It’s Good to go back to a simpler time
– before Political Correction / Diversity/Law Suits madness – Japanese
cars running amuck – "Everything Made in China" No difference between
political Parties – Mexican’s over running our borders and let’s
not forget today’s “Girly men”. Rap! They call this music???
Roe verses Wade was the demonic right which was Unthinkable in
the Year 67 to snuff out a voiceless life in the womb. Think of
all the great minds and contributors that will never be – God’s
Greatest Gift – Life not given a chance! – Yes we’ve Come ,,,I mean
sled a long way down………………….
The Hippies have now become the Establishment that they denounced
in the late -sixties. The problem was that the Establishment that
they were trying to change and bring down in the late sixties was
made up from our Greatest Generation who had gone thru the Great
Depression and won World War II.
In my assumption the so called Anti-Establishment group never had
any answers and now that they are in control they have become exactly
what they said they were against , but much worst. Hypocrites All
I Can Say is they Blew It! They will realize it when it all comes
crashing down --- Nay – They’ll still blame their mess up on others
while they scurry like "Spineless Hamsters" to a safer area………….
That day is coming closer and closer.
Just pick up a magazine be it Life / Look / Newsday / Time and
compare today's magazine to say a Life magazine from 1967. Look
at the commercials and notice the optimistic looks, notice the body
language full of life and beaming with smiles. The colors were vibrant,
cheerful, children with Moms and Dads enjoying the great outdoors.
Practically every item advertised then was made here in the good
old USA. The flower of the nation back then was "All the children
-- God's Treasure". Now look at today's magazine it’s all hipped
up with the impersonal gizmo having to do with Cyber Space. The
products advertised are almost, for certain, made in another country.
Look at the designer brand sneakers that parents and kids shell
out sometimes close to a hundred bucks to have, these are made in
a third world country while the scruffy bearded x-hippy CEO makes
out like a bandit. You tell me we can’t make a pair of sneakers
here in this country and still make a profit, most importantly keeping
our citizens employed? We are told our stuff is sub par. -- Phooey!
I say! We still make the best!
They say We have lost the “can do” attitude. --- Sadly this is
true, it has been taught to our Kids by our schools not striving
to be the Best! Today kids stay in there rooms on the internet or
walk around with plugs in their ears and thumbs twitching on mini
keys boards killing aliens on a video screen. They watch video screen
while being shuttled around in mini vans, never looking at the landscape
going bye. Most don’t sit around the kitchen table for eating any
more they are becoming the “discontented /disconnected with reality”
Where are all the close knit neighborhoods – are they all gone?
Where HAVE all the Flowers gone? Let’s start – It’s the Spring of
1967 It was the Dawn of the Summer of Love Psychedelic and Flower
Power had yet to reach their peak! (In Newark Flower and Beads were
not in – You could not run fast with Roman saddles on South Orange
Ave!!!!!!) The Vietnam War looked like it was Winnable. The Major
Cities had not gone thru there civil unrest yet. AM Radio was King
– Every Song that year was a great one, many should have reached
Number one because of their success. The Music made you happy it
was like looking at a crystal blue sky. These were the days before
the """Shock Jocks!""""" FM was the underground – If you wanted
to hear the strange Psychedelic licks that were thankfully omitted
from AM FM Stations had the place to dial into to hear them in Stereo.
As for me, a Kid just trying to survive on the streets of Newark,
that could wait.
To me, Joy was just enjoying a Cool Vanilla ice cream cone with
a curl on the top at the Dairy Queen - located in a safe neighborhood
and being happy to be living in America and making the best of it..
The Music invasion from the Brits had been met with the newly formed
US bands such as the Young Rascals , Tommy James and the Shondels,
the Turtles and "Mo Town" was producing and laying down it’s finest
tracks. There were no messages Song – No out right Protest! – Even
Peter Paul and Mary sang about "Digging the Good Rock and Roll Music"
All instructions were in English – A Live Operator to assist you
who you could understand. Specking of English it was understood
it was the only language spoken and understood nation wide. It was
perfectly Normal to “Say Merry Christmas” without reservation. Cops
were still cops / Not pigs! The Pill and abortion did not weed out
the unborn – It’s was the Younger Generation in its Full Blossom
The All out Muscle Car Phenomena was still a year away. You could
get away with so much, the older and greatest generation let us
be. Hey! We were in the Space age and Man was preparing to Land
on the Moon. American’s Definitely had the "Can Do Attitude" I felt
so proud knowing everything that I owned or bought was made by someone
in this country, it was that fabric that knitted us as a nation.
We were supporting one another – we are the greatest market in the
world. People around the world looked for products made in the USA.
It was an assurance that they were getting the very best.
The kids learned values in school and even talked about George
Washington as a great man – Imagine That! Little did the Hippies
Know Just how rich we were in our bounty++++ Sure some stuff needed
to be made right. The Country GNP was near it Zenith. High School
Graduates could land a Good Paying Manufacturing Job – Made in the
Good Ole USA Cigarettes was the Weed of the Day.
Boys and men dressed and looked like boys and men. The Gals – Forget-
about It They were Fabulous – wouldn’t change a thing! Every Friday
Night across the Nation there were Battle of the Bands in the High
Schools Gyms and you did not need to snort coke to have a "Good
Time". Hell! The great Music and the Gals provided that!
