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"Happy Days" Part 2: The CAR!Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009, at 9:03 AM
This photo from my former classmate, Judy Adkins Gregory, gives a clear view of the car used to pull our Laverne & Shirley float in the Stoddard County Parade in 1960. Judy even remembers that the car belonged to and was driven by Noel "Butch" Murphy from Bernie.
Too bad the photo isn't in color, but you know how it was back "in the day:" We were doing good to have cameras at all; it never occured to us to want COLOR! Most of us didn't even have color t.v. back then. In fact, my family had only had black & white t.v. since I was in the sixth grade.
But back to that CAR! Is that not a gorgeous thing??? My Sikeston friend surprisingly couldn't put his finger on the exact make & model, but he thinks it was a Dodge. I'm willing to bet that the car was red & white! With our darling little Dutch maiden outfits of red, white, & blue, we must have been a brilliant spectacle!
Those fins are typical of the fifties, for sure, but I'm not sure what year the auto makers changed to a more rounded style. I remember Asa Dowdy, Jr. driving a brand new turquoise 1958 Chevy with rounded features, but it seems to me that the Fords may still have had fins in 1958.
Since the parade had to be in 1960 (that was the year Judy, Sue and I were elected FHA queen and court), I would assume that the car was either a 60 model or a 59 at the latest. I guess I could google the topic, but it would be a lot more fun to have my readers identify it.
Gas was cheap back then (anybody remember what it was?), so I'm sure this beauty had an enormous engine which fairly guzzled fuel. I remember collecting 50 cents from my girlfriends back in 1958, when we used to drive my dad's old green station wagon around the Pig on Saturday night with the fan belt squealing like a stuck hog. We could cruise all night on that fifty cents worth of gas!
Judy, I cannot thank you enough for these wonderful old photos which have taken me back almost 40 years! Now, as Dexter gets ready for the 2009 Stoddard County parade, I think back over the years and wonder where they went. So much has changed that I dare not think about it very long, or I'll sit here at the computer and cry like a baby...
Let's remember the good times, the Happy Days, when gas was cheap, and all we needed was a ratty old drive-in with pot holes and all the dime sodas we could drink!
From the sunny hills of remote Tillman, Missouri, this is your rural reporter Madeline, feeling 17 again, just for a fleeting moment!
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.