One summer day we even went out to see it, and while I was too young to remember exactly where it was, I vividly recall hiking through long grass to get to the car, Even back then, in the early 1990's, the car was in rough shape. My father knew he had a huge project in front of him if he ever wanted to restore it, but he was determined to do it one day. While many other details are cloudy today, what I do recall is finding a box of his childhood toys in the trunk. There was a pile of old red Meccano, some books, papers and drawings and a painted Woody Woodpecker cutout he had made! For years I played with that Meccano, and I'm sure that faded Woody is still laying around somewhere...
Instead of asking my Aunt where the vehicle was located, my little sister, a friend and I hopped in the car and headed out on the backroads outside of town. I knew roughly in which direction to head, and had the name of the farmer. In our region, a single last name can appear on quite a few mailboxes, but my sister was pretty sure she had gone to school with the granddaughter of the farmer. We didn't know exactly where they lived, but it was a beautiful sunny day and we had fun criss-crossing the country lanes in search of the right property.
An elderly gentleman answered and confirmed he was indeed 'Mac', the person we were looking for. I told him who I was and he instantly said he remembered my father. When I told him we wanted to see the old car, he looked surprised. He told us that there wasn't much left, and that it would be nearly impossible to move from where it was. When I reassured him that it was simply a nostalgic tour to see the car and take a few pictures, he agreed to take us out there. In true rural style, we hopped in the back of his 4x4 pickup (okay, so I got to sit in the cab while my sister and my friend had to clamber up in the box!) and he slowly drove us across his rough and rutted cow field.
I like to think that I'm a 'grounded' person, but the discovery of this bit of family folklore helped me feel even more firmly planted in the ground. I've had to chance to travel the world, and will continue to explore further, but I love that I have roots and a place to call home. And what could be more fitting than a rusty shell of an old car acting as my anchor?