I grew up surrounded by the car business. My dad was an old-school car dealer. The kind who would say to customers things like, “Whaddya think, we plug these lights into the moon?” or “Whaddya mean you have to ask your wife? What kind of sissy has to ask his wife if he can buy a car?”
He carried a wad of cash in his pocket with a rubber band around it, instead of a wallet. He wore Sansabelt slacks that coordinated perfectly with matching polyester-blend golf shirts and pullover v-neck sweaters with little penguins embroidered on the left breast. He golfed 18 holes most every afternoon, and spent his evenings in lounges with high-back red leather booths, velvet wallpaper, and great big porterhouse steaks… a glass of something clear, amber, and on the rocks invariably in-hand.
In the 1970’s he broke Nissan’s sales record for the most new vehicles sold in a single month. (They were still Datsun then.) When he died in 2008, the record still stood.
When I was a little girl, I thought my dad smelled like 50% perspiration, and 50% California sunshine. I thought he could make money rain from the sky.
But I never wanted to be a car dealer.