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March 09, 2012


Spring Break, 1962.

(Thanks to Bob Brogan)

Let's twist again, like we did 50 years ago.


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Spring Break 2012 sounds even better.

Go ahead and twist, Dave. Just don't break a hip.

That's a good cutting of a "better than decent" story ... Chet wuz an excellent news person in comparison to them whut provide sound bites today, and at the top of the ladder for his time ... he had perspective, which a lot of "adults" of the time did not ... and, the behavior got a bit wilder as the years rolled past ...

"The '62 Rambler; the most popular Rambler ever built."

I hear they sold dozens of them.

We had a Rambler. Now *there* was a turd with wheels.

But it got great gas mileage, and it had one other attribute that no other auto (Detroit types) possessed at the time (but mention of that feature here would not be conducive to the "family" orientation of the blog) ...

You mean the "sleeper" seats. You DOG.

Well, Dave ... our local vernacular had a slightly different phraseology to describe the concept ... but ... yeah, y'all gnu about that, eh?

That video catches one thing for me - not age (although I was 5 then), but the foreshadowing of an explosive era. Perhaps I'm imagining it through hindsight, but the kids, and Huntley, seem to sense somehow that they are on the brink of something rather momentous (no, not Ramblers).

(Yes, I did just describe foreshadowing through hindsight.... this needs a word....)

*snork* @ Dave.

The TWIST?? HEAVENS! Next thing, they'll be doing the Charleston, and THEN where will we be???


Better than hindshadowing, I guess....

We had a Rambler ! Remember the push button gears ??
I think I was 6.


Summer '62 I was 19 and working at my first major job, where my 50-something bosslady dismissed the idea that anyone of "these kids" could be affected by the idea of nuclear annhilation: "Nonsense! That's ridiculous! They need to stop talking about it!"

She, of course, hadn't spent her youth crouched under those bomb-proof desks, or having air raid drills in second-grade. Her point was we couldn't accurately envision it, but that sure didn't stop us from being haunted by our best efforts.

Side note: When I was introduced to the Twist several years earlier, by some Negro/black/African-American friends, I thought it was called the Twitch.

In 1971 I was 18 and we had two '62 Ramblers - one that ran and one out back just for parts. My father wouldn't let me drive it because it wasn't insured, so I saved my money and bought a brand new '71 Vega instead. Nice going, Dad. "Turd on wheels" doesn't adequately describe that POS.

I can remember air raid practice in the early 60s when we had to duck under our desks. Scared me so much I used to run for cover every time I heard a plane overhead. Every Saturday at noon they'd sound the air raid siren just to make sure it worked. Gee, those were fun times!

In '62 I wuz in HS (yeah, still ... tooken me about nine years to escape that torture ... I'm kidding ... as many have said, sum of the best years of our lives), and only the "little kids" would've had "bomb drills" ... except, in rural Nodak, we din't think we'd be in the target sights for an attack ... of course that wuz a couple of years before they built all the missile silos within 50 miles of us ... by then, JFK wuz dead, Viet Nam wuz escalating, and we started to grasp the idea that ... yeah (as MtB mentioned) ... things have CHANGED!

I believe the push-button gearshift was on the Plymouth. We had an early-sixties Plymouth Valiant with that feature, and you needed both hands to push the buttons. Very convenient.

Plymouth's had the push-button dealie (when my '58 Delray got traded in on my "New, College Car" ... I got a '53 Plymouth convertible as a loaner, in November ... in Nodak ... yeah, we put the top down ... misspent youth ...) but the Edsel also had that feature (in the center of the steerin' wheel?!?!?! WTD?), but I don't remember any of the Nash/Rambler/American wheels that used that system ... might've happened, but I din't notice ... Ramblers bein' beneath the dignity of a teenage guy ... unless he had "other plans" to which have been alluded already, above ...

In '62, my PARENTS where seniors in HS and wouldn't meet for another 4 years...

If you enjoy this you need to find or rent the movie "Atomic Cafe" brings back my younger days. I was 12 in 1962 but last car I had before I went to Vietnam in 1968 was a 1962 rambler. Sigh, if I had only known about microsoft back then. Of course now Microsoft has a different meaning for me.

