I come from a family of many stories. When we can’t find one appropriate for a situation, we make one up on the spot. I tease my dad that he kissed the Blarney Stone one time too many, as good a reason as any as to why he’s such a great storyteller, but the truth is, some people have the gift of story and he’s one of them.
One of his stories revolves around Pontiacs. Dad has been a fan of the brand for a long time now, particularly of the Grand Am and Grand Prix models. When the company decided to no longer produce them, it about broke his heart.
Dad owned versions of one or the other a few times. I bought one from him, and Dad gave another to my son when he turned eighteen, so we like to joke that Pontiacs are a family tradition. Dad reminds my son frequently about the power of a Pontiac. “When drivers see a Pontiac man coming, they know to get out of the way,” he’ll tease. When my son and I are out driving in his car and he hesitates, I say, “It’s a Pontiac, honey.” And away we go, carried along by the power and thrill of the Grand Prix’s roar.
For the longest time, I’ve wanted to write an essay about my father’s love of Pontiacs, and have never found a good place to start. Finally, I wrote a short story called “The Pontiac Man.” It’s not about Dad, no, and it’s not even about cars (although Dad did pick out the particular model used in the story), but it is a tribute in my own small way to the influence Pontiacs have had on our family.
“The Pontiac Man” is currently available online as a free read, for this week only. You can read it here, and when you’re done, take a moment to remember the passing of the Pontiac, an American legend, into the vaunted halls of memory.