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It's A Great Life: 43 -A New Dodge

When Jack Merewood bought a new car he paid for it in cash.

Into 1958 and we were now earning enough money to enable us to live on Sheila's wage and put mine in the bank. We were careful with our money, but at the same time never went short of anything we wanted. We found that many of the men we worked with were buying so many things on hire purchase that when they got their pay cheques a large part was immediately passed on to the finance company. But we never bought anything on hire purchase. I remember one of the inspectors, by the name of Dick Orcutt, with whom I was very friendly, driving up in his new car. He said he'd had an argument with his wife about this, because every two years he bought a new car and ever since they were married had never been free of paying monthly instalments. His philosophy was, if you need a new car, fridge, washer or anything else, why wait and save up to pay cash when you can have one immediately on finance. We disagreed on this point.

I remember one man, a big Dutchman who once came to work at his wits' end, and said to me: 'Never borrow money from a money-lender.' He had done this to pay off some
debts, and was now being hounded for his repayments and said he'd be paying for the rest of his life.

Dick once paid me the compliment of saying he knew I could get a job anywhere in the building industry. He was mad about
cars, and when he came to inspect houses, if I raised the subject (which I often did), he'd get so carried away that he
almost forgot his inspections. There were a number of different inspectors and I never knew whom I would get. Dick I liked
the best.

Our old Chrysler was still serving us well, but the problem was that on the building site in the summer it was very dry and
dusty which made a mess of the car; then in the winter the dust turned to mud, so we had a hard time keeping the car clean. On our way home from work we'd drive along one of the main roads, Colfax Avenue, and see all the gleaming new cars set out at the car dealers. We liked Dodge cars and once or twice we stopped at the Dodge dealers where there were rows of them in every colour and combination of colours you could imagine. One car we loved was white with a pale blue roof, blue fins and a blue boot, with lovely light blue upholstery... We stopped and looked at that car a few times, and then couldn't resist it and finally bought it - for cash. Now when we wanted to go out at nights and weekends we could use the new car and save the old one for work.

Holidays from Hutchinson's were a sort of hit and miss affair. We always got a couple of weeks or so off every year, but
usually when it was convenient for the company to let us do so. Actually nobody working at Hutchinson's seemed to worry
about holidays. As I've mentioned before, most of the people working there were under contract, and in the good weather
generally took off early on Friday afternoons and headed for the mountains. Most of them seemed to have boats too, and with the lovely weather weekends were like holidays.


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