Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Little Green Van....circa 1975

Hot, but not so humid today....and it appears that some rain will roll through tomorrow, then a cool down to the lower and middle 80s is predicted, with dry conditions for the next week or so.....

On occasions on this blog I have written about my adventures back in the "Wild Days" following my stint in the Air Force....those days, beginning in late 1973 ran for about a 4 year period...when Patricia got married in December 1976 and moved to outside Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1977, put those behind me.  Now mind you, I never have grown up, and never really settled down....but from that time I returned to Celina from Upstate New York, until we left for the frozen north....I was, even in my own estimate, pretty much out of control at times.

In late 1974 while managing The Red Door, an infamous "watering hole" in downtown Celina, still being single, I purchased my first house, thanks to the GI Bill...that house is located just one block north and across Brandon Avenue from where I live today...but many towns, miles, and adventures took place in the 20 years between that first house, and the one we purchased in 1995, where we live today.

Patricia and I lived in that house, for 3 years...she stayed there, working at Celina Insurance Group,when I headed off to college in Athens, Ohio. 

Early in 1975, I had a AMC Hornet and a Kawasaki Motorcycle as transportation...but I felt I needed something to bum around in...take the Coon Hounds hunting in and making some of the gangs famous road trips with.   Looking around I picked out a 1960 Ford Panel Van that had a folding bed installed...a little rust, a few too many miles, but hey!  It Ran!  For the next 18 months that van became a second home.  I let Patricia use the Hornet, while I alternated, depending on the weather, driving the van or riding the Kaw.

Friends and hanger-ons used that van in various moves, I hauled the dogs in it to our night hunts, and drove it around the the Summer of 1975, Mike Schilling, Jim Olson, and I decided to head to Florida...we would head to my old home town, Venice, fish and camp for a couple of days, then work our way back north.  Stops would include Busch Garden in Tampa, Disney World, and few days at Daytona Beach.  We then would head up I-95 and Myrtle Beach...before heading home to Ohio.

Flat tires, unfinished Interstate 75, summer rains, sunburns, and 25 cases of beer, were part of the memories of that 10 day excursion to Florida and was amazing that we survived.  We put Mike's CB Radio in it and worked our way down and back...the Ford had no shocks to speak of, bald tires, and 3 guys, 25 cases of canned beer, 2 Kawasaki Dirt Bikes, and fishing gear...I've written about the trip before on this blog, and you can find those stories by following the labels listed at the bottom....

The main theme today however are my memories of that crazy van....I paid $400 for it, don't remember what I did with it...did I sell it outright, trade it, junk it?  To tell the truth, I cannot remember.  I do know it was gone by the time I returned from Athens and Nelsonville...gone, but never forgotten.

That the short of it for today...enjoy the rest of the weekend.

back later>>>

photos-The year was 1975...I seemed old, but Hell I was just 26, Patrica 22, and the guys I hung out with were younger than me....#1 Me and the Van at Daytona Beach, with Schilling's and my Kawasaki Dirt Bikes tucked inside....mine was legal on the Beach, his wasn't, then as Oscar Sheer State Park in my old home town of Venice, Florida.  Finally the glorious Ford Van parked on the street next to the house on Fulton and Brandon in Celina...The other ride, my 1974 AMC Hornet in front on Brandon Street...and me(left) and Jim Olson at Disney World in June 1975, the van, unsafe at any speed, got us there and back...somehow!


Cookie..... said...

Cain't help but notice that ya left out the photygraffs of an Upstate, NY winter... ;-)

PRH....... said...

Got a few of them Cookie...but will wait for! Don't want to rush things, but trust me, I remember those from 1970-71 thru 71-72 well!

Argie said...

Unsafe at any speed...Lol. Been there, done that in a combination of of '70 Ford Econoline Van with Salt and Pepper Shag carpet and hippie mural paint job. And a 71 Dodge Dart. Cleveland to D.C. and back in 48hrs, 4 bald tires and 4 gallons of antifreeze include. Food? Nope, used the money for antifreeze. Sleep? Not with the bald tires.

Yet we all survived. Without seatbelts or bike helmets. At least the we did, can't same the same for the Dart and van.


PRH....... said...

Yep, Argie, we were all the lucky ones....lucky enough to survive the Best Years of our Lives!