Remembering

1957 Chevrolet Bel-Aire Coup
1957 Chevrolet Bel-Aire Coupe

I went to an antique auto show this weekend. The car above brought back many memories. I grew up in an auto town so when the new models came out  it was quite an event. New models, at that time, were introduced in the fall of the year. Until then they were kept under wraps so no one could see the new styles. I remember in junior high school, a car carrier  stopped across the street so the driver could take his lunch break in the little malt shop there. The cars were covered but during our  break a bunch of us boys went across the street to lift the covers and see what the new models looked like.

I could not afford the car when it was introduced in 1957 and I can’t afford it today because all the well-kept  ones have increased in value. They had a seniors discount at the event and by the looks of the crowds more than 80% qualified. Some dragged their grand kids who had not been born when that car was built and they were bored silly.

An antique car event for antiquated old men. How fitting!

Untold Stories

The Horton Clan
The Horton Clan

One of my favorite songs from days past was Rod Stewart’s “Every Picture Tells a Story.” I think the above photo has quite a few stories it could tell. The gentleman top row third from the left is my Grandfather Herman Horton. surrounding him are his brothers and sisters. Those were hard times but their appearance betrays that fact. To me they look almost prosperous. Most of the Horton Clan had moved north to Michigan from Missouri to take advantage of the jobs in the automotive industry. From farmers to labors. My Grandmother told me stories of how she would throw food through the windows of the General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan. In 1937 the workers went on a “Sit Down Strike.” In a sit-down strike, the workers physically occupy the plant, keeping management and others out. By remaining inside the factory rather than picketing outside of it, striking workers prevented owners from hiring strike breakers to take their jobs and resume production.

That was one of the few stories I remember. I did some research and found out that one of my relatives committed suicide, and I found a birth certificate of an Uncle I never knew I had. These were some of the stories that no one would talk about. I remember asking my dad some family related questions that I knew the answer was not pretty or even legal. His response….”We don’t talk about those things.”

I wish all these people were alive today as I would have a thousand questions for them. Growing up I was not interested in the past only in the present and future. Stupid me.

My father passed away a few years ago and I found a box of letters, hundreds of letters, that he wrote to my mom while he was in the service during WWII. I asked him about his experiences in France and Germany and true to form his response was, as expected, “We don’t talk about those things.”

If you want to know some more of my family’s untold stories I would like to help but “I don’t talk about those things.”

DJ

Flint Michigan

Flint Michigan
Flint Michigan

flint_mi janeaveforsale flint_michigan_murderville_sticker_rectangle large_Flint_truck_assembly free-poster-f4rqkz5zh7-FLINT,-MICHIGAN 9309904-large

Flint Michigan is where I grew up, went to high school, and worked my first few jobs. I was a substitute school teacher where I learned around 6 am what school and grade I was to teach. I worked as a real estate salesman, a job my Aunt got me with her influence with the broker. I learned from that experience that I would never succeed in any sales position. I worked for the  Buick Motor Corporation for a few months (graduate school looked a lot more interesting than lifting hoods and fenders and putting them on the assembly line). I spent the next eleven years working for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. This was a perfect example of nepotism in the work place as my dad, and uncle worked there. “Oh your George’s boy”. OK your hired and we want you to start next Monday. I  was never given a drug test, never even filled out an application).

When I was growing up in Flint, it was a great place to work because of the auto industry and the suppliers that furnished them parts. The auto industry died  out and so did the soul of Flint. Now it is the murder capital of the US.

I’m going to Flint this weekend for a family reunion and catch up with cousins that I had not seen in quite a few years, also school friends from High School and College. I left Flint in January 1980 and have only been back for funerals and a high school reunion.

I will post later on how things went.

DJ

Thoughts are like arrows

Thoughts are like arrows: Once released they strike their mark. Guard them well or one day you may be your own victim.

Navajo proverb.

Navajo  native in Taos, New Mexico
Navajo native in Taos, New Mexico

This is a more elegant way of saying:

  1. Better to keep mouth closed, than open it  and remove  all doubt.  or,
  2. Sometimes silence is the best answer.

I have always  been an introvert. One who says very little in meetings. I’d rather  be in  the  audience  than the presenter. Rather be behind  the  camera than in front.

The gentleman in the picture when I  asked if I could  take  his picture just pointed to a  little  sign (which I  have cropped out) that said “Photos  $2” I guess he must be asked  that question quite a few times every  day. I know I will never be able to making a  living that way.

Earworm

An earworm is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing. Phrases used to describe an earworm include musical imagery repetitioninvoluntary musical imagery, and stuck song syndrome.

Today the song  that keeps  going  through my head is “It was a very good  year. I especially like the version that  Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra do as a duet. Favorite line is “When I was seventeen it was  a very good year. This was brought on by two  comics in the newspaper this morning. One  was the Baby Blues strip where the  wife tells her husband about their children: “Think of them as reverse cicadas. They’re here for seventeen years and then  they go away” The other  comic  strip was Rhymes with Orange. It’s a picture of  a  cicada with a microphone in his  hand singing the cicada go-to  Karaoke song “When I  was seventeen, it  was a very good  year”.

So….

17 and it was a very good year.
when I was 17 it was a very good year.