Growing up as a young girl

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lynnsclunker
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Growing up as a young girl

Postby lynnsclunker » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:09 pm

I remember watching my mom struggle like me with her car when I was very young, as I am probably not alone in this on this board? This one morning in question, Mom actually tried for an hour, and - get this - pumped the gas pedal in our forementioned P.O.S. Ford Pinto in excess ofa HUNDRED times at once.Yep. One-zero-zero. I couldn't believe it either.It was another one of those clear, frosty subzero January mornings that seemed cold enough to shatter plastic. We were in the middle of a cold snap that was causing temperatures and wind chills to be in the Arctic range, and the old Pinto wasn't liking it. The Pinto had sat all weekend, but now it was Monday and it was time to resume work and school. As usual, I was to catch a ride with Mom while she went to work.This morning, Mom was in some sort of blouse and snug black cotton rayon dress pants, as nyloned skin would likely freeze within 5 minutes of being outside. Mom put on her long black winter coat and gloves, and pulled on her calf high black winter heeled boots. She grabbed the keys with a resounding jingle and stated she was going to go warm up the car. I acknowledged "yep" and kept finding excuses to stay inside, untucking and tucking in my blouse, rechecking my backpack, and so on. I thought I was playing it safe by letting her go warm up the car on her own, as after 5 minutes or so it would likely be started and I wouldn't need to witness anything. As time passed, I began to wonder if it was safe to go outside. It was getting hot inside in my winter coat. I looked out the living room window, which afforded me a behind-above-and to the left three-quarter view of the car. I wasexpecting to see Mom scraping off the running Pinto. Instead, she was still behind the wheel. I watched nervously, and there was a rhythmic puffing of little white clouds of moisture from the muffler, signifying cranking. The puffs continued for a few seconds, then stopped. I looked again, and Mom's head and shoulders were bobbing up and down rapidly as if she were running in place. I knew from experience that this meant she was pumping the accelerator pedal quite aggressively with the key off. The bounces ceased and the rhythmic puffs of white came from the muffler again, signifying another long, yet failed, crank. I decided it was time to face the music and grabbed my backpack, trudging out to the car. As I approached I heard the silence of an unstarted car and saw the glowing red dash lights throughthe window. Throwing my pack in the back seat,I closed my door, doing up my seat belt, all without looking up. "Maybe I should call in sick or something," I murmured. "Well,it doesn't want to start for me just yet, but it will. It's just cold. "All throughout this sentence, Mom was steadily bobbing lightly in her seat as she pumped the accelerator pedal up and down, heel on the floor and boot rocking back and forth, causing her snug rayon encased pantleg to bob with the pumps. I tried not to watch. She leaned forward, head sortof cocked as if she were listening, and turned the key again. Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh,went the frozen engine. No promise of firing whatsoever. Mom released the key yet again and pumped the pedal an additional 10 times as I winced in embarrassment. "Come on old girl, this isn't the time to act up," she urged. Another try.Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh.No fire. None.I knew it wasn't going to start. The carburetor was much too old and worn out, and the morning was too bitterly cold. Brand new cars were likely failing this morning. I tried to sit still and not think about the situation I was currently in.