Holding Your Gal – Who appreciated having her Man and swigging
a bottle of Coke and loving the great Music! Doesn’t that sound
better then typing Keys and sending E-Mails of Today - How Dumb!
And Now to the Story
My Father Jacques and I venture to Springfield Ave at the edge
of Irvington to Stanley Motor (Used Car Lot). My Father (as many
fathers would do, followed along to investigate what his son found
as his first car). Would he judge his son’s choice by his own values?
I remember sitting in the back of my Father’s Black 63 Chevy Bel
Air Station wagon and seeing my brother pointing and leading my
father to his prize.
I was not asked to join, thinking my Father would have enough to
contending with my brother’s comments and not needing a second opinion
from a younger sibling who knew nothing about cars. There, they
are venturing back, My brother doing every hand jester and body
language to convey that "This Is The Car and Only This Car" would
To that day I had never heard my brother address my Father as “DAD”
and when he’d say it, it sort of echoed inside of me. At that very
moment I wished that Jacques would address him like that more often.
Well, they both got into the car, Jacques immediately turned around
and said “Jean You’ve got to see this car – it’s the Batmobile!”
He then started painting all the images of what this great Stallion’s
attributes were. My father hearing the excitement in Jacques voice,
stepped out of the station wagon and went to make an offer on the
New Yorker. When he came back a deal was made and Jacques was to
go over there tomorrow after work and plunk down the rest of the
oats. My Father’s comments about the car went like this” A Chrysler
is not an ordinary Car, it’s an Upper Class type of car. Normally
people who can afford to purchase such a car are the ones that buy
them.” This right away told me this must be some car. This did not
dish sway Jacques in the least.
Jacques always had high taste (Most of the time way over his dream
line). Over and over “Jean you should see this –You should see that.”
I must say this was one of the most happiest that I had ever see
my brother. But something deep inside me stirred with fear and nervosa–
let’s just say an early premonition. This feeling got more of a
jolt when Jacques describe this thing as a SUPER CAR? It must have
been the day. I had never seen Jacques and my Dad get along so well.
Pop, as we called him behind his back, even took Jacques and I
to the Blue Castle Hamburg ( I know what you’re saying – no-this
place was called the Blue Castle with the 15 cent flat meat patties
smothered with onions that were pounded in with a Spatula) I saw
the little boy emerge from my Father and will always remember that
For the next few days I daydreamed on what this car was going
to look like. My thoughts and images were way off when I first laid
eyes on it. It was a Friday and I had just walked home from Vailsburg
High School (A good stretch of the legs as they say) Walking in
the house I was greeted by “Did You See It!” Come –On It was parked
two houses down in our neighbors very large fenced in parking lot.
There it was facing out with it backend against the wall. Swinging
open the gates my eyes tried to analyzed what I was about to see.
All the attributes that Jacques bestowed were rapidly repeated with
each step forward that I made, Just Look at It! he kept on saying.
My take was that this thing looked like a Star Cruiser – Big Finned
– and Menacing. It looked like it could easily do a hundred with
one thrusting leap. The backend had angled wings that housed two
“Big Red Lamps” that pointed outward looking like flame tips of
an afterburner from a combat jet. From the Front to the rear it
had what Chrysler Coined the year of it’s conception “The Forward
Look”. The frontal bumper looked like it could tangle and tear apart
any opponent’s sheet metal!
As I gazed Jacques pummeled me with more adjectives Super/Powerful/Fast/Aerodynamics/Built
like a Tank and then all definitive attributes were encapsulated
in one word “It’s a Chrysler” Then came the Car Jargon - Hard Top
/ Push Button Command Center/ Torqueflite Transmission / AFB Carter
4 Barrel Carburetor / Torsion Bar Suspension / Full instrumentation
/ Power Everything / Positive Traction/ Last but not least the Infamous
FirePower HEMI Engine...................... I pondered the first
My brother swung out the door and placed four fingers on the inside
door panel as Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm All Four Window obeyed - the command
and disappeared into each door ----WOW! The Top now took on a shape
separated from the lower fuselage. With all four windows concealed
the true meaning of Hard Top was reviled (My father’s cars were
never power this or power that –the most his cars had that had some
bragging rights were Backup Lights and a heater!)
The Car was painted light Blue (No not the fairy Baby Blue of Fords
or Chevy) It had a man’s look of Blue and the Top was Pearl White
– Neither color had any real gloss left to them – (Sort of what
you would expect from a Star Cruiser re-entering the upper atmosphere-slightly
singed….. I went and tapped the top of the roof to hear if it had
a solid feel to it. Hell Yes! It and the rest of the sheet armor
of this behemoth had the feel of a cast Iron Bath Tub.
My best friend and I used to judge the make of a Car by tapping
the fenders and hearing if it felt solid – (Kicking Tire to us made
no sense at all) Jacques Car easily passed the "Solid" Test - By
a Wide Margin!
The Car was a 1958 Chrysler New Yorker 4 Door Hard Top.
This Car had won Car of the year award when it debuted in 1957.
Jacques Now Had his Ride Now!
The Adventure Begins
John Desranlesu is a Car Show Photographer.
You can view his work at: