In 1960 when I was two years old, My Father purchased a 1926 Ford, Model T Coupe.He located the car near his hometown of Cadiz, Kentucky and brought it home to Memphis on a single axle trailer.The car was in reasonable condition at the time and it ran well.I remember Dad standing me up in the middle of the seat while we drove around the neighborhood on the fourth of July.I recall being a bit embarrassed due to all of the waves and attention we got from folks out enjoying the holiday.Sure wish I could take those rides again!
Dad’s love of old cars, and growing up with this car in the garage, lit the old car bug inside of me.I thank my Father for the love of old cars and for all he taught me about mechanical things, how to safely use tools and fix just about anything around the house (He never called a repair man to the house – If he couldn’t fix it, it wasn’t worth fixing).But most importantly, he taught me how to be a good dad and a Christian man.
My Grandfather’s 1957 International Harvester Cub Tractor
I learned the basics of driving while sitting in my Grandfather’s lap aboard his IH Cub tractor as a child.The tractor was a part of their small farm just outside of Cadiz, Kentucky where it remained until it was sold after both of my Grandparents died within a few weeks of each other in 1980 (my Grandmother died of a broken heart).As the years passed by I often wondered what had happened to the Cub.In 2000 I contacted my Uncle in Cadiz and made some inquires regarding the fate of the tractor.He remembered who he had sold it to, and made contact with the buyer for me.With that lead, and thinking the trail had gone cold several times, I managed to track down the location of the tractor through five different owners including two tractor dealerships!It had ended up in Effingham, IL and was being used to maintain a garden.
After several days of intense negotiations over the phone, I struck a deal to buy the tractor back and return it to the family.My Father, Brother and I made the trip to Effingham to retrieve the tractor.On the trip we had a great time reminiscing about the visits to my Grandparent’s farm and all of the fun we had driving the tractor, shooting targets with Dad’s .22 rifle and hanging out with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.
As fate would have it, this would be the last trip we would make with Dad.He passed away on December 6th, 2000.The photo with Dad on the tractor and me holding my Son was the last picture made before his passing.
Original Memphis Merrymobile
From the mid 1950s through the early 1970s, ice cream was delivered and sold in and around Memphis, TN from unique, round, three wheeled ice cream delivery trucks known as Merrymobiles.My Merrymobile is one of the larger units built with an International Harvester Cub tractor engine located in the rear and was originally powered by propane.The on-board refrigeration unit was plugged in at night and then maintained by a belt driven compressor while in route. The vast majority of the Merrymobiles were destroyed in a landfill North of Memphis in the 1970s.Very few survived.I am proud to be able to preserve this small part of Memphis history.
Memphis Fairgrounds and Zoo Amusement Park Train
This 20 inch gauge amusement park train was built by Arrow Development in the late 1950s (the same company that built the original rides for Disneyland) and installed at the Memphis Fairgrounds Amusement Park by J C Levey when new.Mr. Levey’s amusement rides were squeezed out of the fairgrounds in the early 1970s when the Libertyland Amusement Park was built.The train was refurbished and moved to the Memphis Zoo in 1975 and was operated by Mr. Levey there until the construction of Cat Country commenced in the early 1990s.The train was sold to a retreat center outside of Olive Branch, MS and remained there until I acquired it.Restoration plans are in the works including a 900 foot track route encircling our small lake.Yes, Elvis did ride this train!
I also own two of the small trash collection buildings with animal heads built by Mr. Levey and used at the Zoo, “Litter Soo Pig” and “Willie Bloat the Billy Goat”.
I have had a passion for the Ford Mustang since its introduction.I vividly remember watching a brand new Springtime Yellow ’66 Mustang convertible, top down with luggage rack make the curves along Goodlett St. near Walnut Grove Rd. in Memphis while looking out of the rear window of our family’s 1962 Mercury Comet.Fast forward to 1976 when I bought my first Mustang for $250.00, a Caspian Blue1965 Coupe, six cylinder three speed with the transmission in pieces in the trunk.With the acquisition of a 1964 Comet parts car for $25.00, I was able to transfer the “cracker box” transmission to the Mustang and immediately gained motoring independence and I used the car to commute to Memphis State University.I drove it for several years with light blue doors from a parts car and primer spots covering my first (very poor) attempts at body work.
In 1978, I bought a badly damaged 1966 Mustang convertible (Springtime Yellow!) that had met the rear of a stopped garbage truck.It was parked in a driveway a few blocks from our house and I drug it home with a chain.My Mother was very disappointed and even cried when she discovered that I had spent $400.00 of my hard earned college money for a severely wrecked Mustang!Over the next two years I completed a “shade tree” restoration (literally did most of the work under the large oak tree behind my parent’s house) including a trip to Cadiz Kentucky for a top-notch paint job at my Uncle’s body shop, East Cadiz Garage and Body Shop.When the work was completed, the Mustang won a second place trophy at a car show in Florence Alabama, from that point on, Mom couldn’t stop bragging about the car!
In 1979, I found out about a new Mustang club being formed in Memphis, the Mustangs of Memphis a regional group of the Mustang Club of America.I joined immediately.Since then, I have only missed five regular monthly meetings and I am still active in the club (one of two remaining active original members).I have owned many early model Mustangs through the years and they remain my favorite.