As I sat there, Mom was preparing for another futile crank by pumping the accelerator pedal with a vengeance. I couldn't take it anymore."Jeez, why don't we get this thing fixed, or get another car! "Mom stopped and looked down at me. She began in a patronizing tone that told me she was beginning to become quite frustrated with the car...or me...or both. "Well, because money is tight right now. You know that. And even though we're okay for money, I'm helping out by driving a car that cost me barely anything to buy. For back and forth to work, it's more than enough. So if it doesn't want to start in the morning unless I pump the gas, then guess what? So what. I'll deal with that gladly. And if it won't start if I give it ten pumps, I'll give it twenty. If twenty doesn't work I'll try thirty. Hey, if it means getting back and forth to work for next to nothing, I'll pump the gas a hundred times if I need to do that to start it! There are worse problems to have. Do you understand what I mean? Sorry if I shouted just then, I'm not mad at anyone...I'm just not picky right now about what we drive. "I nodded, deciding it was smart just to shut up. Even if it meant that she might flood it. Which was unlikely with its decrepid carburetor and failing accelerator pump. All I knew is that I didn't want to hold her to her 100-pump word. Mom scooted forward a bit on the bench seat and began pumping the pedal with a renewed vengeance. Her entire boot was leaving the pedal, then slamming it down into the rubber floor mat with a stomp. Each time that happened, she thrusted her snug rayon pants-covered leg out almost straight and it bounced off the seat cushion. This motion created some of the most determined pumping I have ever seen. Face calm and serious, hands on the wheel, but right leg and booted foot slamming up and down furiously and steadily as mom bounced away in the seat. I counted at least 20 pumps, then she leaned forward and turned the key."Come on baby, start this time for me. Please! "Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh. Another tired old crank with no signs of stirring. More rapid stomping, so furious that her leg likely was getting quite tired as were her breasts probably from all the bouncing they were dowing. She didn't seem to care. "ComeON I said, dammit. "Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh. Stomp stomp stomp, as her leg thrusted up and down and boot slammed the pedal into the mat. This time she pumped and pumped and pumped to no end. I saw her lips moving, then she whispered "Thirty," and twisted the key again.Oh dear Lord. She was counting them now. Almost to make a point. Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh. Silence. This time she began telling the car where to go as her right leg and heeled boot slammed up and down steadily. (stomp stomp stomp stomp) "You...(stomp stomp stomp stomp)...dirty...((stomp stomp stomp stomp)...old... (stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp)...rotten...(stomp stomp stomp stomp)...car...(stomp stomp stomp stomp)... I told...(stomp stomp stomp stomp)...you...(stomp stomp stomp stomp)...to...(stomp stomp stomp stomp)...START! (Stomp) thirty seven...(Stomp) thirty eight.... (Stomp) thirty nine....(Stomp) Forty. Now come on already! "This time the battery began to give out, and as Mom held the key hard over and pumped and bounced like a mad woman, it became evident that things were looking very grim. Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh-Ruh-duh-duh...ruh...ruh...ruh....ruh....rurr.....rurr.......rurr.......rurr....Finally she released the key. "Oh dear Lord," she muttered. "I think she only has one try left in her.....

Lynn

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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby phil2010 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:52 pm

Quality, Lynn,

To be Continued ? ?

P
x

lynnsclunker
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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby lynnsclunker » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:36 pm

phil2010 wrote:Quality, Lynn,

To be Continued ? ?

P
x


Of course Sweetie. Here it is:

Well at least this will be over soon, I thought.The battery will put and end to it whether Mom wants it to or not. God, she's stubborn!She sat there for a few seconds, then scooted forward even further on the bench seat and wrapped her left arm around the steering wheel. She then positioned her boot further up on the little thin gas pedal and proceeded to pump it as frantically and furiously as she could, with the key remaining off, leg flying up and down as her boot stomped the floor mat. She pumped...and pumped....and pumped....and pumped.....and bounced......and bounced..........and bounced. I heard her whisper forty, then fifty, then sixty, in between urging "c'mon" gently every few pumps under her breath as she bounced and bounced.I couldn't believe it. One hundred pumps."If that's not enough pumping, I don't know what is," she spat bitterly. "Now come on baby. Please. Just this once."rurr.......rurr.........rurr........rurr.......rurr.....(about this time Mom resumed hammering the gas pedal vigorously despite the slowing, groaning starter)...rurr.............rurr................rurr...............rurr........rrrruuuuurr. Click click.Finally, the death rattle of a solenoid clicking on a dead battery. It was over. Back inside, as I still shuddered at thinking about a hundred pumps in a row....that had been much too dramatic...Mom called the neighbours to try to get me a ride. "Hi there! Listen, I can't get my car started at all today. I actually killed the battery trying it. (laughing) Can you offer a ride? Thanks. How about my daughter, can she come also, to be dropped off at school? Oh? (pause) really! Okay, thanks for the info! "Mom hung up, and told me she was getting a ride to work, but school had been cancelled on account of the frigid weather. So all of that could have been avoided. I had the day off, but somehow it wouldn't leave my head as I was forever changed. That was sheer determination by the most stubborn lady I know...THE END

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franfran
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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby franfran » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:37 pm

Maybe you should catch a bus instead, seeing as you don't know how to start a car.
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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby lvbrftdrvng » Tue May 10, 2011 2:55 pm

fantastic !

