"Lining up in the fourth-grade carpool line every afternoon, we all prayed that it wouldn’t be Mrs. Dickson’s turn to ferry us home. She was a terrible driver—god-awful, and mean as a cottonmouth. But she did drive a 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon in Nordic Blue, which was much easier than other station wagons to imagine as a spaceship; and with a vengeful 455 Rocket V-8 and squinty taillights, growled and looked just as mean as Mrs. Dickson. The Vista Cruiser had windows everywhere: a skylight above the middle row and huge, arching side windows in the back like a poor-man’s sunroof. Clearly designed to allow passengers to simulate the sensation of riding a scenic railway, blissfully taking in the passing vistas and contemplating the beauty of the American Road, The Vista Cruiser gave you a lot of options of places to look—up, to the side, out the back—anywhere but the road ahead, which Mrs. Dickson held to with great difficulty. Like every aspiring station wagon passenger-kid, you hoped that you were lucky enough to call the fold-up Death Seat in the way back, so you could look out behind you and pretend you were a tailgunner on a B-17, or not look ahead to see the road slipping out from underneath Mrs. Dickson..."