The Garage Renault is a vignette of the military career of Suze's dad, Jack Perry, during World War II.
“Jake”, as he was known, was with the European Civil Affairs, 518th Transportation Division. The original Garage Renault in Marseilles, France, was one of his first duty stations. This garage was used for the rebuilding of vehicles heading to and from North Africa. His job was to await U.S. trucks following their rebuilding in Lyon.
While living in the second Garage Renault in Lyon, Jack and his fellow soldiers shared their living space with the French Army (North Africans, not the Foreign Legion) At this site, Jack served as an interpreter due to his ability to speak French, as well as maintaining vehicles. This is where Jack received his official vehicle, affectionately known as “Jake’s Baby”. (A few items to note: Suze's mother’s photograph over his bunk bed, and the “cookie tin” on the chair with his ID number.)
Once his military career was over, Jack sailed home on the troop ship Rockingham. As he sailed into the San Francisco Bay, his father sailed out to meet him on the pilot boat. The two finished the journey together.