Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Trip" Down Memory Lane (1)

The Hubby and I were talking about all the cars we've had and I started wondering about all my Mom and Dad's cars, and GPHodgman's cars too.

So.. I've decided to do a little series of past decades of cars from our families.

Sort of a little trip down memory lane in the back of a station wagon/van, depending on which decade you may be talking about.

This may be totally not your cup of tea, to see and be told about the cars my parents have owned, so don't waste your time if you aren't interested.

My sister Kathy was the interviewer of my parents because they visited her for Christmas this past year and that is when I thought about this idea originally. Kathy wrote up a little synopsis after we talked with them on the phone. Tom also helped supply pictures and commentary.
I insert some random file pictures with some actuals from my stash. Dad was always a pretty regular movie or slide picture taker so maybe I'll raid his stash one of these days, especially for the early models that my sibs and I don't have any pictures of.

Ready??  Here's Joyce and Sam's car history (sort of).

• 1947 – Marriage. They had NO car for a couple of years. They lived at 253 N. University Ave in Provo, Utah and rode a bike. Mom says he’d put her on the handlebars and they’d head to the laundry. (they borrowed a car from Grandpa Kelly for their honeymoon). They remember Emily (Watts), Sam's sister, coming over to see their apt, and she said “Oh, you poor kids.” They were so poor.

• 1949-ish: Drove a 1936 blue Plymouth 4 door to Washington DC to attend Dental school at Georgetown. It had a cloth top – they had to paint it several times over the few years they had it, in order to keep it from leaking.
 The old car was purchased by Samuel Wallace and Joyce Mower Kelly from a lady in Provo who had purchased it years before from Grandpa Samuel Adams Kelly who was Sam's father. As they drove it across the country it wouldn't make it up the hills going across the Continental divide and had to have a trucker push (did Dad say pull?) them up and over.  Again they were stuck in North Platte NE and had to get a new clutch plate.
This trusty sidekick lasted them through Dental School in Washington DC even though it had to be rewired several times – even with pink and yellow wire by a friend Jim McKavie? who had been a Navy pilot in WWII- before it finally bid the dust with a fire in the engine.
•1953 – 5 dental school couples bought brand new Plymouth’s, (model?) got a great deal. Liscensed in Maryland, the students each paid about $1400. (Dad borrow $450 from Johnny Brooks, his brother-in-law and eventually paid it back). 

This car was a 4 door and I, Vicki, remember buying gas at SITE gas station on North Avenue in Grand Junction for 19.9 cents/gallon for this vehicle probably in the late 60's and early 70's. (BTW - We also got amber colored glasses for each fill up and accumulated many of them for our downstairs stash which we used for outdoor dining in the summer.)

• 1955 or 1956 so – (here’s where it’s a little fuzzy) – Dad says they had a grey or silver one color station wagon as their second car. A Plymouth. These dates could be wrong. Mom does NOT remember this car at all. Steve???
I think the next one was a green station wagon that looked somewhat like….
This is not the actual Dodge, but a image picture from the internet
that may be somewhat close, if only it was green.

• 1957 – Brand new Green & Cream high fin Dodge station wagon. Mom & Dad Kelly paid cash/traded in the other wagon. "We were making lots of $, kinda shocking, actually,” says Mom today.

(Another aside – you all knew that Dad had $ in the bank right after the war, he himself paid for the whole wedding reception in 1947.)
I bet we could find a good picture of this car in Dad's stash, and I also bet this car would be worth a lot of money if he still owned it today.

• 1961 – we move to our new Pacific Drive house in Grand Junction. (another aside – Camille did NOT like the house “I want my bedwoom back”. Their two cars (as they recall) – the green Dodge and the blue Plymouth.

Vicki remembers a white station wagon after this, maybe a 63 or so? But other sibs and Dad don't remember it that way. 
This picture is maybe how Vicki remembers the "White" one and is a '64 Dodge Dart

• 1965 – replaced the green station wagon (or perhaps the white station wagon) with a new Yellow Dodge Dart station wagon. The picture above says "Polaris."
Camille and Vicki loved the back bench seat that sat backwards towards the tail gate. Some of our friends had two small back bench seats that faced each other. Did these even have seat belts yet? The US government didn't require seatbelts until 1968, but many cars had them as extra's.
Kathy drove it with Tom to 7-11 when she was 14 and got into a little fender bender. When she got home she painted the front bumper scrape with white paint from the garage closet. She must've thought Dad was pretty unobservant. She was wrong.

And then...
Our cool car.
• 1967 – the Mustang. Yum. – its color was listed as Honey Gold, but it was a kind of light greenish semi-metallic, like the top picture.  I'm sure we have a picture in Dad's stash - I will look sometime when I'm in GJ. Probably one of the first paint colors to be able to do metallic. This one did have seat belts.

• 1969-ish – An orange Fiat. Dinky, no guts at all. Dad says he traded in the '53 light blue Plymouth for it – got about $35! Vicki remembers they got the Fiat close to Kathy’s 16th birthday, and it was a sad occasion that they traded in the Plymouth that was purchased when Kathy was born.
Tom all ready to go to Junior Prom in this little Fiat gem.
Gotta love the ruffled shirt with tux in the 70's.

This is similar to our first pickup but ours was beige and was not shiny.
• First pickup – Mesa Memorial Hospital old truck. I learned how to drive a manuel transmission on this old pickup when I was at Soelberg's at about age 12. Shifting was on the steering column, and it had a push button for a starter. We called it Cecil's truck because Cecil was the handyman at Mesa Memorial and he drove it. What was his last name?

