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January 19, 2010

"The Way Back"

A blast from the past. A few months ago I got a new company car. It's a crossover SUV, and because of it I used a certain term the other day while doing some shopping. It was a term that had not crossed my lips in many years having owned and leased countless compact cars and sedans. Wendy asked me where something was and I said, "I put it in 'the way back.'"

"The 'way back?'" she asked.

"Oh yeah," I replied. "You probably don't know about 'the way back.'"

Wendy laughed and exclaimed. "Believe me, I know about 'the way back.'"

Suddenly, I was transported to my childhood. Growing up in the early seventies with three older siblings and a Mercury Marquis station wagon complete with wood trim and a rumble seat that faced out the back window.

Mom and Dad got the front seat.

Tim and Terry got the back seat.

Me and Jody were in "the way back."

The "way back" was where you sat in the rumble seat and stared awkwardly at the people in the car behind you. The "way back" was where you set up a fort and play pen with blankets, toys and luggage. The "way back" was where you lay down to take a nap on long vacation road trips.

A lot of memories come flooding to me with the term "the way back." It's a term likely to be lost with subsequent generations. I'm glad it's re-entered my vocabulary to give me a smile and a warm memory, if nothing else.

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