Wagon Widows Post 1: The Life of the Camera Man’s Other Half

November 22, 2011

It’s hot- sweltering in fact.

My clothes have not been washed for weeks, and there is little food. Dust swirls in and around our nostrils, and our ride is bumpy. My sick child moans. I wonder if this journey will be the death of us.

I am not the wife of an Oregon Trail forger; I am, in fact, the widow of a Wagonmaster.

Death, in this instance, is more figurative than literal. Sam is not dead, though I may actually kill him if he explains the difference between a station wagon and a crossover one more time. It’s hot because the thermostat is broken and I’ve yet to join the smart crop of women who can handle heat problems on their own. Our clothes are dirty because I loathe doing laundry; food is scarce because he is always more efficient at the grocery store (and gets a student discount), so I avoid the place like I would the plague. The ride is bumpy because a lug nut or an axle or some other vital part on my Honda is loose, and while I can (theoretically) change a tire, I can’t fix or even begin to guess what that noise is.
It is dusty because Sam’s allergies are my one and only reason for picking up a cloth and some Pledge, so when he’s gone, the surfaces take on a very Kansas-circa-1933 look. Marry Poppins would not approve. Our sick child is actually my puppy, Darby, who may as well be a child, and may as well have typhoid instead of “I-just-ate-another-questionable-plant -in-the-backyard” fever with the way she’s groaning. Sam usually handles these sorts of crises.

So where is my grocery-buying, puppy-soothing, thermostat-adjusting other half? He’s filming cars. Station wagons, to be exact.

I cringe at the rickety fracas of the Honda and remind myself that sacrifices are necessary when you are indelibly linked to a man who follows a higher calling. (Well, they’re not exactly higher, per say, but definitely wider, and longer… and large enough to fit a 4×8 sheet of plywood in the back).

Will I make it? Probably. Will Sam be sleeping on the couch if he brings home a station wagon?


Better yet, he could take a pillow right on out and cozy up in back seat- I’ve heard (several dozen times) how spacious they are.

Ta ta for now-

Amanda Smartt, Wagon Widow


About wagonmastersthemovie

The car that was once the quintessential image of the American Dream is all but dead - at least for most people. Station wagons were America’s "workhorses on wheels." Today, they conjure images of outdated family photos, over-sized hairdos and unfashionable wooden siding. There are some, however, who still cling to these vehicles and what they stand for in American culture. Wagonmasters, a full-length documentary film, offers glimpses into the lives of such wagon enthusiasts, and tells the story of the station wagon as it represents a changing America over the last one hundred years. http://www.wagonmastersthemovie.com
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1 Response to Wagon Widows Post 1: The Life of the Camera Man’s Other Half

  1. Pingback: How did this idea begin? | Wagonmasters The Blog

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