Bob Erkkila, my first friend, his first car. 1950 Chrysler Winsor
Bob and I started playing together when we about 2 and 3 years old. I was a year older. I was allowed to play on our property outside which was my parents Chrysler/Plymouth car dealership car lot. Bobs mother could see when I was out there from their upstairs apartment window. She would take Bob outside to play. We kind of knew our play was supervised from those upstairs widows by his mother or from my mother’s kitchen window. Everything was fine until I turned 5 and started kindergarten. Bob was only 4 and couldn’t go. He raised such a ruckus about that, the school allowed him to come with me. They thought he would tire of this after a few days and stay home. He showed them, he stayed the whole year. He had to take it again the next year, not that he flunked, you have to be 5 to take kindergarten.
Every couple of years the manager of the JC Penney Department store bought a new Chrysler from my dad. He gave the old one to the Nun’s in town. This time the Nun’s didn’t need a car, so Bob ended up with it.
Bob got the painting last Saturday and it was a gift from me. It’s the only thing I thought he might like. We have been friends for a lifetime.
, the Cadillac of boats
Recently I have been painting pictures that tell a story. In the summer, we lived at our Bootjack home along the Shore of Portage Lake near Dreamland. The Fredrickson home was a few lots to the north. When I was about 14 years old, they bought a Chris Craft like the near one in the picture. My father being a mechanic was asked to tune it up every spring and I guess this gave me water skiing rights all summer. The king family that owned a share in the boat had a little boy about 4 years old. I was standing in knee deep water when I noticed him face down in the water and not moving. I scooped him out of the water and yelled at everyone there. “I found him face down in the water and he’s not moving”. I was told to lay him face down in the grass where Leslie (a neighbor my age) began artificial respiration. After a few minutes it didn’t seem to be working. Doctor Roach was called from a couple miles away and fortunately he was home. Being a stout man he could really run from his car to where we were on the beach. He raised the boy strait up by the ankles and with the other hand, patted him on the back. Water came out of his mouth and was crying and very much alive.
Now for the lighter side.
The Kings also had a daughter about 9 years old who became Miss America in the seventies, Rebecca King.
I participated in this class project although the scene was dark and gloomy. About this time I heard that one of the best bosses I had in life recently died. It was Bruce Cressey? Who owned the Chevrolet garage in Cokato MN. He had a wreaker like the one I painted in the lower left corner and it’s there in memory of him.
Russell Jarvi’s birthday was on June 6th. Jane thought I should do a car picture for him. This was done in a couple days in order for him to receive it in time, and it did. Russell’s family moved to Calumet in 1950 when we were seven years old. His mother had leased a service station on the East end of Pine Street. A decade later, Russell moved to California and came back with his dream car, the 1957 Pontic Ragtop. Now I had to place that car in front of his Mom’s gas station. I got a big bang out of it as it got him by total surprise.
The outhouse at our old lake home in Bootjack MI on the shores of Portage Lake.
The old car in the woods is my that I chopped the top 4 inches.
My parents got it hauled off to a junk yard before I got the roof welded as I was off to college then Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis MN. This is how it should have looked if I finished the work.
Watercolor on 15 x 20 Canson paper
I found this image on the internet gabbing my attention quickly. A fellow by the name of Ward took the car styles from the 30’s and create a futuristic version of one that never existed. Futuristic cars were abundant in the 50’s when there were good economic times. The body is to be made from Aluminum with an aircraft type frame and powered with a V/12 or Tesla electric. I would hammer out the body to fit an early model Olds Toronado and use that power plant and front wheel drive. The big body and front end look like the car means business anyway, so why not power it to do so.
[buy_now_button product_id=’116′]This dates me as I remember our 1932 Buick snow plow. Every morning when I was eating breakfast, it was scooting back and forth clearing the snow in the car lot. After the war about 1949, Dad got rid of it and brought in a Dodge Power Wagon. I was mad as a hornet because I loved the cute little Buick. I did get a short moment of revenge. I over heard Dad tell one of the men about a service call and they would be using the Power Wagon. I slipped outside real fast and stuffed the tail pipe tight with snow. I hid behind some used cars to see what would happen. The engine started and then quickly died. Dads employee cranked on the starter and all the engine would do is a few misfires and sputters until the battery went dead and the engine was flooded with gas. By now, all the mechanics were outside, when someone saw the snow in the tailpipe. That discovery had my name on it. I was seen hiding behind a car and questioned about it. I fessed up and yet was delighted my efforts worked. I told them I hated that Dodge and was mad the Buick was gone.