COBWEB CORNERS: When cars were hot stuff in high school
By Mel McFarland
Last issue, in the “Meet a Westside Pioneer” column, I was reminded of something significant among us young guys on the Westside in the 1960s: Don Parker's pickup truck! A few guys actually knew him from school.
I went to Buena Vista school for a couple years, and had friends in the neighborhood, but it was in high school that cars became important. There were some outstanding cars on the Westside then, and Parker's Ford F-100 was one of them! He lived a half-block away from Buena Vista. A couple others were Reo Zentz and Bob Reinfred; both had dark red 1932 Ford Cabriolets that had been fixed up. As I remember, one of them might have lived up the block from Parker. I know Reinfred's car eventually went to California, after it was featured in a car magazine of the time.
Having your car in a magazine was important, but actually knowing the car was a status symbol! One of the first local cars I remember that appeared in a car magazine was a little Model A Ford roadster pickup owned by Ron Cogdill. That also reminds me of the fact that some car magazines were small enough to be hidden in a school textbook! Guys would hit the stores when new issues came out. There was a store at 20th and Pikes Peak that sold a lot of car magazines to the boys at West Junior! I still have part of my collection of car magazines from that time, many bought at that store. Then there was Hathaway's downtown. I fondly remember old Harry Hathaway, the owner. When the car magazines came in, the high school boys would try to be the first to have the latest magazine for study hall!
I am not sure what has happened to most of those cars, but I suspect some are under covers in garages here and there. One I know was buried at the D&D salvage yard! In the '60s, I did a bit of pinstriping and name-painting on cars, most of which I never saw again. One of my favorites was a car called "Ladybug," and I knew the owner pretty well. He liked to tell of the time when he was towing just the bare frame, and as they drove down the street someone yelled. "Hey, there goes Ladybug!" It might have even been me on my way home from junior high school!