Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rust, Roses, Rice Crispies & Relatives

Polaroid SX70 photograph of my 1964 Thunderbird, just before it was restored in 1980. Rust had ravaged the lower bodysides, with the exception of the removable fender skirts. They were never taken off the car, but were most likely made from aluminum which doesn't rust. If they were steel, like the body, they would have rusted out also. The 'Bird was in the shop for about six months and came back looking brand new. The color was called Diamond Blue—almost white. The interior was a medium blue pleated vinyl that shone in the sun.

This is an almost ten year old photograph, back in the film days and cheap processing at the local drug store. The flash bulbs were very "hot" and the fast processing always produced really oversaturated colors and deep shadows. Although I miss the medium of film, for historical purposes especially, I find I have much more control of my images with digital cameras now. I suppose if I had ever learned how to develop my own film, I would have enjoyed that more, but once a photo is developed, there's not much you can do to it to "fix" it.

A real Ford Family—My aunt Hoohoo in the family's 1952 Ford F-100 pickup, and one of their Ford sedans in the background,a plain-Jane '52 Mainline. If you could have seen more of the driveway, there would also have been a beat up '51 Country Squire wagon, a '36 Ford Phaeton slowly turning back into the soil, and her gorgeous '58 Thunderbird. This truck was bought in the late '50s from a local guy nicknamed The Rebel. He owned a body shop in town and that's a custom gold and white paint job. Notice the "wide whites" and full chrome wheel covers, a pretty flashy touch for a Fifties pickup.

Another shot of my great uncle Art's store, this time in color. I'm surprised at the number of items that are still being sold today. Of course the boxes and logos are different now, but the brand names remain. Art was pretty "modern" having a large TV in his little store! Even though the store was about 10 steps from the house, it had an intercom system so Art could communicate to the people in the house without leaving the store. I thought that was neat. You just pushed a button and spoke into what looked like a radio and someone in the house would answer. I have audiotapes of "little me" talking to my grandmother through the intercom—they're reel-to-reel tapes!
The Sanborn family, circa 1930, Leete's Island, CT. Five year old Hoohoo on the left, twelve year old Veronica, my mother, in the back and my grandmother and grandfather. I think I may have posted this image before, but I found a better print of it this weekend and rescanned it.


  1. Love all the pics!! Especially the gold pickup,your uncle arts store and of course the ever popular (and may I add well loved ) Aunt Hoohoo. She was a real treasure!! And 6 months in the shop??? Wowzers!
    Very cool.

  2. Thanks, Mare. She was peach alright. End of this month will be 30 years since she died. I just can't believe it! How does time go by so quickly?

  3. Very cool pictures!

    The Thunderbird is in the same color scheme as my 64 Falcon -- inside and out! Hoohoo clearly had excellent taste!

    Love the pickup -- who dressed it up with the gold paint and the full wheel covers?

    It's always fun to see the old pictures of you family.

    Paul, NYC

  4. my aunt and uncle bought that used pickup like that. "The Rebel" painted it and dressed it up. I remember riding in it vaguely, but what I remember are the spider webs under the dashboard, lol. It was 11-12 years old before I really remember it and I think it was junked soon afterwards. Not sure why. Nowadays, 11-12 year old cars seen almost brand new, not ready for the junkyard.

  5. It seems to me that the wide fender look on the F 150 will never lose its style regardless how old it may be. Smaller cars these days try to emulate it.