1 generation’s humiliation is another’s joy

Back in my teenage years on the farm in the Nebraska Panhandle, I was faced with a dilemma: stay home one Saturday night or take my dad’s pickup to town.  The family car had stopped working, and it was my turn to pick up my girlfriends.

It wasn’t an easy decision. The beckoning of the bright lights of Broadway won out and much to my friends’ dismay, I picked them up in Dad’s pickup. It was a mortifying experience for all involved. Being seen in a pickup was so, well, so hickish even for a farm girl. Yet, why does one go to town and cruise Broadway?  To be seen, of course.

Except, it didn’t take long for us to decide we really didn’t want to be seen driving a two-tone green farm pickup with a wooden fence-like contraption my dad built around the box to keep the livestock from jumping out on the way to market or the vet. In the cab of the truck sat three humiliated girls who didn’t want to be seen or go home, either. Going home meant missing out on all the action associated with using a tank of gas driving up and down a street for several hours on a Saturday night. Our social lives were in jeopardy.

We got out our bandannas, tied them around our heads, put on dark glasses and tried to hide behind the sun visor, sure no one would be the wiser. Right!

Times have changed. Our 24-year old citified grandson just purchased a pickup and is tickled pink. The pickup is to his generation what the pink and charcoal Ford was to mine. Anyone in a pickup today has no need for a bandanna — not that anyone in that generation even knows what a bandanna is — they want to be seen.

If today’s younger generation covet the pickup, those of my era covet the minivan or the SUV for its room and ease in getting in and out even though they haven’t a clue about all the knobs, buttons and sounds on the newer models. We have no desire to cruise main or to be seen, and it’s a good thing since, while most of us know what a bandanna is, we haven’t tied one around our head for decades.

Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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