The Genuine Real Thing


They come in a variety of flavors and colors. They’re about the same vintage. They seem to evoke equal heartfelt memories.

We call ours, Ethyl. She’s new to the Miss NiNi Family and serves a purpose that adds another autobiographical dimensional layer to her “jobs I’m required to perform.”

Who is Ethyl and what job is she required to perform, Dear Readers?

Ethyl is our 1994 Buick Roadmaster Estate wagon—a l-o-n-g boat-of-a-car that was created to carry quantity. She was also designed for giving multiple passengers a luxury ride. Our rust-free, faux-wood-side-paneled Ethyl is the perfect Miss NiNi dessert delivery and bring-home-the-sacks-and-sacks-of-groceries mobile!

She has perky get-up-and-go with her modified LT1 Corvette engine and turns on a shiny thin dime. And talk about leather seats offering a cushy, comfortable living-room-chair ride!

Ethyl is a contortionist of sorts as two rows of back seats fold completely flat for “acres” of level carpeted cargo space. Just ask the carry-out folks at our local “Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” store. They get to conveniently load her from stem to stern every week.

According to the young adults in our family, Ethyl is not without issues—many of them! For a family who has usually been like minded, Ethyl has brought a concern of sorts to the minds of our children.

After the four of them saw Dearly Beloved’s and my recent purchase, their body language and laissez-faire attitude were the ink that penned the mutually agreeable probable texts to each other, “What in the world were Dad and Mom thinking?!”

First Born Dear Daughter has been pretty mum on the subject. However, the eyebrow-raising and cold-shoulder treatment addressed to dear Ethyl have not gone unnoticed.

And then there’s Second Born Dear Daughter who has expressed herself in quite a forthright manner. Expressions such as: “It looks old.” It sounds old.” Oh my goodness, it has a bug shield!” (Very practical, wouldn’t you say?) “I suppose the antenna goes up and down.” (Yes, it does!) “I’m surprised there aren’t deer alerts!” (There are none, but that’s a great idea!)

Miss NiNi admits that all of those spoken and unspoken comments have merit. However, they have been taken lightheartedly with a smile by Dearly Beloved, Ethyl, and Miss NiNi due to the practicality of our wagon’s purpose.

As Ethyl comfortably reposes in our climate-controlled garage, the three of us are still convinced that we are a team ready for an intended purpose of delivering “Delicious Defined” handcrafted desserts.

And what do the gentlemanly loves of our dear daughters have to say about our Ethyl? Not much, Dear Readers. However, Mr. Digital Ad Man’s idea to wrap Ethyl in a “kitschy” wrap might just come to pass.

Truly, Ethyl is a sentimental genius! Maybe you had a clone of hers twenty or more years ago.

Our children hadn’t been raised in an ethyl. But there are folks whose long-standing memories of an ethyl family vehicle are quite heartwarming. Family members bonded together in this type of mobile created by many of the Big Three automobile manufacturers.

Because a car of this nature is a rather unique vehicle on the streets and highways, Dearly Beloved and I have been approached countless times with beaming faces of folks who remember having ridden in the back of the wagon with a rear-facing bench seat like Ethyl’s.  They acclaimed that that particular feature was a sibling-noted, squabble-worthy, “I call, Dibbs” positive for the car.

My coffee-roasting friend whose first name is shared by Yours Truly exclaims over and over about Ethyl’s beauty! She sees the noted design and comfort in a vehicle that has been polished and shined and kept out of varying climactic elements of our Midwest for multiple 360-degree-day moments.

Just as a long-lived woman who adhered to a diligent skin-care program, Ethyl requires little makeup to cover any blemishes her years of existence have tried to alter.

The more Miss NiNi learns about the sentimental stories of those who grew up in this type of automobile, the more I compare times of family togetherness in the car with family times of generations working together in the kitchen. The word, bonding, just seems to score big when applied to these situations!

The general contractor for Miss NiNi’s Desserterie buildout said, “Dad drove, and Mom would always read Hardy Boys mysteries to my siblings and me.” It made the travel time go faster and brought peace and quiet and a semblance of family cohesiveness for the trip’s duration. She does go on to say though, “No one wanted to sit on the hump. It was the center of the bench seat in the back.  It wasn’t as comfortable…plus you could get picked on from two different sides instead of just one.”

My friend who keeps my hair cut and colored noted that since they had owned their wagon before seat belts were required, they would lie back on the carpeted “flat storage” and gaze out of the roof vista window—another feature of the ethyls of their time.

One unknown gentleman who had owned a vehicle such as this actually followed us into a parking lot in Capital City. He so missed his wagon and wanted to know the story of ours. He fondly quoted, “The neighborhood kids loved the car! It was a mini school bus.”

I’m certain hundreds of freshly cut Christmas trees were escorted home on a roof of an ethyl-type wagon. Remembering that scene in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation brings back joyous grins!

So, there you have the story of our Ethyl, Dear Readers. Shunned by some. Loved by others.

For Miss NiNi, it all boils down to this. What do I do when I have more desserts to deliver than a car trunk will hold? The answer is pretty simple. I search for and buy an ethyl! She is the genuine real thing!

Miss NiNi