The Falcon

"The Falcon" is from our third short story collection, Wind in the Pines.
“The Falcon” is from our third short story collection, Wind in the Pines.

The Falcon

My Daddy had a wonderful sense of humor. You had to know him well to be exposed to how he loved making fun of everything. He could really surprise you at times.

We had an old 1963 Ford Falcon that had been passed around in our family. It had once been blue but by about 1980 it was more rusty primer than blue. It was a small car, good on gas, low on glamour, and had well over 200,000 miles on the odometer. I remember when my parents told my sister, Colleen, she could take it to college for a few weeks. She refused, even though it meant walking and getting rides. She said she didn’t want to be seen driving anything that looked that bad.

My youngest sister Claudia shared it with my mom. We razzed little sister about having a car to go to school in when we older siblings once had to ride the bus. But having the Falcon in the high school parking lot meant a lot of good-natured laughter from your peers, so I guess it wasn’t too much of a prize; it often lost its brakes, among other things.

Even though the Falcon was ugly, it was a driving machine. It had good acceleration and with the wind blowing in through the open windows, (no AC in the Falcon) you felt as if you were going much faster than you actually were.

I’m not sure when, or why, Daddy decided to sell the Falcon, but he got creative on his ad. In that issue of the Beauregard Daily News he placed this ad:


The Falcon "For Sale" actual ad placed by my dad. Circa 1979.
The Falcon “For Sale” actual ad placed by my dad. Circa 1979.


"Looks like hell, runs like a spotted ape." My Dad's ad.
“Looks like hell, runs like a spotted ape.” My Dad’s ad.

My parents said the phone rang off the wall that evening. Daddy sold it quickly to a boy from Singer, which I thought was pretty appropriate. It was a country car and deserved a country owner.

Years later, men still come up, get their wallet out, and hand me a tattered newspaper clipping. Grinning, they will comment, “Do you remember when your dad put this ad in the paper?”

I always assure them I remember it well.

If anyone has a photo of the Falcon, I’d give part of my inheritance to have a copy.


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