Thursday, April 7, 2011

Water Bags and Life Insurance

I was one of the lucky ones? Perhaps you've heard tales of tying that canvas water bag to the front of the car, loading the luggage and and traveling Route 66 on the vacation trip of a lifetime? For the Brunk's of Lakewood Ohio in the summer of 1961 "the trip west" couldn't be postponed any longer. Dad, eager to visit his folks who had moved to California, and Mom, always itching for a trip, decided this was the summer to make "that California trip." And so it was, the 58 Ford was loaded, the family pet, Bambi, a black cocker spaniel, taken to the boarding kennel and the kids, that would be, sister Carol and I, installed in the back seat. As Dad use to say, "let's cock her back and let her fly", it was, in short, an exciting time!
But wait......I digress.....there is the afore mentioned WATER BAG!

As a 12 year old I had already heard several adults tell stories of family adventure, traveling across the desert of the American Southwest in an automobile. Nearly all the tales contained the admonition to not go forth without a WATER BAG, a canvas bag about 12"x12", with a rope over the top to allow it to be hung from the car, filled with life sustaining water; just in case!........ Just in case?
That just in case statement had all the elements of western adventure. I could hardly wait until we made it to Oklahoma where these treasured symbols of adventure travel were sold, at the filling stations of that time, for about 25 cents. As we traveled on we saw many a car with this iconic symbol affixed over the radiator. While the uniformed attendant pumped 25 cents a gallon gas into Fairlane 500, and the four of us were being refreshed with 12 once Pepsi's (twice a much, for a nickel too) I was suggesting to Father it was, doubtless, time for us to acquire OUR life sustaining water bag........somehow,?.......somehow, I still don't understand why, Dad didn't share my enthusiasm. My carrier in sales had just begun! "Dad, you know EVERYBODY has one,...... it's simply not safe for us to go on without one,......what, dear father,....just WHAT would people think,...... pleeeeese??..... Finally, and I've always loved her for this, Mom intervened,?...... "Ralph, what possible harm could come from us having a water bag?".........Dad had no answer,......YES, the sale was made;..... well OK,....he wasn't SOLD, sold,......but we did, by crackie, have a water bag, proudly hanging from the front fender of the Ford, and the twelve year old boy, that still lives within this sixty two year old man, was ready to face the adventure of his young life. A cowboy hat, gun, holster and horse couldn't have thrilled me more, and,......and, what I didn't realize at the time, I'd sold my first life insurance policy; a water bag to my Dad! A future life of adventure awaited!......So it goes.

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Location:Shamrock Texas

1 comment:

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