Background story of this photo: This is the bus garage – (in the background) on the Odegard property. One year, we built a two-story snow fort in the area on the left. It might have been the year of this photo. The vehicle in the photo is a 1950 four-door Chevrolet that our Dad made into a custom El Camino. It was painted turquoise and white – just like our kitchen (same paint). The back of the roof /cab for the El Camino was from a 1939 Chevrolet, welded in place and then a pickup box was added.
Snippet Story #2 – All About Cars
Growing up, our house was on the east side of one of two downtown blocks in Princeton. We saw all the action – because we were next to Odegard’s Car Dealership and bus garage.
One of our favorite things to do – keep in mind that we were easily entertained – was to go ‘uptown’ by taking the alley between the bus garage and the car dealership – through the middle of the block – through Odegard’s and then to Main Street. On our way, we checked the trash barrels in the back of the dealership for discarded NADA (National Automotive Dealer’s Association) books and other car promotional materials. Then we walked between the Odegard building and a local bar called “The Torch ” to get to Main Street. There was about a five-foot opening. In the winter, I think we went though the dealership. Sometimes we went in the Torch – to talk to my Dad. The Torch was his winding down after work place.
But – why on earth would a girl want A NADA Guide?
A NADA book includes all of the models and values of every type of car or truck. We used the book to become familiar with the models and then used that knowledge to play our version of ‘baseball.
Every Friday night, we would sit outside and watch for race cars on their way to the Princeton Race Track. And we’d play baseball. Here is how the game worked: We each chose a model of car – Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Plymouth, etc. One person was chosen to be the first up to ‘bat.’ We’d start watching for vehicles to pass by our yard or on Main Street. If I chose Chevrolet and I was up to bat, and the first car we saw was a Ford, my team – Team Chevrolet – would get an out. If the first car was a Chevrolet, then I got a hit. I think they were just singles and we had to see four Chevrolets (before getting three outs) to score a run; I don’t remember for sure. When Team Chevrolet had three outs, it went to the next person and their team. Once the game was over, we’d pick a different model for the next game. We also played using models of pick-ups.
We spent many hours playing this game and watching for race cars. I used to know every make and model – because i grew up mostly playing with my brothers – and I played whatever they played. And we had a lot of fun! Life was much simpler then …
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Note: The photos are from old slides that were unfortunately damaged by moisture so they did not scan or edit well.