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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby minigirl » Mon May 16, 2011 6:47 pm

I'm not convinced that you are female, but in the unlikely event that you are, I don't think that you have grown up.
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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby 85Ashleigh » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:33 am

I can relate. We didn't have a lot of money growing up and always seemed to have cars that could use work. I remember being about 7 or 8 and leaving a friends house. My mom had come to pick me up in her pale yellow 1968 Pontiac Catalina station wagon. It was a huge car with one of those 3rd row seats. We never wore seat belts back then either so could easily jump over the seats while she drove.

It was a chilly, damp day getting to be around 5 in the evening. We loaded up with me being in the back seat. Mom closed the heavy squeaky door and put the key in the ignition. She turned the key and had her foot pressing the brake. It tried to start, but wasn't starting. She waited a moment while the dash was lit up with all those red lights glowing. Then she tried again for about 10 seconds. Next she put her foot on the long gas pedal that had the silver medal around it on the edges. She pumped it about 4 or 5 times and put her foot back on the wide brake pedal. Turned the key and the car fired up. She revved it several times and we were on our way.

We rode on all the neighborhood streets stopping at stop signs. The car seemed to be running great which wasn't always the case. We finally made it to the 4 lane road which was a main road in our town. Lots of traffic was clogging up the 2 lanes going south. We were stuck in stop and go traffic. I had jumped to the very back of the car and noticed that the car was shaking some when we would slow down. I guess it was starting to idle a little rough. We made it up close to the light and were about 4 cars back when the traffic light turned red. All of the sudden the car started shaking alot. I heard my mother say, "Oh great. The car just died on me. " She put the gear shift into park and pumped the gas pedal twice. No luck. Just the whining of the engine. She pumped the gas pedal again several times and tried. It didn't even sound like it wanted to start. Just that cranking noise that sounded the same. I could tell mom was getting upset. She pumped the gas pedal about 6 times and then started turning the key while continuing to pump that big gas pedal. It started this time and just in time for the green light.

Mom put her foot on the brake to shift quickly into drive. As she was pulling the gear shift down, the dash lit up again with all the lights glowing red. The car had died. Cars behind us were honking and mom stuck her hand out the window to motion them to go around. She was back in park, pumping the gas pedal and trying desperately to start the old station wagon. Three tries later it roared to life again. She put her foot back on the brake to shift into drive and it died on her again!

Cars were now aware there was a problem and were going around us. Mom was angry, nervous, and not sure what to do. She yelled for me to get back up front. I think she was scared we would get rear ended and I would get crushed. I was feeling nervous with butterflies in my stomach too. It was making me so anxious that the car kept stalling and she was unable to get it to start again. Mom saw that there was a grassy area right beside the lane. She told me that she was going to try and get the car started and try to get into the grass. She said that if she could get it in the grass, then she could rev the engine for a while and get it running correctly.

