Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A cavalcade of family cars

One thing that always happens when my brother is here: we spend time (lots of it) on old family pictures. One result -- this post which is dedicated to the American automobile down through the years, all in the family.

Starting in South Dakota circa 1908 or thereabouts. Called the family's first ever car in the album. The boy in the cap is Pop (born 1899); my grandmother is one of the two ladies in the back seat & there are very young versions of my two aunts.

A subsequent vehicle, also from the Dakota days. Note wire wheels.

By the time Pop had his racer, the family had moved to Phoenix because his father suffered from asthma. (By the way, the six of them drove all the way from the Dakotas.) Pop learned to drive when he was 9 or 10, as kids did back them; he gave the racer to his younger sister to drive to school when he went into the navy in 1917.

Here he is loading into the family phaeton for his brief tour in the armed service.

On Mom's side of the family, there were only one or two cars -- the California grandfather walked to and from town as long as I can remember. He had two elaborate string bags in which he carried the family groceries. The date is 1922; Mom is wearing a black velvet outfit & nobody remembers whether this was a family -- or a friend's auto.

Mom and her best friend of 90+ years shovelling snow, probably up in the San Jacintos, which was a favorite playground for Riverside young folk in the winter. Also 1922.

Meanwhile, back in Ohio, an aunt and her college mates pose with a car probably older than the 1928 date on the picture -- an early version of the college jalopy?

Same crowd of marceled coeds, newer & different wheels. Approximately the same date.

Bro and I argued about the vintage of this fine vehicle owned by the Phoenix grandfather. (We're even arguing as I write this.) The point being that I recall this machine from the 30s & bro says it dates from the 20s. Of course, both could be true!

How is this for a pair of late 20s-early 30s automobiles? We found them on a Mormon Lake post card among the family mementos. Great for motoring Arizona back in the day.
At last, the bro & I show up -- 1936-7, our two-door 1936 Studebaker, on the drivable beach at Jacksonville, Florida, where we had moved from the West.

Many years later, into the 50s, the maternal grandfather posed on his SILs "city vehicle" -- a delivery tricycle.

And, here in the 60s, Pop, who lusted after sporty cars all his years, stands next his TBird. (Yes, he couldn't resist the Raymond Lowey designed Studebaker and did buy one.) Less exotic, less exciting cars followed in the later years. When Mom was widowed down in Sun City, she drove Pop's last car, a huge Ford 4-door hardtop until her mid-90s.


Steve said...

Super post. I enjoyed the automobiles.

sheoflittlebrain said...

A great idea..the history of a family through it's autos! Your Mom's so snazzy in her black velvet:)

Lane said...

NFM says...OMG! The photos blowed me away (though I have seen most of them before...and no doubt, as a teen, been bored with them). Now they are totally fabulous. The one of Grandma is terrific! What a tower! Sometime soonish, it would be great to pull off a buncha' the family photos and burn disks... Hey! Christmas gifts! or July 4th gifts if the timeline is too quick... or coerce Omega Mom/Dad into doing it! Thanks for the post!

pb said...

Great photos.

Nice cars, but my attention was snagged by the shiny silk stockings on the ladies in the Ohio shots.

Then I noticed the fur collars. Really brought back memories of my Grammy Jo Baker.

Ladies knew how to be ladies back then, didn't they?

Granny J said...

Steve -- this is one I've been wanting to do for a long, long time.

brain -- Mom sewed all her life and she still remembers many of the dresses that she made. I could probably do a history of her via the clothes!!

NFM -- I have a lot already scanned, done back several years ago by your uncle. I have certainly been thinking about making the DVDs or some such. The July date sounds most promising.

pb -- were those collars raccoon? I'm sure the hose were silk; if I could get real, cool-in-summer silk nowadays, I might even wear them.

C. Marie Byars said...

Hi, Granny J!!! Strange weather here, isn't it??? I guess this year---and many years hence---we shall only be able to "dream" of a "White Christmas." (I was raised in a high elevation town in N.M.---before all this drought business set in---and we did get a White Christmas 'most every year!)

Nice photos!

quilteddogs said...

Thanks for sharing. Those were great.

Jan said...

granny j..you always make my day with your amazing photos!

I have to say, that this is one of my favorite posts!

Your mom was a great looking lady, too!

Granny J said...

cmarie -- We've had white Christmases here off and on since we came in the early 80s, but never reliable. BTW, will you make it to our blogger get-together the 15th?

qd -- I'm very fortunate to have a collection of photos that would yield so many on such a subject!

jan -- she's still a good-looking woman, esp. for 104!

Catalyst said...

Great pictures, great memories, GJ.

And I agree: your Mom was snazzy in her "little black dress." Good thing she had a dog close at hand to protect her from local Romeos!

Granny J said...

Cat-A -- she could take care of herself, Mom could! But that black dress is indeed a cool little number. I wouldn't mind having it!

meggie said...

OMG. I loved this whole post! Wonderful photos, wonderful memories.
gosh your Mum looks brilliant!!

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