Sunday, June 12, 2005


BEFORE WE GET INTO TODAY’S SUMMER RE-RUN … I am both surprised and disappointed that not one single person has either given me a report nor sent me photos of the Class of 55’s 50th Reunion. Did anyone attend? Does anyone care?

I do. C’mon folks, help me out: I can’t do it all myself.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system … -tlp-

(Originally run 12/11/03 on the old site)

Ernest Simpson

Tom, this is a great entry. Dan told the story very accurately.

We can solve a couple of names in Dan's story. In the back of the old panel truck was Morris Brookhart … and, yep, there was another one in there, too: me. The big guy Larry tackled on the court square that Halloween night was Frank Barnett.

I guess we were pretty stunned at Larry when he bailed out of the back of the truck in fast pursuit ... but we should have known not to be surprised at any of his antics.

Larry's first car was a '49 Willy’s Jeepster. Great car. It was green and had square fenders like a '54 MG roadster. His first wreck occurred when he was traveling north late one night on old 67 past the (fairgrounds, now) and turned left on the (north by-pass road) at a high rate of speed. The old Searcy Dairy had a stone wall about 4 feet high near the road, and the Jeepster couldn't make the turn. Larry impaled the underside of the Jeepster on the stone wall.

1950 Willys Jeepster Posted by Hello

I’m unclear how he got home that night, but I do remember the Jeepster was still on the wall the next morning. There was great conflict between he and Peck over this incident.

He loved that Jeepster, and cars in general. We had a fight once over Corvettes and Thunderbirds, but that's another story.

Tom Pry

Hot sporty cars started being turned out in the mid-50s. This led to typical adolescent humor. “Hey, looking for a job? They’ve got one down at White County Ford that’d be perfect for you.” “What is it?” “Digging up worms to feed to Thunderbirds.”

Or “Hear what happened to Dougie? He’s in Hawkins Hospital.” “What happened to him?” “He got kicked by his Mustang when he tried to tighten up its nuts.”

Speaking of White County Ford … it was located where W&W Ford is today. I can still remember their motto: “Off the Square, but on the level!” Great as was their advertising slogan, their phone number (pre-dial) was the envy of every business in the county: 1.

Today’s Jeep Grand Cherokee™ is a direct descendant of that old Willy’s Jeepster (which name, incidentally, was a combination of "Jeep" and "roadster." For what it's worth to the discussion, the word jeep was how the initials for "General Purpose" ended up being pronounced).

So many trade names in the automotive field are no longer with us, like Studebaker, which you could buy down on Spring Street.

A real biggie for awhile after WW II was the Kaiser-Frazer line. Although they were huge cars, one of the last vehicles they turned out was a little stripped down basic car called the Henry J (after the founder of what is now the megalithic Kaiser Corporation). It was so small that it could only seat four people .. IF they were (a) slim, (b) good friends and (c) had bathed recently. Unfortunately, the Henry J was about 15 years ahead of its time, and didn’t last long.

It was novel enough, though, that Sears had it manufactured to sell under their own name for awhile. Remember the Allstate™?


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