As we prepare for the Iola Old Car Show (www.iolaoldcarshow.com) next week, it dawns on me that my 29th year at Old Cars Weekly (www.oldcarsweekly.com) is fast-approaching. In fact, in the summer of '78, my friend Mike Carbonella and I were doing a little free-lance work for OCW and dreaming that we could drive out, from New York, to see the Iola Car Show that year. As things turned out, we went to car shows in Doylestown and Gettysburg, Pa., and skipped Iola, but a few months later I was working here.
I always tell folks (and I'm sure there are some that agree with me) that my only real talent is longevity. This was driven home today when a man in his late-'80s called in to see if we had a color photo of a Crestmobile, an early car made in Massachusetts. He remembered his father having a Crestmobile that he climbed on when he was a young boy. We had no Crestmobile photo, but we did do an unusual photo shoot of a Crestmobile back in that first year I worked here, 1978. Chris Halla was another editor who worked here at the time and for some reason he became fascinated with Crestmobiles. He had a manilla file folder filled with letters from the few people who owned or knew about Crestmobiles. Then, he learned that there was an actual Crestmobile in the historical museum in Oshkosh. Doug Ogilvie, who was then the president of Pierce Fire Trucks, was also a car collector and a benefactor of the Oshkosh museum. So, Doug got permission for Chris to take pictures of the car in the museum. When we got to the museum, the car was inside and Chris wanted to take a photo outside. So we enlisted the help of the museum curator and someone else. Each one of us took a wheel and we lifted the car up and carried it outside! Then Chris snapped his photo. Over the years, Chris Halla's research and his photo have disappeared so when the man called today, I could not tell him much about Crestmobiles. However, I could say that I had actually helped carry one around. All in all, I guess that was a pretty good story. And it's stories like that one that evolve out of longevity.