Friday, December 10, 2010


The Thematic Photographic theme for this week is Family.  Of course the first thing I thought of was my family.  My parents, siblings, their spouses, children and grandchildren.  But as much as I love them and appreciate them, it just seemed too easy. 

So I contemplated; What is family?  Yeah, you could wreck a few brain cells going over that one, but I did come up with a few other groups I’ve been a part of that qualify.


My friends in high school were a family.  Not only were two of them actually taken in by my parents for several months, but the whole group helped me, supported me, through those confusing years.

My Education Cohort.  We took classes together, went to visit schools together and stayed up late into the evenings more than several times studying for exams and helping perfect each other’s papers.

My Master’s Degree pals.  The three of us went through the whole program together, did almost all our projects together.  Without their support there is no way I could have made it through.

My first career, 15 years at Free Wheeler Pizza.  During this time my parents divorced, my mother was diagnosed terminal and passed away.  My biological family was instrumental in helping me through this, but when I just needed to escape, forget and laugh, this other family was there for me too.

And of course, each school I have taught at has been a family to me.  I just got back from the Holiday Faculty dinner for Writer’s school, I haven’t taught there for over 5 years, but still everyone was happy to see me.

It wasn’t until I was driving home from school today that I settled on a theme:

If you haven’t figured out that I’m a car nut by now, you probably are pretty new to my blog. Since I first received my driver’s license on Tuesday, May 11th, 1976 I’ve owned 55 different vehicles.  26 of those were produced by the Ford Motor Company, I guess you could say I was a Ford fan.  Some people have said that I’m a Ford nut.  (Most of you have read this before, but…)  One friend even suggested I check myself into the Henry Ford Clinic.

Anyhoo, over 10 years ago I started collecting my fine family of 70’s era Ford LTDs with the purchase of this 1970 Ford LTD Convertible.  White with a white top and a bright red naugahyde interior.  Bee-you-tee-ful.  Well, not right now, she just shot her transmission, but that hopefully will be fixed this summer.

It took 8 years for the bug to fully infect me, when I decided to buy this 1969 Ford LTD 4 door hardtop off the internet.  I flew my two brothers and I out to L.A., sight unseen, to check it out and, as it turned out, drive it back to Salt Lake. (Complete story HERE, screen appearances HERE).  I bought it off a lady who was retiring from her business renting old cars for TV and movies.  I didn’t even know that until the deal had been made, just and extra bonus.

Less than a year later this 1972 Ford LTD Country Squire just fell into my lap, thanks to Mr. Gearhead.  I wasn’t really looking for the next one, but like many family additions, sometimes they just happen.  It’s big, it’s green and it has fake wood paneling on the sides.  Unlike other ones, though, the previous owner had this wood paneling painted on, no plastic appliqu├ęs for this classic. (complete story HERE).

Again, this next one just fell into my lap, and again, thanks to the Gearheads.  The poor thing was going to be thrown away! (Complete story HERE).  $200 to buy it, $400 for a new vinyl top, $400 for new tires and $400 for an exhaust system.  It may not be the best looking of the bunch, but it has the smoothest ride, runs like it just came off the showroom floor.  It rounds off the LTD Family: Convertible, Wagon, 4 door and a 2 door.

Of course, no family would be complete without the long-lost cousin, in this case a 1968 Ford F250 that the Gearheads and I own together.  It resides at my house, but they are doing all the body work and painting to restore it.


Alexia said...

Love it! Your cars are part of your family, because you are passionate about them! Great angle on the theme, Max - I really enjoyed reading your post.

A Paperback Writer said...

Oh, you've presented all your children very nicely here. Good job to a proud daddy!

The solo pic of Old Blue makes it look exactly like a Matchbox car I used to own (but went with Nephew #1 about 2 decades ago).

Max said...

Holy crap, you two are fast! Less than 10 minutes from when I posted and two comments already. I'm honored. Glad you liked the post!
And Writer, you probably remember, that picture was taken on one of our jaunts out to the west desert.

Karen S. said...

Excellent slant on family, I really enjoyed your pitch, and it reminded me that I too should have posted a bit of some wordage...guess it was the need for speed with the tree decorating going on tonight, and work this weekend with a blizzard on it's way again....oh well...I truly enjoyed your family post, and FORD is my most favorite of all time and I learned how to drive in a Mustange! Very cool! Thanks Max!

Anonymous said...

What a great post.. I should have posted about my books and hats..LOL..

This was really a great look at "your" car family and I liked this alot..
My how times have changed...

A Paperback Writer said...

Was that on the Eureka trip? It's hard to tell from the packed dirt background. Were you standing up on that old railway bridge when you took that?

And of course I was fast, silly. I told you I'd be waiting for the post!

Max said...

Karen - Ahh, the Mustang. I had a '67 that I wish I'd never sold. Glad to see another Ford fan on here!
Lynne - Hey, we got 5 more days, you can still do a family tribute to them.
Writer - I'm not sure if it was the Eureka trip, but I was standing up on the old train trestle. You can see it in the background here.

A Paperback Writer said...

That was Eureka.

Carmi said...

You have the most awesomely eye-opening perspectives on family. Thank you for making sure the theme was so fully covered.

I grew up in the back of successive Ford Custom 500 wagons - a gold '74 and a silver '76 - so the blue oval figured prominently in my life. First car I drove: my mom's '78 silver Pinto with the red plaid interior. Brought our youngest munchkins home from the hospital in a Windstar... the brand's been good to us.

Max said...

Unless they badged them differently in Canada, the Custom 500 is the exact same car as the LTD I love so much. The LTD is just the higher trim level. I had a '72 Pinto, financially the best car I ever owned. Paid $150 for it, beat the living crap out of it for over 2 years with a total of $2.30 in repairs, and then sold it for $265. Yeah, Ford's been good to me too.