Gifts From My Father


My Dad, in his younger car selling days!
My Dad, in his younger car selling days!

The year was 1980. I had finished college by then and left my first real job. The main catalyst for my move home was my boyfriend. Jack and I broke up after he moved back to Florida, and I was floundering like a fish out of water.

I went to the home of my childhood, back with my mom and dad. At age twenty one and after being on my own for almost four years, this was bittersweet. Though I was glad to be back home, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with myself.

After applying for several jobs and not getting anywhere, a month passed and I was even more restless. During that month, my dad asked me three times to come and work for him. He didn’t yell or pressure me. He just asked. Finally, on the third time, when I had no other options, I said yes.

My dad owned a Nissan dealership back then. And he didn’t take his oldest daughter to work in the office. No. He took me to sell cars. Now this was 1980 remember and seriously, there were no women car salespersons.

I remember that I had to learn to qualify people. If they had a big family, I’d recommend a station wagon, not a sportier two door coupe. I also learned to take my time with people, showing them the benefits of each car and taking them for a test drive. I treated people as I would have wanted to be treated, with kindness and respect. I took their concerns seriously and they responded.

There were weeks that I outsold the sales manager, a guy who had been with my father for years.

I was selling cars when I met my husband Jim. The first time Jim walked me to my car (at the disco where we first met) my dad had loaned me a 280Z for the night. I imagine my husband thought I was one lucky girl!

I sold cars for a little over a year then I got engaged. When I got married I didn’t think the car business was conducive to a new marriage. Too many nights and steady Saturdays. So I left the car business but never forgot the lessons I learned.

On this Father’s Day 2014, I salute the fact that my father believed I could succeed in a male dominated field. He encouraged me, taught me good salesmanship and loved the fact that I was there with him. We had many good conversations about life and the future. I cherish those memories and the skills he taught me. Thanks Dad!



Join me on my graceful journey.

19 Replies to “Gifts From My Father”

      1. You know, Joanne. I’ve been thinking this morning about how you’ve grown as a writer since I began following you in blogland. It’s been a beautiful unfolding. 🙂

  1. Wonderful, as always, Joanne, a delightful tribute…Your father is a very handsome man. My sister worked with our father, too, in his jewelry shop that he finally, after years of longing, got to open. She worked side by side learning the business and how to repair things.

    I think a father sees a daughter’s potential with love…he doesn’t consider her gender the way the outside world would…only what she means to him, and what she is capable of becoming. Thank you for sharing your sweet story.

    Marianne xo

    1. Hello Marianne, what beautiful words you have written! Yes, my father was a handsome guy and he did see my potential even at that early age. Blessings for a wonderful Sunday afternoon! xo Joanne

  2. How lovely that you had this special time, working with your father. And I love that you could sell cars (and probably still could 🙂 ) . Yay for girl power and the love of a good father.

    1. No, I didn’t sell him a car! We were married within a year of meeting each other and we bought a Nissan Stanza from my dad as our first car!
      Hope you and Don had a nice Father’s Day! xo Joanne

  3. Oh, I loved this post, Joanne, a wonderful Father’s Day tribute to your dad.

    My dad owned Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth dealerships, and the whole family worked together. I went to college while I was still 17, but for the new car season he let me select and order the interior/exterior colors and upholstery combinations for the new Lincolns and Fords to be put on display.
    I was in heaven! I remember ordering a sea foam exterior for a show-room Lincoln, with a sea foam padded roof and matching interior. Dad asked if I didn’t think a nice camel beige interior would be better, but in the end he let me order it as I’d planned.
    When the new cars were delivered, that Lincoln sold even before it was unloaded from the delivery truck! Dad applauded my choice (and me sticking to it) and it gave me a new confidence I needed before leaving for college.
    Our dads were good dads, Joanne. I join you in celebrating Father’s Day in their honor.

    1. Marylin, did I know this? That your father sold cars too? How awesome and ironic! I can just picture that sea foam Lincoln and I am not surprised it sold quickly! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memory! xo Joanne

  4. Love the memories—especially the meeting at the “disco”—now that brought back memories—I spent many a Friday night at Flanigans—the disco in Atlanta–who names a disco after an Irish pub??
    Thank’s for sharing Joanne—the first car I bought just after Gregory and married in 1983 was a Nissan—the car I built my credit over 🙂
    A million years ago, or so it seems 🙂
    Happy Day Joanne—hugs–Julie

  5. Awesome Father’s Day post, Joanne! I really enjoyed it, especially all the special memories! Great picture of your dad!

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