That winter the Plymouth Valiant supplanted the boat-like wagon we’d always used for the ride to Mass. The reasons were unclear. Maybe it got better mileage. Maybe my parents were reliving their heedless, childless, sedan-driving days.
Together we totaled six—father and mother around forty years old, four boys under twelve. This and the Valiant’s utilitarian layout dictated the seating: three up front, three in back, and none in seatbelts,...
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