Surprise Ending

“That old car? What a crazy idea. Whatever made you think of that?”

“That car isn't that old. Isn't it a 1940? It was always kept in perfect shape. Your Dad adored that car.”

“So true.”

“Here's what we'll do. We'll sleep in that car. Remember the boys cuttin' up when they were little? They loved that bed in the back.”

“Now you're talkin'. We'll camp out and sleep in the Nash. I'll get a roof rack to put all our extra stuff. I remember even bug screens came with that car. I wonder where they are.”

“OK. Let's get crackin'. I'll write to Victoria right now and send in the application to Wetaskiwin”.

“I'll get the car ready. New battery, new tires, fresh tune-up, check the brakes, new windshield wipers, polish the chrome and buff the paint. Change the oil and antifreeze. I'll have Bill, my mechanic go over the whole car when I'm done. Maybe he can check the front end as well. He probably will want new shock absorbers perhaps with air lift in the rear. It's quite a heavy car and with all our stuff I hate to see the springs sag in the back.”

Needless to say, the day came and everything was ready. They had a final family supper celebration with glasses of red wine from their own grapes. A detailed trip agenda was made in duplicate so the boys could follow their progress across the continent.

The trip went well. They made it in 6 days at 50 mph average and 10 hours driving time per day. People admired their car on the trip, and this prompted Alfred to wash it after each day's driving. He treated the new whitewalls with SOS and soap while Gladys cooked up some food for the evening meal.

They were welcomed in Wetaskiwin with open arms and admiration for that 1940 Nash which had made it all the way from Nova Scotia. Victoria met them with hugs and kisses and happy tears.

The week-end days spooled by in bright sunshine. Good times were had by all.

As Alfred and Gladys prepared to make their return trip, a well-dressed man in a ten gallon hat and cowboy boots approached and asked them whether they owned the Nash. He wanted to buy it for the Reynolds Museum right here in town. He himself planned to set up a display with a Nash because it was built as a sleeper.

“Just leave all your camping gear in the trunk. It will be part of the display. By the way how much do you want for the Nash? Just leave her here and we'll fly you home First Class. The airport limo will take you right to your door in Truro. We'll pay every penny to get you home safely!”

Well, what a shocking surprise. Alfred couldn't come up with a single word. But Gladys could. She picked up the pace and soon had everything settled. The Nash stayed in Alberta.


Surprise Ending

Ed Janzen is the editor and publisher of CANADIAN STORIES, a literary folk magazine that publishes short stories and poems from Canadian writers of every province of Canada. Story Quilt is an electronic magazine similar in content. Ed has written four memoirs. He also writes for the old car hobby and has a column in OLD AUTOS - a biweekly newspaper featuring mostly Canadians events and automotive history.
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