1940 Ford Convertible Part 2

In the first blog post I questioned whether Dad had gotten this car.  There’s no photo of it.  But he did get it.  He went to Detroit from Los Angeles to pick it up and drive it home.
We can follow his route from Detroit – he first visited family in DeKalb, Illinois and then Wayne, Nebraska.  Then Denver and south to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Holbrook, Kingman, Barstow, to Hollywood – sounds like Route 66.  Then he used it as he called on customers in southern California and Arizona.
Here’s the description of the car and his contract.
Wouldn’t it be fun to do that same trip today in a 1940 Ford convertible?

Graduation Gift

My brother, Tom, provided much of this story including the photos. Our father, Frank Claycomb, liked owning and driving cars. He was born in 1915 and grew up in a small rural town in Nebraska, so cars were still a bit of a novelty.

1930 Ford brochure

His grandfather was a prominent man who bought a car for each of his grandchildren when they graduated from high school. Dad’s brother, John, had gotten one the year before when he graduated.

Dad fixated on that idea and researched, studied, and figured out just what car he wanted for his 1931 graduation. He spent the entire year pestering the auto dealers in Wayne, comparing the various possibilities and their prices. Either the Ford or the Chevy.

1931 Chevrolet brochure

1932 Chevrolet brochure.

1931. The Great Depression. When graduation day arrived Grandpa Bressler handed him an envelope which when opened yielded a five dollar bill. He had decided he could not afford to buy a car for the graduates. Dad was devastated. He said he was angry and hated his grandfather. Eventually he came to realize that this depression was real and actually impacted the family and him. Prior to this painful event he hadn’t realized what was taking place in the country.  He told this story until the end of his life.

Barbara Claycomb’s Photo Album

My aunt, Barbara Claycomb Davis, kept a photo album packed with dozens of photos from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s.  I decided to select photos to give you an idea of her life after high school through her years at business college in Chicago.

She was born in 1918 on a farm in Wayne,
Nebraska. After high school she went to the city for more schooling.  The farm girl made the adjustment well and had many friends there.

Not all the photos were identified or dated, but it doesn’t seem to matter.

The one thing I’ve learned about Barb is that even if the people aren’t named, the animals will be.

Grandma Ve (Evangeline Shattuck Claycomb) was Barb’s step-grandmother. Her house in Sycamore, Illinois is where my father was born.

This is a little speculation, based on what my mother told me. I believe Floyd Snodgrass was Barb’s first love. I don’t know what happened to them, but they stayed in touch for the rest of their lives.

Barb was always a horse person. It was one of our earliest bonds.

The farm at Wayne, Christmas 1941.

Barbara’s grandmother (Julia Fair Bressler) and her Aunt Dorothy Bressler.

Oh, finally Chicago, big city life, roommates and friends from college.

Sunbathing on the roof.

Montrose Beach 1941

Airplane July 12, 1941.
Printed in reverse.

Barb in dark dress (L).

Risque roommates!

Glea, one of her life-long best friends.

And when the Chicago girls came to Wayne to visit, the farm entertained them.

Travelers ready to see the world.

A trip to Los Angeles in 1943 to see Barb’s brother (my father) Frank’s family.

And a few pages for her brother George, stationed in Alaska during WWII.

 

Uncle John’s Letter 1920

A letter written to my father (Frank Claycomb) when he was 5 years old. From his Uncle John (Bressler).

June 11, 1920

Dear Frank:

Has your pony come yet? Tell your Daddy I have been by Mrs. Snyder’s several times, but have never been in. What do you do all the time?

I will send this letter to you by airplane to Omaha and then from there to Wayne on the train. With love, Uncle John.

Lakeside California 1948 v 2015

Two photos of where I grew up in Eucalyptus Hills in Lakeside, California.  The first is about 1948 with my brother and sister playing in the rocks above our house (not in photo).  This is my childhood and I loved it.  The second was taken by a friend (thanks, Ed) about 2015.  It’s why I don’t live there anymore.  At least the rocks are still there.
Lakeside, California, USA.

Ida Duncan Yelvington

The mystery of Ida Duncan Yelvington was solved just over 20 years ago.  Ida married into my Duncan family – married Francis Duncan, adopted son of Thomas Cation Duncan.  Francis died shortly after their marriage.  So Ida is a bit on the fringe for me, but they had moved to San Diego where my family lived.  So I was curious about what happened to her.  Actually it’s a fascinating story, just not close to me (I wrote more about it here.)  So I asked Mom about Ida, any idea what happened to her.  No, Mom didn’t remember anything.  Finally I found a second marriage for Ida – to Calvin Yelvington.  I shouted to Mom ‘I found her!’  To which Mom replied, ‘Oh, I knew Ida Yelvington.’  Sigh.  But that’s how our memories work.  I understand that more now that I’m older.  I think I just remembered her maiden name – Utley.

Here’s a card Ida sent to my folks, probably in 1939 when my sister was born.  I love seeing the signature – the whole signature.

Panguitch Lake 1966

As I remember the story:  Dad came back from a fishing trip with friends at Panguitch Lake, Utah, with a story about having seen a UFO.  He told it to the family right away, but I never heard it again.  My speculation:  someone teased him about this ‘outrageous’ claim and he was embarrassed.  He could be silenced by a threat of humiliation.  Really sad, because this could have been a fine story to tell the great-grandchildren.

Postcard Dad sent to his mother on this Panguitch trip.  July 1966.