Then came the revolution, houses with double-car garages were being built. What did that mean, what lay in store for us? It would become clearer as a dramatic change took place. Women found that there was a world out there beyond cooking meals and cleaning house. They needed a car to reach this full potential. The two-car garage was born and the world changed.
The march to the two-car garage and beyond was accelerated by the political decision to scrap the Depression-era safeguards in banking. That would enable loans to both the credit worthy and non-credit worthy. This cemented the need for the two car and a three-car garage. Upon inquiring of one resident as to why the three-car garage, the response was “for the boat.” It was an era of free money using the increasing value of one’s home as a piggy bank.
We wanted more at a lower price. What our expanded work force had been producing was too expensive. There appeared a demand for more at cheaper prices. It was found that this could become available from products made in other countries as well as increased productivity resulting from new technology. Now these former household single-garage parents can buy more for less; however the hidden price was to be further job loss. This complicated their dream of a better life on the cheap. The piggy-bank-house-equity Ponzi scheme fell apart.
Many were not prepared for this massive change. They became part of a new underclass to be supported by the government.
What else does the future hold? With the advent of increased apartment living, the two- car garage may yet be replaced by the car-apartment-parking space.
JERRY BERKMAN is a La Cañada Flintridge resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org