Monday, January 19, 2009

Vintage Photographs

It's funny how photos from your childhood can bring out family memories...especially if you ask questions. Our 1928 Studebaker still holds fascination for my siblings and me.

I was probably a year old when I rode in this car on a long trip from Nebraska to California and back again. My grandparents lived in California where they had moved from the old homestead in Nebraska. My mother missed them. And so it was, that sometime in 1946, my mother asked her brother Jake1928 Studebaker, home from the War, to drive her the 1800 miles to see her parents. Imagine the slow pace of the trip!

My two brothers sat in back. I, on the other hand, was barely a year old and reluctant to leave my mother's side even though it meant I must be brave enough to sit beside this virtual stranger who was my Uncle Jake. His method of ingratiating himself to me was to pull a silver dollar out of his pocket and let me play with it, joking that "Money always entices the ladies".

In California we visited family. My three uncles (Jake, Clarence and Fred) posed for photographs in their uniforms. Jake had served considerable time in Europe during WWII. Fred and Clarence were in uniform but had not been overseas. Gramma must have been greatly grateful that her three boys were home safe and sound.

Later, the car played out another family story when Dad and two friends rolled it on a rough gravel road one morning on their way to work. The car rolled a couple times, bounced upright, and went on down the road with nary a dent in its tough body. The only damage was a broken rear window. The men themselves sustained not a scratch in spite of the tumble and continued on to work.

Sadly, years later, my father junked out the old car. It was becoming impossible to keep tires repaired on those old wood spoke wheels. And by then we had a "newer" car, so this one went into the scrap heap. Dad kept the "Oogah" horn and the headlights. For years the headlights hung by a wire in his shop. He gave the Oogah horn to Uncle Jake who installed it on his 1953 Ford and with which he used to "oooooogah" unsuspecting passers-by and then laugh uproariously as he greeted them with a wave of his hand.

Later, Uncle Jake would be called up again to serve in the Korean war. He received a wound that paralyzed him from the waist down and which caused his early death at age 42. He was a kind and gentle man.


Sheri said...

Love vintage pictures and old family stories.

cinnamongirl93 said...

I love the story of your family. The pictures are great too. Things were so different then. Part of me longs for the simple life. Your uncle sounds like a card.