Suddenly, it was the 1950s, and the brand-new American dream included a modern split-level in the suburbs, TV dinners in the family room — and a new “hardtop” in the carport. Chevy was offering the right car at just the right moment.
At a recent Tuesday night in Roseville, I came across Classic Cars on display in downtown and learned as much as I could by talking to the various owners of these magnificent pieces of Americana.
To be sure, the Bel Air’s success involved more than just a racy roofline. For just $1,741, Chevy showed off it’s new two-tone paint designs and beautiful interiors. Power steering was a new option — and another Chevrolet first in the low-price class. Power brakes, power windows and a power driver’s seat were added to the option list in 1954. Could driving get any better than this?
The 1955 BEL AIR: Forever Young.
The moment that first ’55 Bel Air roared to life, Chevy was no longer a Sunday morning kind of car. This one was a Saturday night cruising car !
Ed Cole’s artfully engineered new V8 engine made flathead Fords and low-ridin’ Mercs old news — the’55 Chevy V8 was “the hot one” on the track, on the highway, and in high school parking lots all across the USA.
There is still a lot for me to learn about the Classics, but this introduction has really been an education for me and a glimpse back in time. The first car I can remember as a kid was our Chevy Bel Air in turquoise blue.
Recently I spent two weeks in Puerto Vallarta to get away from the normality in my life. If that sounds absurd, it’s probably because of our view of this world and that we all tend to define normality differently. I’ve visited Puerto Vallarta or PV as the locals also call their city, around 6 times in the last 10 years so it feels warm and fuzzy and has a comfortable vibe to it. I never tire of the natural beauty of this coastal town, the friendliness of its inhabitants or the variety of places to stay and pamper one’s self. I even try to learn survival Spanish while I’m there and use it on anyone that’s willing to listen or able to comprehend my words. On this trip I was amazed at the huge influx of expats coming here to retire or live by some other means. The Zona Romantica area near old town is overflowing with newly built condos and other new builds in varying stages. All of these have incredible ocean views or are within a few minutes walk to the beach with it’s galleries and cute cafes. Images L to R: #1 AMStarResorts #2& #3 Garza Real Estate
Growing up in Northern California, I was always aware of the local military bases and their approximate locations. For the most part, I had little chance of going on base. So while the names of the bases were pretty well ingrained I never knew too much about their operations or the men and women that worked there. Since Beale Air Force Base was having an air show open to the public, I figured I’d go and get educated on this base I had heard the name of all my life. It was exciting. I had no idea what to expect but was surprised first at how much land is owned by the government which surrounds the base. Turning off the highway it was 3.5 miles to the South Gate. Once my car was inspected and I was passed through, it was another 2-3 miles to the airport at Beale where the air show was taking place. The site was massive and enough parking for thousands of cars.The sight of all those cars parked and airplanes, jets, cargo transporters and vintage Air Force planes in one place was a scene I’ll not forget. And of course all the military personnel running around the place_ young, older, men,women, Asian, Black, Latino, white_ it was a humbling site. So much Air Force history on that tarmac and readily accessible by the locals today.The photos I took also show the distant Sutter Buttes mountains which I was no stranger to. In my hometown of Gridley, I could always watch them change colors with the seasons, and used them as a point of reference As an adult I began to photograph them from every angle and season because they were a part of my childhood that I felt connected to and wanted to hold onto. (Planning to post this series soon.)
Did you know there is a town named Plymouth here in California ? Well, since I’m still rediscovering my roots here in NorCal, I just got in the car and drove the 1 hour from my place. The trip was very slow paced and leisure as I had no real time schedule. Since retiring, that is one of the perks which I now take for granted. Stopping along the way just to look around at the rolling green pastures and take in all the sounds and scents was great therapy. I continue to learn about the colorful history of the area and put all the pieces together. Plymouth is also part of the Gold Rush history. Here is what Wikipedia has to say:
“Plymouth (formerly, Puckerville, Pokerville, and Poker Camp) is a city in Amador County, California, United States. The population was 1,005 at the 2010 census. The town was originally named Pokerville, when it was settled during the time of the Gold Rush. Plymouth is commonly now known as a “Gateway to Shenandoah Valley”; a popular wine producing region in the Sierra foothills. The Ione Band of Miwok Indians, a federally recognized tribe of Miwok people, is also headquartered in Plymouth. ” Well, definitely on my next trip I want to drop in on a few wineries.
Let’s Stay In Touch – I’d love to share my journey !
Almond blossoms and bees buzzing around collecting pollen _ these were the only things I was aware of this afternoon. Very peaceful and a time for reflection. I would venture to say that most people, outside this area, wouldn’t know the difference between the almond blossom, plum blossom or cherry blossom. Growing up in the area it seems to be a seventh sense we have and the tree’s shape, type of leaf and clustering of the blossoms, help us to identify the blossoms. It is such a peaceful site to see these rows and rows of blooming trees – virtually no people and only the sounds of chirping birds and bees buzzing around gathering pollen.
Let’s Stay In Touch – I’d love to share my journey !
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