In June 13 IssueRussell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist
I have been a car lover with a big heart ever since I was a little boy. This is a true story about myself from the 1950’s when I was about 8 years old. I’m sure you will get a laugh out of it as I do now but back then it was not one bit funny to my Father.
The very first car I remember my Dad driving was a 1949 Plymouth. Times were tough back then and I remember when he bought the car used. He was so proud of that car. It looked like an Army tank coming down the road. It was a four door, dark green with gray interior. He drove that car until 1956 and it got so tired it just would not go no more!
I can remember my Dad and Mom talking in the evening wondering if they could afford a new car.. Not a new used one but a spanking new, shinny, 1956 car. Apparently they decided they could afford to buy the car because within a couple days my Father rolled up in front of the house with a brand new, green and white new car. Not a new used one but a spanking new, shinny, 1956 car. He was so proud of that car.
He took it around to show the rest of the family and had to take everyone for a ride. I can still see him setting behind the wheel with his chest all pushed out and driving that car.
Every night it had to be put in the garage and he would wipe it down before putting it to bed and coming inside for the night. Our garage back then, was one of those older ones with the doors that opened like butterfly wings to each side.
Not to long after Dad got the car, he was putting in it the garage for the night and a wind came up and blew on of the doors closed, just as he was pulling it into it’s resting place for the night. I remember that door swinging, now not really hard but it came into the side of that car. It wasn’t hard enough to dent it but it sure did put a long scratch in the green part on the door on the driver’s side.
I could tell by the look on his face, he was really upset. His first brand new car, less than a month old had a long scratch all down the rear door. I remember him stopping the car, getting out to look at the damage, said a few choice words, pushed the door back and pulled the car in for the night.
My Father was truly sick about it. And, me being the good son I was felt even worse for Dad. This was his pride and joy, his first brand new car and it was damaged already.
He went into the house to tell Mom what happened. I didn’t know to much about insurance back then but I remembered him saying it was going to cost a lot to get it fixed..
That next morning I got up and went to the garage to get my bike and looked at that scratch and just could feel the hurt my Dad had. I felt so bad for him and his new Ford.
As I was pushing my bike out of the garage I happened to see a gallon of green house paint setting on the shelf that was left from when Dad painted the house. The little light in my head went off and I thought to myself,
“I can solve Dad’s problem, I can fix his car and save him some money.
I was smart enough to know that this paint had been setting for a while so I needed to mix it up good. After doing so I got a brush from the drawer and painted over that scratch with the house paint.
I have to tell you it looked pretty good to me but the green paint I was using was a lot darker than the green on his Ford. It just didn’t look good with the two tone green on the door. I solved that problem also, I painted the whole bottom half of the door with the house paint. That made it look better but it still didn’t look good because the door was a different color than the car. So I took that brush and painted the whole side of that car with the house paint. Now, it looked good. One side of the car was a dark green and the other side was light green,, but heck! You never saw both sides at the same time anyway.
I was so proud I went back into the house to get Dad. I told him to come outside. I had a big surprise for him. Needless to say the surprise was on me when he saw what I had done to his car. I think I can still feel a sting in my backside when I think about it. Dad was less that pleased. I was amazed that he was so mad when I just saved him a lot of money and fixed his car also.
It was days that I remember Dad (and me) using rubbing compound or something to get that paint off the car. After we got it cleaned up Dad took the car to the body shop and in a week it looked just like it did the day he brought it home. Once again, Dad was happy, my backside was feeling better and his 1957 Ford Custom looked like a brand new car once again.
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