Growing Up in Oakland . . .
1960s Skyline High School drew students from some of Oakland’s ritziest districts. And many of the students drove their own cars to school. I was one of the kids that took the bus. Look over my shoulder as I reminisce about the morning I arrived at Skyline in style.
1965 Plymouth Convertible
Front view, 1965 Plymouth Fury convertible, top up.
I am 16 years old, and the telephone rings as l get ready for school.
“Who is calling at this hour?” I wonder. Believe me, the phone has NEVER rung before at this hour.
I pick it up and groggily say, “Hello?”
Jean Harlow Lookalike?
“Hey, Mike! This is Mrs Marshall! I’m gonna drive Pat to school! Do you want a ride?”
“Ummm… I guess so . . . I mean, can you give me a few minutes?’
“Sure!” Mrs Marshall says. “Pat isn’t ready yet, either. Take your time.”
You have to remember, I am at that awkward age when you are embarrassed to be seen in public with your own parents.
However, Mrs Marshall DOES have that brand-new 1965 white Plymouth convertible with the turquoise blue leather interior . . . and that turquoise blue top . . .
Plus, she is a very attractive woman. With her platinum blonde hair, she is a dead ringer for Jean Harlow . . . except, I think she is even prettier.
The Top Is Down!
I saunter across the street on one of those spectacular California mornings, shielding my eyes from the glare. I look across the street.
“OMG! The top is down!” I was NOT expecting this.
Meanwhile, Mrs Marshall is dressed to the nines, wearing dark glasses, a white blouse, turquoise blue trousers, and gold lame sandals.
Do the clothes match the car? (Or does the car match the clothes?)
And if I remember correctly, she is chewing gum. This is, after all, the 1960s.
“Pat will be right down!” Mrs Marhsall says.
When Pat finally and groggily appears, I hear, “Come on, boys! Jump in!”
That is our cue to jump over the sides rather than opening the doors.
Arrival at Skyline
It is a new car, and Mrs Marshall wants to show it off. And we are her willing supporting cast, arriving at 1960s Skyline High School in style.
As kids that had to walk a quarter of a mile to the nearest bus stop and take AC Transit to Skyline, we envied our classmates that had their own cars.
But how many of them were ever chauffeured to Skyline by (someone who looked like) a Hollywood movie star?
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