A Father’s Legacy in Wheels: The Untold Stories of My Dad’s Cars

A picture tells a thousand words. But the tire treads of my dad’s cars? Imagine the stories they could tell.

Julia Byrd
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readNov 21, 2023

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Author’s own photo of her father and sister.

When I was in the single digits, on Saturday mornings, after I watched cartoons and slurped the sugar-laden milk left behind after all the Frosted Flakes were gone, it was errand time. (I used to think we were running “Aarons.” It was my cousin’s name, yet we never saw him while we were out. I thought it the strangest thing.) Even the smallest of trips put me on the edge of my seat with excitement.

If we took the station wagon, it was likely a trip to the recycling center. As a child, I was allowed to toss only cans and paper in their respective bins. But once older, I was entrusted with the glass. Glass! Clear in one bin. Brown in another. Green in yet another. I hurled them with all the might I had, reveling in the noises when my bottle made contact with the others and shattered in a million pieces. Breaking things down to be rebuilt again.

If we were in his red Toyota, maybe it was a trip to 905, the beer, wine, and liquor store where my father would bring back his empty Pepsi bottles and exchange them for new ones for the work week ahead. He always carried two bottles in his briefcase. I’m not sure the…

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Julia Byrd
Human Parts

Writer, grammar nerd, Belgian waffle snob, and occasional dog foster(er). Follow the fun at www.fourbirds.net.