A 1941 Chevrolet, a White Silk Scarf

By George Bowering | October 31, 2001

In later years Frank Davey was always going with my wife Angela to help her buy antique furniture because he was good at that. But-well, not but, I guess, but well-several decades ago he went with me to help me buy my first car, because I had no idea how to do such a thing. I knew how to publish or rather type a poetry magazine, but I had no idea how you purchased an automobile. Out we went in his car-I am always forgetting what it was, even though I was in it when it turned over in a snow storm in the State of Washington-to Kingsway. We went looking at one of the used car lots with no building but maybe a little portable shack, and a lot of plastic pennants, really awful colours, on diagonal strings overhead. I looked at this and I looked at that, and for the first time in my life I experienced that itchy thrill of almost having a car of your own. And when I gave them a hundred dollars and did some minimal paper work I don’t remember, I had my first car. It was a black 1941 Chevrolet with a little old clock on the high dashboard, and chrome along the outside. The headlights both came on when you used the switch. It also had a spotlight, which was illegal if you weren’t a cop with a cop car. The spotlight was big and powerful and sent a beam of light deep into anyone’s back yard. It was right outside the driver’s window and I was the driver for a change. In Vancouver every Friday or Saturday night the cops would pull me over to see what kind of guy was driving this black car with a spotlight. But my favourite memory of that car was driving up Dunbar Street with my white silk scarf on and Angela Luoma by my side. When it was time to dispense with this shiny black car I left it in front of the Salvation Army store off Twelfth and Kingsway, I think it was


  • George Bowering

    George Bowering lives in Vancouver, and dreams of Trieste. Poet laureate of Canada (emeritus), and twice winner of the Governor-General's Award for literature, he's the author of many books, including, recently, "Pinboy" (Cormorant, 2012).

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