We'll start the second installment of our series on last Saturday's Studebaker Drivers Club meet in Talmadge with a look at the Larks.
The Ohio Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club gets together in Talmadge in late August every year for what is touted, quite accurately, as the largest one-day Studebaker meet on the planet.
If you’re into ‘80s pop culture, you will like this show. If you’re into ’80s kitsch, you will like this show. If you’re into ’80s music, you will like this show. If you’re into the music and/or fashion industry, you will like this show. If you’re into strong female characters, you will like this show. If you’re looking for a cartoon – retro or otherwise- that’s not full-blown action, fantasy, and/or overly-kid-oriented, you will like this show. If you’re into cartoons that are rife with detail, not only in animation but also in writing, you will definitely like this show.
I really like this show. I’ve been curious about it for years, so when I found it on what was formerly known as The Hub Network (now called Discovery Family), I watched all of it alongside G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero! cartoon (talk about contrast!). What I saw did not disappoint. What started out in its essence as a toy-line turned into something more. I just wish it could’ve lasted just a little longer to fill in all the loose ends. And that the series would come out remastered on Blu-Ray to really make the sound and color pop. With multiple language/subtitle options.
I’ve pondered on making this list long before my successful Cars of That ‘70s Show post, because I doubted there were enough non-generic vehicles to make a list of them. I was surprised that IMCDb.com actually had a list for the series! So I thought, why not?
A bit of a digression from our usual fare for this post. Over the last couple of years I've developed a bit of a hobby with old diaries. I'd always wanted to maintain a diary/journal, though not so much because I think I have so much of importance to say for posterity. After my dad died several years ago, I realized that all of the stories he'd told us over the years now only existed in our memories; we couldn't go check them with him or hear them again, they were all lodged only in our imperfect memories as something of an oral history. I made a few attempts over the years to keep a diary (even when I was a kid) but they never lasted, I think because I never thought I had anything of profound interest to write.
Then one day on a lark I bought a diary at an estate sale and started reading it through. That one was from 1948 written by a 60-something-year old Seattle housewife by the name of Lillie May (Reasoner) Smith. She wasn't anything particularly special and mostly she just recorded her daily doings. . . .which I found utterly fascinating. Instead of profound thoughts on Life and the Big Events of the day, she recorded her shopping trips, her husband's work as a longshoreman, picking berries on Orcas Island, dinner parties they attended, etc. Such a different world from the one I inhabit here in the later 20th and early 21st century with our computers and Internets and cable television and cell phones and such. So, I started my own diary, online this time, and went through and transcribed Lillie's entry for the same day ("On this day in 1948. . .") and then entered my own doings. And I kept at it, I guess, partly out of a feeling of obligation to give the world her story as well as my own. When the year was up (her diary only was for a single year), I found another and started in on it. The second one was for 1967, a man this time, and he was kind of dull.
But I found another one that was fairly complete for almost three years from 1952 to 1954 and started in on that. To be honest, for the first month or so I thought it was a teenage girl -- there was no identifying information in it -- but turned out it was written by a teenaged boy from Yakima, Washington. And he had a 1939 Plymouth coupe, much like the one pictured here. He was 16 at the time and the Plymouth kept popping up as he went through his daily teenaged high school boy life.
While we were both teenaged boys at one point, like Lillie May, it was a different world from the one I grew up in. He's had a few adventures in his Plymouth and many, many problems with it, some of which were his own fault. But the way he related to his car and the things he did with it are far different from what I experienced, and I thought I'd share some of his entries with Car Lust readers. No doubt some older readers will relate to what he went through, and younger ones may find the actual writings of a car-loving guy from the early 1950s enlightening.
A couple of notes: He had very small, cramped writing and it was often difficult to make out words. Those I've put in [brackets] with the the word I think it is or in some cases just the letters it looks like in hopes context can render it intelligible to someone. More on the diarist below the fold.
(Sung to the tune that opens "The Andy Griffith Show:")
♫ Well now, take, down, your fishin' pole, and meet me at The Fishin' Hole,
We may, not, get a bite all day, but don't you rush away.
What a great, place, to rest your bones, and mighty fine for skippin' stones,
You'll feel fresh, as, a lemonade, a-settin' in the shade.
Whether it's hot... whether it's cool... oh what a spot... for whistlin' like a fool.
What a fine, day, to take a stroll, and wander by The Fishin' Hole,
I can't think, of, a better way, to pass the time o' day. ♫
The name of that song is "The Fishin' Hole," and those were the words to the whistling theme you heard every time you saw Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie walking toward Myers Lake in Mayberry. Of course Myers Lake didn't exist, so maybe surprisingly, the title openings of the show were shot here.
Just like the music in "The Andy Griffith Show," cars also played an important part. In fact, several of their best episodes were written around them and the people who were driving them. So let's take a gander at a few of these machines... some of them might even surprise you a bit!
You know the saying "There's nothing new under the sun"? Yeah.
Submitted for your contemplation: Girls + Cars. Cars + Girls. I'm fairly certain that the average Roman curri dealer occasionally had a couple of calida mulierculae Romana* posing next to the new (AD) 14 models. And you can bet that the first thing some guy will do when he invents an anti-gravity landspeeder is dress up a future honey or two in quasi-futuristic bikinis (or perhaps grab a couple of Fembots) and sit them on the hood. It's what we do. Hence, compare and contrast:
That, according to Vintage Everyday, is a Peerless Touring Car, taken in 1923 in San Francisco.
And here. . . .
is a more recent rendition.
A couple of things I noted:
-- There's no bumper on the Infiniti to stand on
-- There's probably more steel in the hood of the Peerless than in the entire Infiniti
-- You could probably outfit 20 of the modern ladies in the material in one of the vintage ladies' suits.
Sources for the photos in the links above. And let me tell you, if was a tough assignment doing research for this post. . . . .
* Hot Roman Babes. Loosely translated, of course.