Take Me Home Country Roads

 

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Our Past...


Valerie in her High School Color Guard Uniform. 

As to me, I would be hired by a yet opened McDonalds. In time, the store manager handed me a clipboard and asked me to check off those that would make good employees. I checked off the majority women.
   

So, to those who remember all the beautiful women that worked at McDonalds from 1976 to 1979, thank you very much. For me, one would turn out to be my future wife.    

Valerie and I after my 1981 Bell System Lineman's man School.  

Valerie would wear my mother's wedding dress for our wedding.

(The image in the middle of the picture is of her mother touching up her hair).
 

In 1980, we began our marriage with $500.00, an 8' X 35' trailer rental and a Ford Pinto. By 25, we would have three sons.    

Our first boat, an old 1964 Glastron, would be examined by my Uncle Joe Cross, who would state our boat's engine power, to low fuel use ratio would be exceptional, and we would be hard pressed to find one again. As relayed 28 years go by one from his generation; Joe Cross, a WWII POW, gave the Japanese fits with his tenacious resistance, to the point that other POW's thought he was going himself killed. (Our boat, sitting in our first home's driveway, with sons Josh and Daniel).
 


My father's "work like your putting out a fire work ethic", allowed him to achieve a great deal in his life. Though he passed it on to his children and we onto ours, I had married a woman, whose work ethic would become legendary. (Years later, during the construction of our garden shed, we would meet  visiting Europeans, who would become a large part of our lives).
 

 
My unexpected herculean recovery would unnerve religious and business interests. However, it thrilled and intrigued lay-people and atheists alike. Whereas, one devout atheist would take a keen interest. Also, the recovery would also lead us to our 1956 Imperial, whereas I told my wife this car is going to change our lives. (My mother with her 1958 Imperial and Valerie with her 1956 Imperial)
     
By 2007, our best Adventures were behind us. For I had re-injured myself dealing with non-organic aspects. A fact our friends picked up on in 2009, when I kept falling back while in Chicago. Nevertheless, the man's International  connections were astounding. His mind, always on business, whereas the smallest rural areas of WV drew his attention. The possibilities were once endless.
 

Our 1959 Imperial traveling to the eastern horse plains of the Puzska, and our friends in their 1990 Mercedes 300SL on their Route 66 adventures.  

Like many, we kept our cars close to home. However, our friends taught us to simply go. So, we did. This nighttime picture of Niagara Falls Canada illustrates a small sample of the joy expressed by the young and old alike.  

I would inform other hobbyists of all the areas we had driven the Imperial to, whereas it never broke down. It died about 10 minutes later. "A Pride Goethe moment" that resulted in the need of a assistance, (I physically couldn't do things that were quiet easy at one time). The arriving mechanic said he was told of a "Pink Cadillac" that was in Niagara Falls and he thought someone was playing a joke on him.  

The first picture is of Valerie with our granddaughters, who are sitting on the hood of our turquoise Metropolitan.

The second is our red Metropolitan, which was used as an decoration for our son's wedding.

In 1999, we faced physical hardships, where you start selling things off. So, we sold our 19' 1964 Glastron off. But, I would later recover and eventually locate a near perfect 21' 1974 Duo Challenger, with the same engine power to fuel use ratio; rare. Crafted to nostalgically mirror the 1950's, it was decked out with ship to shore radio, flare gun, medical kit, two fish finders and pole holders.  

From 2004 to 2008, we would find ourselves buying and then reselling cars at losses. Spiraling attempts to regain traction, whereas in spite of our best efforts, variables would arise to set us back, the majority being physical in nature.

By the end of 2007, the handwriting was on the wall. One car guy would look over our restorable cars and state; "Man you don't lack for enthusiasm". However, he convinced me it was over, as what we were attempting depended on a pain free existence. Thus, the majority of our restorable cars were gone by the Spring of 2008.

During this same time, an out of state individual arrived. One, who would take in our overall setup. He would question, (for lack of a better phrase), our wisdom. Informing me that what we had created was basically too big for our State; "take your wife, cars, (the rest), and your father and move. A moot opinion, as the cars were only one aspect of a means toward an end. When all was in place, the State would work out just fine. We had the framework, proper wording, imagery and the avenue just dropped in our laps.

Distractions would also void plans to bring the 1959 Imperial back to America, along with a 1983 Russian Sedan. A sedan, which was a copy of an American 1956 Packard, (similar to the one on the lower right). A Russian sedan would have made an interesting side by side compassion of pre 1990 Russia to pre 1999 America, whereas, the 1959 Imperial had already been judged technically advanced to its 1983 Russian counterpart.

The Spark...

While in Europe we were told that many were enamored with Post WWII American soldiers and their wonderful mid 1950's forward finned cars. Cars, which had to be from another planet!, (their phrasing). The same type of car, that we as Americans could only bring to Eastern Hungary in 2008. Whereas, the young and old stared in amazement, (picture below). A view best illustrated in 1949, just seven years prior to the 1956 Packard's dyes. One about Americans, who arrived during WWI:

 ..."The inhabitants of the Promised Land had come; these must be messengers from heaven. Certainly they were not as other men, even if they had Italian names because they were the sons and grandsons of emigrants. They were liberators with powerful weapons, with money jingling in their pockets, and they swept through the villages south of Naples without stopping, like visitors from another planet."
...  
America by Carlo Levi 1949.

As in Germany, Austria, Italy, San-Marino and now Hungary, our friends knew exactly where to place the descendants of 1700's English and German immigrants and early 1900's Italian immigrants. Whereas our 2008 Hungary trip was rescheduled from 2007, our 2008 trip would have been the shipping of our White Mark to Europe and driving it to the ancestral lands of my grandparents. The world wide sales chief; knew how to lay foundations.

Next: The Wild West