Monday, July 11, 2011

The Wonder Years

One of the posts on this humble blog dealing with the fiftieth anniversary of the "modern" MG Midget  found its way into the pages of the South Alabama British Car Club's NEWSLETTER. This article prompted an email exchange between me and the always-interesting Fletcher Thompson.The email conversation set me thinking about the earliest memory I have of a Midget or Sprite and it came back to me as the one driven by my sixth grade teacher during my family's time in Fairfield, California.

As a student at Dover Elementary School, I would walk from our home and the route was along the busy main drags of the city. Being in California, a lot of cars were of the foreign persuasion and therefore somewhat foreign to my midwestern upbringing. There were Veedubs aplenty to be sure but there were more than a few strange (at the time) Japanese imports, too. I knew that when I arrived at the school, my teacher's Mineral Blue Sprite would be in its usual spot.

To say that I admired the car would be an understatement. I clearly remember the disc wheels with chrome "AH" hubcaps and light blue convertible top. If memory serves, it was a '66 or '67. 

My teacher was in her first year of teaching after graduating from UC Berkley. If there is anything I recall more vividly than her car, it has to be her. She was tall, blond and had hippie tendencies. Her dresses were some of the shortest I had ever seen in my tender years and Lord have mercy, she wore fishnet stockings and boots. If I had a connection to the sea change of the sixties, it was her. 

More than once on my way home from school I saw her driving the blue Sprite on her way home too, top down, long blond hair shining in the California sun.  

Miss Judith Winters, I hope you found your hippie happiness. 

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