Not surprisingly, the first time my mother met my father’s parents, it was to attend a UCLA versus USC football game at the Rose Bowl (my father had long since graduated from UCLA by then but he remained a Bruin his entire life). My mother says that Grandma Lois had prepared a nice lunch and then they all went to the game together. Alas, traffic and parking was horrendous and my grandfather was afraid they were going to be late for the game. My grandmother suggested that “the boys” head on into the game and that she and my mother would park the car (knowing her, it was probably her ploy to get my mother to herself for a little bit). Grandma Lois and Mom finally were able to park the car but they ended up missing the entire first quarter. After the game was over, my grandfather asked where the car was parked. My grandmother responded that she had parked next to a tree. Here’s the thing you need to know: Parking for Rose Bowl games is on the adjacent golf course. There are a lot of trees. Needless to say, it took them a very long time to find their car again.
Since then, whenever we can’t find the car in the lot, we exclaim, “But I parked it right next to a tree so that we could find it!”
And that, my friends, is how family lore is created.