Feb 8, 2011

Don Michael's Used Car Lot

     This idea came to me when I went to my grandma’s last summer, the need to document places I hold dear, places that shaped me and left their mark on my heart.  I started the series with Nanny's house and have many more cherished places to blog about.  Now I have to admit, this next location is not one I frequented often, something I more pursued in the recent years, but so endearing just the same. Meet Don Michael, more affectionately known as PopPop:

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PopPop is my mom’s father. Wife to Nanny. He has ice blue eyes that hide a smile, olive skin, a hard work ethic and a hankering for candy. He calls me Lauralou and says “you’re almost as pretty as your mother” and I adore him. And this is his car lot:

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Yes, you read that right. Since 1955! This is where my Italian grandfather has spent very long days, six days of the week. It’s how he provided for his six children and sent them to Catholic school. Its where he spent his days during our visits to Ohio in the summer. When I was younger I always knew he worked at his car lot, as I wrote with pens that read ‘Don Michael's Used Cars’ on pads of paper that read the same thing.  I can remember my dad going to the lot during the summer, but I never really remembered going or seeing it. So Marcus and I drove to PopPop’s car lot one afternoon during our last visit to Columbus. And I loved everything about it..

The friendly signs :)

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The interior design. Not modern or chic, but a design of the heart, composed of slanted picture frames of loved ones and newspaper cutouts.

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More of the interior design and the reason for my partiality to Chevrolet:

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We sat in the cracked leather seats, sticky from the August heat, and  soaked in his stories and his story. The history of Don Michaels, and the history of my grandfather. He reminisced about growing up in Columbus, decorating his tales with the phrase “All this & all that,” while waving his arms. He shared about the North Market, where his mother worked and her picture still hangs today. Memories of Holy Family and St. Patrick Parishes. He laughed as he remembered the time he got a car for a nun. Selling his first car when he was only a teenager, working at a buddy’s car lot, he smiled as he said that is when he got the gasoline in his blood.

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     This little lot, in the not-so-great area of downtown Columbus, might not look like much. But I don’t think I have ever been more impressed by a business, a man, his story or a car lot.


Don Michael’s granddaughter

1 comment:

Love.Peace.Happiness said...

Is it still there? Makes me want to find it and visit it! What a beautiful reminder !!! Memories are wonderful; arent they?



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