Grandma Jo’s Cop Car

“Come on Eddie, get in and I’ll give you a spin around the block”.
“Hey grandma, this is a cop car! Where did you get it? Won’t we get in trouble for riding in this”?
“Heck no!” grandma said. “Your Uncle Elton was issued a new cop car sso he arranged for me to buy his old machine. Hey, look under the hood. How do you like that motor? It’s the biggest Chevy V-8 they make. It’s got a supercharger thing and automatic transmission. It goes like hell!”
As a Young girl grandma had been a tomboy and had pulled pranks like driving the “get away” wagon and team of horses for the 8th grade boys in her class when they loaded old man Kromer’s outhouses on the wagon and drove them to another neighbor’s house to heft them up onto his front porch on Halloween night in 1911.
There was a love of life, fun and adventure in everything she did. Having a cop car fit right in with her charachter. She taught Eddie how to enjoy the smell of chicken mash, how to press colorful flowers in old telephone books, how to hunt snails at three in the morning and how to see beauty in the plain simple things in nature that others took for granted. When Eddie was only four years old grandma taught him that a thunder storm is a thing of wonder and excitement, not something to fear. She was especially adept at creating fun out of thin air.
Standing four feet six inches tall and wearing her braided gray hair rolled up into a bun pinned on top of her head, she looked the way Eddie thought all grandmas looked. Short and grand motherly. Her voice was usually very soft and sweet, unless she got angry. When that happened she could cuss with the best man around. No one would believe grandma had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed doing exciting things just from looking at her.
“This car still has the golden sheriff star on the door. It says Sheriff on it too! Shouldn’t you paint that thing over,” Eddie asked.
“Heck no! I like it there. When they see me coming they’ll get the hell out of my way”!
“You shouldn’t have the cop’s shotgun in here,” Eddie said.
“No, that’s not his gun, that’s my Winchester pump gun.. I think it looks really good in this rack. See how well it fits,” Grandma Jo said.
“Isn’t it against the law to impersonate cops? I mean this is a cop car. People will think you’re a cop,” Eddie said.
“Shut up and get in and I’ll show you what this machine can do. Come on. Don’t be such a big chicken. It’s fun. Get in.”
As she started the engine and pumped the gas pedal several times Eddie could feel the whole car shake and vibrate with each ear splitting roar of the engine reaching maximum rpms. Varoom, varoom!
“Hear that sound? This baby’s got lots of power. My old Tin Lizzie couldn’t shake a fart out of a paper bag,” Grandma Jo shouted out. She had an ear to ear grin.
Before ten year old Eddie could reply he was thrown back in the seat by the car’s rapid acceleration. It had seat belts, but no one ever used them in those days. The car felt as if it were tipped on two wheels as grandma made the turn onto the road from the driveway and squealed the tires leaving black streaks of rubber behind her. The pungent smell of burnt rubber, mixed with gasoline fumes filled Eddie’s nostrils.
“Hey, you’re going to wreck your tires. Please grandma, slow down,” yelled Eddie.
“Don’t worry honey, I was driving a Tin Lizzie before your dad was born. I know how to handle these machines. You just got to grab the wheel and show the damned thing who’s boss,”
The cop car quickly approached a slow moving Studebaker. Grandma braked very hard to prevent running into it’s rear end.
“These brakes really hold good. I would have rammed him with my old Tin Lizzy! Hey, that’s Charley. He tried to date me after your grandpa died. Watch the look on that old codger’s face Eddie.”
She pulled the switches on for the siren and the red flashing lights. Old Charley pulled his green Studebaker to the side of the road and stopped as grandma roared passed him with her siren screaming and her red lights flashing. His face showed fear and terror. Grandma yelled, “Hey Charlie, when are you going to get rid of that old heap?” Grandma was laughing her head off—a crazed old woman enjoying this moment of triumph over her old school chum.
About three weeks later Grandma Jo drove into Eddie’s yard with a dark blue Chevrolet.
“ So they took your cop car away from you,” asked Eddie.
“Heck no. This is the same car. Your Uncle Elton, Mr. Big Shot Sheriff’s Deputy, told me I had to have it painted a different color and I couldn’t have the pretty gold star, siren or red lights. I liked the skunk colors it had—black and white, but you know your uncle. He even pulled the cop radio out of it. I miss listening to all the interesting calls on it. He said he was going to put me in jail if I kept upsetting the neighbors by impersonating him.”
No one ever looked more disappointed than Grandma Jo, but Eddie felt relief that this crazy cop car adventure was over. He had been worrying about his grandma getting into trouble impersonating cops.
“But the shotgun is still there. Shouldn’t you take that out,” Eddie asked..
“That’s my 12 gauge 1897 Winchester pump gun, they can’t make me take that out. I need it for protection. (Grandma lived on a ranch miles from the nearest neighbors) And look here Eddie, I’ve still got the spot lights.”
“What you want spot lights for grandma,” Eddie asked.
“What the hell do you think? When I ride down the road at night I like to shine them into the neighbor’s yards to see what’s going on. I caught Maris making out with that damn Paul again the other night out by Edna’s hey stack. I put the spot light right on them. Come with me for a ride tonight and I’ll show you how much fun that is.”

Grandma Jo’s Cop Car

Edward Henzi

Clear Creek, United States

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Artist's Description

This is the true story of my grandma’s cop car.

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