Dad (Sam Kelly) on his way to work. Fury III in the carport.
Here is a picture of the red Bridgestone 175cc motorcycle. Steve drove this around Provo while in school there.
SA Kelly on his favorite mower while visiting Grand Junction in 1974 just weeks before his passing. 
The orange Volkswagon and the green Furry III in the carport.

• Steve – Kathy remembers you dropping her off at a piano lesson when you were about 17 driving a white sedan with a bench seat. She watched you drive away with your arm up along the back of the seat – you were so cool!  Who’s car was that? Was Grandpa Kelly visiting and we’d borrowed it??

Here's proof that GPKelly's (Sam Adams) car was white. 
Camille sitting atop our green pickup that I also drove for nearly a year during high school.
I think this is my favorite picture of the batch. "Hi Camille!"
• Second pickup - a light dull green used forest service pickup that dad parked out by the incinerator (Kathy wonders, "Why did we call it that?") (Because that was what it was - a trash burner)· · Dad eventually replaced that pickup with a white…. Toyota? When?
Vicki says Grandpa Kelly's car was white and she drove it one year during her high school years after GPK died in 1974. (VK)

Plymouth Fury III - Camille and Mom after Stake Conference in 1975
• Dad remembers driving a green sedan for several years – even driving it to Denver with his office girls and getting stuck on the pass. When? Maybe that was the Fury III

• Early 70’s – a Green Plymouth Fury, replaced the yellow Dodge station wagon. Vicki remembers it was huge – Camille would sleep in the back window on long trips!

• 1971- Mazda RX3. Orange body, white top. Rotary engine. Newest cool thing! I guess Steve and Connie were driving the Mustang at this time, but it blew up, so they used the Mazda to haul a U-Haul trailer to Oregon and dental school. Eventually the Mustang was fixed and they traded the Mazda back for the Mustang. Kathy remembers driving Tom over to the desert out by Price to drop him off at the railroad. Probably 1972 or 1973.
Vicki & Camille soon ready to take off to Provo and SLC for school.
When I had to do BYU Nursing Program in Salt Lake City for lack of adequate hospital facilities in Provo, I got to take a car with me for transportation. This RX3 was the one.
In about 1979 John was driving it down G Rd. close to the canal on 26 Rd.  when a bike rider turned right in front of him causing the Mazda to hit the biker. Everyone was okay, but it sure scared John.

• Dad's 1971 Yamaha or Kawasaki 250cc motorcycle - green?   Dad bought this from Bob Holt.
Tom at Snow College with another orange car
• Early 1973 – We bought the orange VW from Bob Rigg’s brother, and Kathy had it in Provo. She drove it to Oregon that summer with Tom to visit Steve & Connie, and both (K & T) met their spouses on that trip! Then I think it went to Tom for awhile until Vicki had her awful accident. (shown below - totaled)

• 1975 or before (very hazy date) –  Silver 2 door BMW 318i.  Dad bought this post Stake Presidency detail for 17 years. He also grew a salt and pepper beard.

• This green Jeep CJ5 was Tom's, but if I remember correctly, he left it at home during his mission and Dad made the payments on it while he was gone. I got to drive it too, even though my history with Tom's 
cars was mediocre at best.

Camille outside on I-70 near San Raphael Swell
• 1975 –ish – a Buick. Tan?
Camille, Me, Vikki Jarrett in our back yard - 1976.

 This picture is from 1981 in front of John and my new home in Clackamas, Oregon. 
Dad is driving and Mom is passenger.

• Mom's 1996?? Chrysler LHS. Here are the sisters at BYU Women's conference in about 1996?.
• Mom's brown Park Ave.
• Dad's red Toyota truck. In the carport at 717 with Mom and Uncle Ross. Ross was married to our Aunt June after her husband D. Ray died. He was one of her high school sweethearts that reappeared in her life and he was a fun companion and friend to Joyce and Sam too.
• Buick in St. George??
• 200??? Highlander
• 200?? Steve's Lexus

These last few cars we should have pictures of because they are still in the family. One of these days when I go to Grand Junction, I'll get a little more info and do some updating.

Thanks to Tom (brother), Kathy (sister), Mom (Joyce) and Dad (Sam). 
I actually did this research at Christmas 2011 and then thought I'd get better updates and pictures before posting, but failed in that regard.


  1. that was actually pretty fun. Robb needs to do one of these...Mr. I Love Cars More Than Life Itself!! LOL

  2. What a cool post! These cars are pretty nostalgic for me.


  3. - '53 Dodge - you weren't filling it up with gas until at least 1974 unless you were driving without a license (aka, me)
    - '71 Mazda RX3 - still feel bad that it decided to blow out the piston rings and white smoke up and down Salt Lake City 's Avenues while I was driving it. Sorry (again) Mom and Dad K.
    - '73 VW - note the hole in the windshield from Vicki's forehead hitting it. Ouch!

  4. BTW, 1974 was the oil embargo and OPEC where gas jump to $0.70+ a gallon in the US (I'm just saying...):)

  5. you should link this post up to the kelly klan. the fam would love to take a look at this!

  6. What's a furry? hahaha. btw, none of those emails that you copied and pasted here were spell checked etc. ...Just sayin'

    1. You have to tell me where I go wrong on the vocab and grammar, not just that it's wrong.

  7. dad used to drive without a license? just sayin...
    & i've never seen a picture of the totaled car. dad's right the hole in the windshield kind of makes me sick. obv pretty glad it wasn't worse.

  8. I was driving Mom Joyce's white Buick Park Avenue car (not the Mazda) when the biker hit me on 27 G Road.

  9. I was driving Mom Joyce's white Buick Park Avenue (not the Mazda) when the biker hit me on 27 G Road. Also, I think the dent in the gas tank on the green Yamaha is from my knee when I dumped it out in the desert with Jonathan and David or was it with Vicki?