The year is 1974 and I had recently decided to change directions in the employment payroll line and move across the state to another employment window of opportunity. From retail store manager, too advertising account marketing manager. From employment with auto and expenses included, to your now covering your own expenses to get across town. My little Chevy Wagon was pretty much dedicated to family use back then so all I had for getting around town was the Tall “T” Coupe. Not a lot of extra space for hauling more than one other person on board but I would make it work for now.
This new employment opportunity was just that, a new start up, get off the ground company with not a lot of extra bucks for fancy autos and expenses. One of my areas to cover as account marketing manager’s responsibility was to help local social and community outreach groups do a little fund raising for local charities. As it turned out my first assignment was to cover the Portland Rose Festival and a host of activity’s including a local parade of custom cars and street rods. My activity’s included the judging of parade floats and special entries. I had my son enter my daily driver and drive it in the parade as a fund raising donation participant. He had the “T” all shined up and looking good as he always gave 150% to everything he got involved in back then. Now I was placed at the beginning of the Parade conducting on air interviews for KVDO TV-3 with the people on the floats and in the beautiful street rods and custom cars. They were from local schools and churches and several street rod clubs were on hand. When my son approached I gave him a quick high-five but didn’t bother with an interview. I want you all to know right up front here I had nothing to do with the judging of the cars in the parade. I did participate in the judging of the Community Floats and there were several winners. As the day progressed and the parade wound down to the end, the awards were finally handed out at a small ceremony over in the Fred Meyer parking lot. Just about every community group received recognition and a nice big trophy. Next was the cars, trucks and motorcycle participants. There were several classes with the winners selected from the stock class or customs and street rods. They had a parade of the vehicles drive by and the judges awarded the trophies to the participants as they past. Well, I guess that must have been where the mix up happened as my son in the shiny blue tall “T” coupe approached, one judge said ‘’here’s the best of show car that blue Ford Coupe”, as he pointed to it on the clip board. Well I almost fell off the stage as I think that is my daily driver the old ‘26 “T” coupe their pointing at and believe me it’s not the best of parade show car.?!?! My son pulled over to the reviewing stand as they waved him up to receive his nice big trophy. WOW! Best of Parade Street Rod Show Car! He was so proud, you see that was the first time he had driven the model “T” all by himself as he wasn’t quite sixteen yet, but he was almost six feet tall and he looked at least seventeen. He was a careful driver and he followed in his POP’s footsteps, never had a moving violation ticket in that model “T” in over fifty years. WOW he won best street rod show car at the parade in 1974.
PS: Why do all super Trophy winning events in life half to have a PS:
Well as the story progressed into the next day I received a phone call from the Parade Director and he proceeded to inform me that an error had been made on the part of one of the judges and the real winner of the 1974 Best of Parade Show Car was a blue Ford coupe but it wasn’t a Model “T” it was a 1930 Model “A” Metallic Shiny Blue Ford Coupe that had taken a first place trophy out at the Forest Grove World Class Concourse Show the year before and he actually won this year’s “Best of Parade Show Car Award.”
I contacted the owner of the Model “A” and had made plans with him to get the big Best of Parade Trophy delivered to the appropriate winner with my congratulations. Then another phone call came in and the people in charge of the event had decided to have two best of parade show car awards that year and my son was to keep his. To this day I never told my son Mike he hadn’t won that big trophy back when he was a mere fifteen years old. Those fantastic years when your kids were growing up back in the seventy’s they were some of the best ever.