could finally go wherever he wanted "In My His Merry Oldsmobile!"


  1. I think most men were strong heads of the house hold back then...I think it may have been expected of was the same for my dad was a disciplinarian that no one crossed...he mellowed a tad bit by the time I arrived in the family..Thank you for sharing...I love hearing stories of peoples childhoods...especially yours as you write them so well. That is a pretty fancy car.:)

  2. Mellodee, this post was a nice slice of a life long past. Did your grandad ever get his own car to drive later in life and maybe not an Olds?

  3. My Great grandfather was born in America , but his mother was an unwed mother who immigrated from Germany.(Imagine the stigma attached to that one in the mid 1800's). I remember him as a crotchety short fat guy who wore his pants up to his armpits and walked with a cane.My Grams always said he was a tyrant at home, made everyone work, work, work, while he sat and watched. Most of the girls got married young to get away from home. My Grams got married at barely 16. I wonder if it was just the way it was back then. I have pictures of my great-great grandparents, and they both look like they could bite 10 penny nails in two. LOL!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It's really nice knowing what you think!! Besides, comments keep me from feeling like I'm here all by myself!! :)

You might also like....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...