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.

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