The Death Defying Country Squire

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Ah, the days of my youth! I was a THRILL-SEEKER, and didn’t even know it!


Ours was green like this one, but I don’t think it had the fancy faux wood siding.

I may be aging myself here (and I seem to be doing that quite a lot), but when I was growing up, there WERE no seatbelts! Or at least, if there were, I don’t think we used them. But being the cautious soul that I am, I used to occasionally think what I would do in case of a car accident. With my super human speed, I would simply straighten out my arms, and…brace. Much like Hazel Twigg in Chapter 4.


Nope! Not seeing any seat belts!

In today’s world, of course seat belts are important! So far in the book, there seem to be a lot of vehicle references and illustrations, and I’ve made sure that seat belts are very much present, even asking Nina to add them to the first illustration in Chapter 1, when they weren’t readily apparent.

My son Adam bore the brunt of our cautiousness: We followed the guidelines, and he sat in a booster seat – a booster seat, mind you, not a car seat! We weren’t that cruel – long after his peers had forsaken theirs, until he was the recommended height to ride unadorned. Two cautious parents and a cautious child. Safe as cotton.

But back then! Back THEN. What do you do when you have a passel of seven kids and vans hadn’t been invented for familial use? Why, you get a Country Squire station wagon, of course! Look at this old ad: Ch4CarRear

WHAT?! “The rear of the wagon is a play area”?!! Certain death! But it was fun, that car. Those little jump seats. I remember them well:


The long road trips with no little portable DVD players or video games. Just chips and cookies and my mom with her ukelele and folk songs that we knew all the words to. And plenty of Volkswagon Beetles to spy. And fights aplenty as well, but that’s how we rolled. Wild. Free. Thrill-seeking. Without even knowing it.

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6 Commentsto The Death Defying Country Squire

  1. carmella schultes says:

    My 5 siblings and I rode for 2 weeks every summer in a station wagon with no seatbelts! It was a blast. I am sure I even cheated on the seatbelt restraint laws a little with my own babies. But not anymore!

    • Ruth says:

      It IS hard. Back when I was living in bigger cities if I rode without a seat belt I felt dangerously loose, as if I were on some sort of roller coaster without the lap bar! I couldn’t lock that baby fast enough!

      It’s a teensy bit of a shame. Same with bicycle helmets. There’s nothing like the feel of the wind in your hair on a hot summer’s day, is there?

  2. Ken Agle says:

    Ah, the joys of seatbeltless travel. I must admit ignorance is bliss. Sleeping in the floorwell or up in the back behind the seats or wherever. The backfacing seats, which were only gastronomically possible because we were raised on the twisting roads of Hawaii. Good times, but never again. Well until they invent something that finally reveals how dangerous those seatbelts can be and we can go back to the playground of a station wagon.

  3. Dennis Agle says:

    Yes, those were the days. Our station wagon had no seat belts at all. When you were a baby, we would put you in a canvas seat that had hooks that we put over the back of the front seat. We didn’t know that was the suicide seat, nor that it offered no protection for you, we just wanted to keep you in one place as we drove. But see, all 7 kids still survived. Thank goodness.

    • Ruth says:

      Ah yes, Dad! Those were the Good Ol’ Days. I wouldn’t change for anything, not even the portable DVD player! Much more fun to argue and sing.