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Goofing Around In West Texas

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First Responders Breakfast photos

My cousin in Reno, Jerry Phillips, sent me this picture. Left to right, it’s his father Cecil, my uncle Clovis Johnson, and my dad, Carl. It’s from sometime in the thirty’s. The car appears to be a ’29 to ’31 Chevy.

They’re just goofing around in West Texas.

My dad was always a car guy. He always said his best car was a ’49 Ford. So wouldn’t you know, my first car was a fifty dollar ’49 Ford! That was in 1960, three days after my sixteenth birthday.

That old Ford smoked like a banshee and had two tires with the cotton cord showing rhrough. About a week after I got it, the Drivers Ed car ran a stop sign, right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, slid the tires, and Blam! Blam! both of those tires blew. Back then, you could get “new” recaps for seven dollars and fifty cents apiece. That fifteen dollars, for those two tires, was the first money I spent on a car.

(But, Lord knows, not the last!)

As for the banshee smoking engine, about a month later Richard Orsi, a kid at school, wrecked his ’50 Ford club coupe. My dad bought it for the engine. Turns out, it had a ’48 Merc flathead, with a ¾ cam! All of a sudden, my old Ford could ruin the tires in another way! I could burnem in all three gears. I had discovered a new way to have fun. Guess what! I’m still having fun.

In 1961 we decided we needed something nicer, newer, -- faster! So my dad and I bought a black 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 two-door hardtop. It had a 312 Thunderbird special, a three-speed overdrive, and a 4:11 rear end.

That was a nice car. Many more were to follow. This is a list of the pre-‘72 cars I’ve had.

This started in1960. Now it’s 2018, and I promise, I’m done! That’s right! The Caliente is my last one! (Course, I’ve never said that before.

Anyhow, I think that’s a pretty cool picture.
– Larry J.

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