She started pumping the gas pedal about 15 times. Then she turned the key and held the pedal to the floor. The car sounded like it was so close to starting, but just couldn't. That was an encouraging sound finally and she wasn't going to give the car any mercy. This time she slid up on the black, vinyl bench seat and grabbed the steering wheel with her left arm kind of wrapped around the top. She reached for the key which was located on the dashboard and not the steering column like in newer cars. This was an old car. Anyway, this position gave her foot a better angle to really pump. She placed her foot straight on the floor hinged pedal and began pumping it up and down all the way to the floor. She turned the key while continuing this heavy duty pumping. It was straining hard to start, but not quite. She never quit pumping the gas pedal. Just taking a few moments between turns of the key. I think she tried it 6 times and it finally started. She was so quick this time and didn't even touch the brake. She just barely let her foot ease up on the gas pedal , slammed the gear shift down into drive, and jammed her foot hard onto the pedal. The car lurched forward with a powerful force and we were into the grassy area. The car was chugging and she quickly got it into park. She was back on the edge of the seat and using long full pumps to try and even out the engine. The car would rock with every press on the pedal, but it also sounded like it was "missing out". You know, not getting quite enough gas or something like it was coughing.

It never did sound like it was running smoothly, but mom wanted desperately to get home. She saw a break in the traffic and the light was green at that moment. She put her foot on the brake and shifted into drive. She pushed the gas pedal about halfway down to make the car move on out, but it sputtered with that surge of gas and died on her again. I think my mom was almost in tears. The traffic light turned red again and the cars piled up to stop at the light. We sat in the grassy area and she tried to start the engine again. No luck. More pumping and cranking, but the car sounded like it was no where near starting. We sat in silence for about 5 minutes. Then she got a second wind and started pumping the gas pedal furiously. The engine tried and tried, but would not start. She pumped some more and then tried it without pumping the gas while turning the key. It seemed like the battery was getting a bit low.

Suddenly there was a tap at the driver's side window. We hadn't noticed someone pull up behind us in the grass. There was a man who had probably just come from the office. He was driving a nice Cadillac and was dressed in a suit with black loafers. He asked if we would like some help. Mom was very happy to have someone try and help. He opened the hood and she got out. I could hear her telling him how the car had stalled at the light. Then she explained that every time she puts the car in drive, it starts shuddering really bad and dies. The man mentioned smelling a lot of gas. Mom admitted that she had pumped the gas quite a bit, but that it was normal for this car. Usually a morning ritual. They both laughed with the man saying that his wife also had a Plymouth station wagon that could be a challenge to start on cold mornings. It was the 70's after all and I can remember seeing many neighbors and strangers in parking lots struggling greatly to get their cars started. I know that owner's manuals say to pump the gas once and turn the key to start the old cars, but that never worked on ours. My parents always had to pump the gas pedal a lot to get our old cars and even my dad's old chevy truck started. The man asked my mom to get in and try it. She started pumping away and turning the key. It just cranked. He then asked her if she minded him getting in and giving it a try. She got in the passenger seat and he slid behind the wheel. It made me feel strange to have this man now taking control of our dead and possibly flooded car. He pumped it a few times and then said, "Oh I didn't mean to do that. Habit!" He turned my mom's car key hanging from the dash and had his foot on the brake.The car just cranked and cranked. No sign of wanting to start. He told mom that he thought she had flooded it. He pressed the big gas pedal all the way to the floor and held it there while he turned the key. The car started that cranking noise where it sounded like it could almost start, but didn't. He quit trying and we sat there while the traffic flew past us. He started telling us about a time when his wife flooded their car really bad before an important meeting he had to go to. She was trying to be nice and warm up the Plymouth for him before his meeting on a really cold morning. He was mad then, but said he knew she was just trying to be nice. She now drives the Plymouth all the time and he had bought this Cadillac which rarely gave him problems because it was new. Then he did the same thing again reaching for the key, turning it and crushing the big pedal into the floor. It cranked and was so close to starting. The red lights on the dash would get dim as the car tried and tried to start. He waited a minute and tried again. The Catalina did not like this man trying to start it. It still would not start even though it was making that higher pitched squeal of being right on the verge off starting. I could tell he was getting frustrated, but wanted to show the car who was boss by getting it started. He moved forward at bit and his black loafer slammed the gas pedal to the floor. He grabbed the keys and turned it hard. This time a large cloud of smoke came out the back and the car roared to life. He revved it up good. I think he revved the engine for about 10 minutes. The car was rocking and sputtering, but he wouldn't let up or give it a rest.