Huh, missed the story, I instinctively change the channel when Chet Huntley is on, it's CBS for news and NBC for some of the shows. Something about the Nash Rambler huh? Nice enough car I suppose but I'd rather have a Dodge Dart.

oldfatguy ... Welcome Home.

s'ok, Indiana Girl. We have a lot of sympathy and fellow-feeling for your generation. Hell -- you were raised by US!!!

push button on the valiant. yes. my uncle had one of those. i was 11 in 1962. i had no idea what any of those kids were doing, at all.

sigh. Traffic slowed to a crawl by a geezer bus stuck behind a '62 Rambler and a '71 Vega.

Please let me off the bus!

In 1962 I was a baby but, one of my first memories is of my mom putting some records on her 'Hi-Fi' and teaching me how to do the Twist, the Fox Trot, and the Cha Cha. We also had a Plymouth with the push buttons and I can remember my dad saying many naughty words when he drove that car.

QB...Neither did we...

For our air raid drills we went to the first floor hallways and stood facing the walls with one arm on the wall, face on that arm, other arm across the back of our neck.......I guess so we wouldn't see anything happen to us ???

In '62 I was about to win the third grade spelling bee until my teacher mistakenly heard "seience" when I actually spelled "science." I'm still mad about that.

In those days, you DIDN'T argue with your teacher.

Since the gear selector on an automatic transmission was basically just an electric switch they could put it anywhere they wanted to, and in about any form they wanted.

In '62 I was a year short of a drivers license, but that didn't matter much. My parents would occasionally send me on errands when they were busy and I was as young as 13.

Got my first ticket in about 1980.

Coco' ... yeah ... I wuz in HS, and one of our teachers held the view that our class wuz basically werthless and had no redeeming social value ... we din't argue ... we merely set out to prove it (as far as our public image went @ least, several of us actually wuz a lot smarter than advertised in the "teachers' workroom", and went on to do our own version of "saving the world")

1962 George Romney = Rambler = POS
2012 Mitt Romney =

Coconuts, give me the name of that teacher. I know people, iykwim.

In '62, my PARENTS where seniors in HS and wouldn't meet for another 4 years...
Posted by: IndianaGirl | March 09, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I hate you.


Dave, the reason we geezers feel old is...we are old! In April of '62 I was in junior high school. My father always bought GM cars and had a 1962 Buick Electra 225. That car was built like a tank and I bet I could knock holes in a Hummer with it. It was one of the cars I learned to drive on.

I think it's only appropriate this story appear today when we arrived home from our latest stint as hated "snowbirds" in Florida.

And stay off my d@mn lawn!

Imagine this in a kind of maroon/burgundy color and that's the car.

I remember the push buttons gears, Chubby Checker, Fats Domino, and Spring Break in Daytona.
But I remember it being in color. Sometimes in very vivid color.

nursecindy, it was Miss DeLuca (and when she wasn't looking, we called her Miss DeeeeeeeeeLuca). I do remember winning one spelling bee where the prize was a mechanical pencil with a sliding section in the middle and when you turned it over, the little metal cylinder moved to reveal a tiny statue of the Virgin Mary. Yes, it was a Catholic school (even though the third grade teacher was a "lay" person and not a nun.)

Good grief, I haven't thought about that in a long time.

Jeff, that's quite the tuna boat.

I remember picking up the phone and hearing someone say "Operator!"

I think it's my turn to drive the Geezermobile.

Wolfie' ... I can remember givin' the handle a crank, and sayin' ... "Lillian, Ring 49 for me, please."

Y'all can sit behind the driver's seat, and mebbe I'll let y'all drive when I get tired ... which will likely be about seven minutes into the trip ...

The Rambler was fuel efficient; it ran on Listerine.

I had to giggle at the seriousness of Chet Huntly's reporting. Was also surprised at the lack of bikinis - thought they were on US beaches by then.

Early 60's - mostly sedate two piece bathing suits as in the video, Janice.

Mr. Huntley was not generally known for his whimsicality. He was no Dave.

As for the Rambler, Beep Beep.

Jeff -- he wuz no David, either ... they were an effective duo, but only Brinkley could be expected to break loose with a mildly amusing line once in a while ... but they wuz MUCH of an improvement over the "idiot who could read" persona of Uncle Walter ...

Yeah ... we all marveled @ that record, becuz we gnu the essential truth of it ... with overdrive, it'd do 90 in second and seem to be loafing ... one of the bigger dudes in HS drove his parent's Rambler, and so we din't disrepect him -- or it -- as much as sum venues might've ...

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