The Art of Jean Groberg

"Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint on it you can."

 Danny Kaye   

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Elizas Convetible - For Sale
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Eighty-four year old Eliza had a little building in her backyard that she called "the cabin". Some of her five children slept there during warm summer weather in the 1920's and 1930's. In 1974 it still contained a single bed along with an eclectic assortment of some very interesting stuff.

A shed-like addition to the cabin created an open ended garage for her Pontiac convertible. She said that in 1936 the automobile factory made only four cars like hers. She was the original owner of this forty-year old car.

She was lucky the car and cabin weren't crushed by a willow tree blown down during a wind storm the previous winter.The trunk of the tree still draped across the roof where it had fallen although she had clipped away some of the intruding branches. The roof supports sagged under the weight of the tree. The overhead doorway beam was cracked and bent, but she could still back the car out of the garage and that was all that mattered to her. The car's tan canvas convertible top was worn, and the car needed paint. The original imitation wood-patterned paint on the metal dashboard was in good condition.The original upholstery was covered with some sort of chenille bedspread, so I have no idea of its condition. A large sheet of protective clear plastic, anchored by loose pieces of wood, was draped over the canvas top.

She called her car "Freida", because, when Freida was there, Eliza was "free-ta come" and "free-ta go". One day she wanted to take me for a ride so I offered to take her to lunch. She thought lunch at a Drive-In in Redwood City would be nice because she hadn't been to a Drive-In restaurant. She drove the three miles into town.

Just driving into town was an attention-getter. She drove in the slower outside lane and each time she stopped at a stop light, the driver in the car in the next lane would drive forward a few feet, just inches at a time. Then, as long as the light was still red, the driver would inch backward a few feet, openly scrutinizing Eliza's car from bumper to bumper. I am sure some of those young fellows had seen nothing like it. A couple of men in pickup trucks, in the adjoining traffic lane, shouted a few questions to her and she answered them cheerfully. She obviously was accustumed to the stares and she enjoyed the attention..

When we finally pulled into the Drive-In restaurant, I had the feeling I was riding with a celebrity. One auto that had been following us, pulled into the Drive-In and parked alongside so the driver could ask more questions. The final one being, ?ǂDo you want to sell it??ǂ No.

Eating a Drive-In lunch, while seated in a tattered 1936 convertible, WITH rumble seat, driven by this white-haired old lady was a special experience.

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