He said that he wanted to try and get the car across the street to a gas station on the corner. He shifted into drive and the car lurched forward, but stayed running. Luckily traffic had eased up and he was able to shoot straight across the street into the gas station. He parked the car, but sat there revving the engine for a bit. The car actually smoothed out and seemed to be running okay. Mom tried to pay him, but he would not take any money. He even offered to follow us home in case the car died on us again. She declined.

She slid over to the drivers side and we took off. We caught a couple lights before reaching our street. I noticed mom shift quickly into neutral. She kept one foot on the brake and pumped the gas pedal, revving the engine the whole time we were at the light. Light turned green and she slammed it into drive. We jerked forward, but the car didn't die. We got home and mom turned off the car. Then she said, "i'm going to see if it will start up again." She just turned the key and it started cranking without starting. She slid up on the seat again, grabbed the steering wheel and pumped the gas pedal really fast with the ball of her foot hitting the pedal about mid way up. Her foot was bouncing off and on, over and over. She reached over and turned the key while continuing this wild pumping of the big, but slenderish gas pedal. The car started that high pitch almost start sound, but wouldn't start. She gave up and we went inside. I could smell gas and knew that tomorrow morning was not going to be pretty. Dad asked what had taken us so long to get home. He was starting to worry. Mom started to tell him in detail EVERY little thing that had happened. I think she was upset and wanted him to know all the trouble she had and for him to take a look at the car. I didn't want to hear all about what I had just lived. I was actually pretty mad myself because I couldn't understand why we had to ride around in crappy old station wagons. It was so embarrassing and got worse as I got older. Yea, we got other cars, but they were never new. New to us they would tell me. I hated for friends to come with us especially first thing in the mornings. Embarrassing! :oops:

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franfran
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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby franfran » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:13 pm

85Ashleigh wrote:I noticed mom shift quickly into neutral.


Her brain I presume?
Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece.

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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby youngpedal » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:10 pm

interesting stories. :) mx

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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby denisehornsby » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:37 am

Hi,
I agree with minigirl. You are not female,and are most perculiar
regards, Denise

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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby JustMeA007 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:10 am

franfran wrote:Maybe you should catch a bus instead, seeing as you don't know how to start a car.

..............................................
Last edited by JustMeA007 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby ErinK1380 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:58 am

We had a car that would take forever to start sometimes, it was a Subaru. It wasn't that old when I remember it starting to shake a lot but it just kept getting worse. If my mom would leave it running while she went in a store or something it would be fine for a little bit but then it would start shaking a lot. It would slowly get worse and worse until it was shaking and rocking in every direction, that's when I knew it was going to stall.

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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby JustMeA007 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:36 am

franfran wrote:Maybe you should catch a bus instead, seeing as you don't know how to start a car.

Don't have to know how to cold start a car any more. The onboard computer does everything for you.
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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby JustMeA007 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:49 pm

Watching the girls when I was young made one wonder how nice it must have been growing up as a young girl.
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Re: Growing up as a young girl

Postby JaVAN » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:12 pm

These are very good descriptive stories. I have seen a lot myself and growing up in the 50's and 60's, a bunch of the cars acted up and got very balk in cold damp weather. Things didn't change until electronics came in and fuel injection came popular in the late 80's and 90 s. I know becase my parents 62 Belair was very unreliable in winter and like a lot of neighbors cars was in the shops getting worked on or being towed. l still had some problems with my 78 Dodge, 83 Suburban, 2001 Buick. Our 97 Voyager and 2003 Taurus problems were mostly mechanical and electronic. They were all fuel injection engines. Now most problems are still electronic, and the types of fuel bein used ,Ethenol, unleaded, diesel, and CNG, LPG . SO probably problems will exist. So the pedal pumping activities were around back then. And some of us enjoyed it and miss it . Only to be found in the classic cars that employ the 50's thru the 80's technology. IF it has a carburetor on it ,it will need some pumping action on it some time. VARROOM VARROOM!


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