A Revolutionary Car Design Era

the character Fonzie from the sitcom Happy Day...

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Ford revolutionized car design in the nineteen forty-nine era. The forty nines were amazingly streamlined and beautiful. The stodgy look of the earlier designs lost favor to smooth flowing lines. The Mercury Division of Ford  hit a home run with its body style. The nineteen forty-nine through fifty-two Mercury is a favorite among hot rodders around the world. When chopped, Frenched,  and smoothed beyond its original flowing lines, the car transforms into fluid motion.

In the sit-com Happy Days the character Fonzi reminds me of a friend from my old neighborhood. The kids nick named him Dago. Dago’s  jet black hair swept back into a duck’s tail. He wore a black leather jacket and engineer boots decorated with chrome carpet tacks.  Dago became the inspiration for “The Fonz.” Dago drove a nineteen forty-nine Mercury coupé, jet black; what a car, what a character.

Recently, I had occasion to visit with Dago during a meeting of the kids from my old neighborhood in Burnside. His real name is Bob, and he is still a vibrant character with very black hair, and the same panache he had as a teen. This one is for you Bob.

My collection of Mercury’s from 1949-1952

A Grand Opportunity-Nightmares from Obama

Nightmares from Obama, the Cartoons and Political Opinion of Grumpa Joe is a unique collection of all the cartoons Grumpa Joe drew during the year 2009. He chronicled events, happenings, quotes from President Obama’s first year in office. Grumpa Joe’s conservative views are polar opposite to those of the president. Often GJ’s opinions are sarcastic, and satirical in tone. They are never complimentary, but often, even democrats find them humorous.

Grumpa Joe has a limited number of books with his political cartoons and their companion opinions from the year 2009 for sale. The cartoons launched a new era in Grumpa Joe’s life. Joe has never been an artist and is still not one, but his pictures are graphic and convey concepts well.

The book is $25.00 (twenty-five dollars) each; shipping is extra. Grumpa Joe will give all money over his cost to “Food for the Poor Inc”.

The book measures 8 inches by 10.5 inches, and has a glossy soft cover shown above with a total of seventy-three pages of cartoons and content.

These collector books make excellent coffee table books, are great conversation pieces to engage friends of the liberal persuasion, and make a great gift.

Make a donation to Food for the Poor by buying one of these unique books. All books are numbered and signed.

Share the Sacrifice, Drive an Electric Puddle Jumper

President Obama never ceases to amaze me with his forward thinking visions of himself. Since entering office in January 2009, he has had thirty-one months to figure out how to create jobs. He finally struck upon a job he is totally capable of handling; maybe. After January 2013, he can place himself into a nice yellow school bus to chauffeur underweight kids, saved from obesity by his darling wife Michelle, to school. His three state Magical Misery Bus Tour gives him ample opportunity to train for a new place in the private sector.

I foresee some new stimulus coming. His new buses nicknamed Stagecoach when he is aboard will need a retrofitted C5A to carry them from state to state or from country to country along with the companion twenty-four vehicles that carry his entourage. That is one big airplane order, but he will squeeze it into the military budget. Why will he need the C5A to carry Stagecoach? Simple, the thing burns too much fuel and wastes too much of his valuable golf playing time to ride it across country to give his tired old campaign speeches under the guise of “listening to out of work voters” in arena’s stacked with people who are  probably paid with food stamps to attend.

I Love Cruise Night With Lots of 32’s and 34’s

There is something about nineteen thirty-two and thirty-four vintage Ford hot rods that turns me on. It must be related to the fact that those were the most predominant cars of my childhood. My dad never owned a Ford of that vintage but some of my neighbors did. Back then very few neighbors owned a car.

Maybe it is because as a lad of ten, I watched a seventeen year old kid who lived at the alley end of the block build a thirty-four three window coupé into a hot rod. He even took it to Bonneville and had a brass plaque proclaiming his ninety-three mph run. What ever it is, these cars turn me on. There is nothing more beautiful than a hot thirty-four coupé or a deuce sportster.

Here is a collection of the finest cars that visit Frankfort’s Cruise Night.

Happy Birthday Grampa Jim

Today marks the one hundred and thirty-fifth anniversary of the birth of one Imre (James) Wigh. I call him Grandpa. He is the character I have

chronicled in a series of childhood memories under the category of Biography-Grandpa Jim.

       I am suffering through a period of melancholy the past few weeks, and today is no different. The fact that today is his birthday has nothing to do with my dilemma, but it adds to my sadness. The man was the only grandparent I knew. The father of my mother, he came to this country from Hungary to make a better life for himself. He landed a job in a coal mine in Southern Illinois near the town of West Frankfort. While mining coal, he was seriously injured and placed on disability. He received a pension of twenty-six dollars a month for the rest of his life; he managed to survive.

Grandpa Jim lived a solitary life on his farm in Michigan. As I have related before, he spent winters in Chicago by the command of my mother. She felt he needed to live a little easier than he did on the farm. When winter passed, and the weather got a bit warmer, Grandpa Jim disappeared. He found a way back to his humble little farm-house in Covert Township.

Happy Birthday Gramps!  Where ever you are.

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