Vehicles are more than “Just Cars”

Getting my first car, a Monte Carlo, for high school present. It was a rebuilder from Dad and I loved it.

Getting my first car, a Monte Carlo, for high school present. It was a rebuilder from Dad and I loved it.

When I was growing up, cars were such a crucial part of my life on the Nordstrom farm. Races, demo derbies, enduros, the list goes on. Dad always had Chevrolets everywhere. 1957 Chevrolets and Impalas was his addiction.

I remember one time we went to the Chitwood Stunt Show at the fair in Sioux Falls, SD. We came home and Dad did a whole bunch of the tricks with the dog in the car, while we were whooping and hollering in the yard. I don’t know if Tipper was so thrilled.

A lot of my memories are with vehicles and old tractors. When Dad was collecting , after he was done taking parts, he would hook them up behind the tractor and pull them out into the grove. Us kids would take turns steering, and well many times were weren’t, but we were “like driving!” One time Suzie, Mom and me were pulling a station wagon into the grove. Tipper was along again, Dad was whipping us around and the chain broke and we went right into a tree. We were all OK, laughing, and getting up off the floor boards.

Growing up on the farm, we had to make our own entertainment, using our imagination. Suzie, my sister, were making forts in the grove. We had seen on TV, glass tables. So we wanted a glass table. Well, we were so excited that we ran down to the barn and got Dad after he was done milking to show him our forts. Then we heard, “Girls, where did you get that glass?” Oops, we knew we were dead. We had taken claw hammers and took out some safety glass in the windshields of a couple of his '57 Chevys.

I got to sell those same '57s in 2003. Even found my old swim suit from 5th grade in one of them. We used to change in the cars and swim in the cow tank, and sneak and change in the car again.

Well I got to create a current memory with a vehicle that I have this October. My son, Johnathon, is a senior in high school, the last of my babies at home all the time. Emily is almost done with college. Anyway, I made sure to dress up for Halloween in their senior year and “surprise” them. So it’s Johnathon’s turn.


My 1957 Chrysler Windsor Airport Limo was there to fit the bill! Along with an old Garretson High School cheerleading outfit. The sweater fit, my old letter jacket was on, but that cheerleading skirt wasn’t going to fit without reversing the time warp or a good case of dysentery for awhile. Within minutes I was a Zombie Cheerleader and me and the 57 Chrysler were going to school. It was perfect!

Loud exhaust, long, erie, and cool! I pulled up into the parking lot of the high school and spotted his pickup. I blocked it in and waited. Then the bell rang, and I stood on the roof with a sign greeting my son for “Happy Halloween!”

He was not shocked, but the least impressed. I road on the roof rack till he moved the car, and got in his pickup and drove home.

My job was done here... as the crazy mom.


Well that’s what and why we do these things, build memories. That 1957 Chrysler, besides being a rare factory service vehicle, was a key role in a memory that my son, I fee, won’t forget. It was fun, and I drove around town for awhile. Johnathon took the Limo out with friends.

Steve says, “You bought that, with an 18-year-old son and friends!” Well, it has been and is enjoyed. That Hemi fires right up. 254 feet of memories and fun... 16 passengers... 6 doors. The AC unit was added by the family and off a reefer. You don’t find that everywhere.

We love it. But that’s what cars do. Connect families, friends, and history... memories.

Yvette VanDerBrink- The Lil’ Nordstrom’s Gal
“Former Garretson High School Cheerleader – for Real!”

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