Buick Electra 225 There’s more to the histories of this mismatched pair, but there’s also more to the car’s adventures. A school teacher and Sunday preacher agreed to let one of his students borrow the beautiful blue car to be driven in a parade. The owner expected it to be used for some school-connected group. To his dismay, it was in the procession with a nearly-nude high school girl perched on the hood and advertising posters plastered on the doors. The pious gentleman loved his car, but couldn’t get that image out of his mind. He sold the Buick. That’s not all: the car has more chapters. Later we learn that a widow, who disliked the isolation of life on a ranch, moved to town and hardly drove the Buick at all. She kept up its maintenance, kept it sheltered in the carport. The mileage number hardly moved. After many idle years, she decided it could go to someone else. Now joint-owners share the car. It’s working smoothly and the pair
find common interests and reveals more details about their lives. Will there be a romance? If so, will they stay in Texas? How does Maria’s mother react to Marcus? Why does Maria’s mother spend so much time at the hotel she inherited from a gentleman admirer? What was her relationship with Maria’s father ~ a Mexican? And what brought on Randy’s suicide? A ll of the details work out in crisp, non-mushy w riting, some very surprising. The car does not wind up in a junkyard, but has a splendid, albeit modestly celebrated, retirement. Parker’s big talent is in character development. By the end of the book, the stars of the story and the walk-ons are almost breathing on the pages. His observations and dialogs create the subtle recognitions that paint live personalities, like pictures in an album. They’re real enough to make the reader want to send them a message and sass them back. I liked this book very much. Anne Stinson began her career in the 1950s as a free lance for the now defunct Baltimore News-American, then later for Chesapeake Publishing, the Baltimore Sun and Maryland Public Television’s panel show, Maryland Newsrap. Now in her ninth decade, she still writes a monthly book review for Tidewater Times.
Tidewater Times June 2014