Thomas John Vaughn was born in OKC at the old Wesley hospital during the height of World War II – 1943.  

LITTLE KNOWN FACTOID: Tom’s dad was a combat medic and was surrounded by the Axis forces at Bastogne during the battle of the bulge. He made it out ok.


Tom grew up in central OKC, attending Andrew Johnson elementary and then John Marshall high school.

LITTLE KNOWN FACTOID: Tom played tennis on the tennis team and was also a drummer.


Following high school, Tom enrolled at Southwestern in Weatherford and. “I had a wonderful time. Perhaps too wonderful. Got into the college party scene and enjoyed all of it.”  Tom re-enrolled at UCO in Edmond as a serious student and went on to graduate in 1967. This was during the Vietnam war and Tom worked for the U.S. Government during that time. While not in the military, his effort was war related.


In 1967 he returned to the U.S. and involved himself in the 1968 Presidential Campaign (Nixon vs Wallace vs Humphrey). From there it was on to grad school where he completed his masters in Psychology.


Finding politics enjoyable, Tom worked as an advance campaign man for the 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern.


After the campaign, he was working for the OK State Department of Health and he decided to go for his doctorate. 


LITTLE KNOW FACTIOD: He received his PhD in 1979. 


He became Regional Coordinator for the State Department of Health and in 1984 went into private practice and is still in active practice today.


LITTLE KNOWN FACTOID: Tom has a need for speed…consider the following. His first car was a modest 1955 4-door Plymouth, Dark blue, but he totaled that one.  Next up was a hot 1956 Ford with an interceptor engine and pipes. He said: “I certainly paid a lot of money in fines for those pipes.” 


LITTLE KNOWN FACTOID: He was in a hot rod club called the Deacons.


Tom’s current rides include his 1955 Red 2 door post Chevy and a 1972 Challenger (this one is for sale on the cRc website).



Tom’s fun dream car is a really tricked out Chevy C-10. He heard about the club 4 years ago having asked around a bit and so he joined the cRc.


FINAL LITTLE KNOWN FACTOID: He used to do a lot of rock climbing. In fact he has climbed “Half Dome” in Yosemite park.


Thanks Tom for sharing a number of fun things about your life with the club.



JOHN FLOYD PEACE was born in Jericho, Texas. Everyone knows where Jericho is right? It is 7 miles outside Center, Texas. John said: ‘The population of Jericho was 4, IF they are all still there.”


Well they are not still there. Jericho is a ghost town today, all except for the cemetery. It was originally a route 66 town in the Texas panhandle. John’s dad was a farmer, his mom was a farm-wife.



The family moved to north Houston early-on and John went to school there. He attended Jeff Davis High School and was in the class of 1957.


John’s first job was in the United States Navy. “I was a brown shoe 

E-5."A brown shoe is the aviation branch of the Navy. Black shoes (ships) and brown shoes (aviation).”

I was stationed in San Diego, Oakland, Whidbey Island (Washington), North base Norman, the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Forrestal. I was in for about 10 years, and then returned to Norman where I worked in a machine shop in OKC.”

“Jean and I met way back in 1957 and we married in 1958. August 1st we will celebrate 60 years together!”

In 1986, john received his pilot’s license and began flying freight for Martinaire out of Dallas. From 1986 until 2001 he flew with Martinaire in the 19 passenger twin engine Metroliner.


At one time John owned a 4-seat 1974 model piper aircraft.

His first and favorite car was a black 1949 Mercury convertible. His current ride is the sleek black 1986 Chevelle 2 door hard-top SuperSport with a 454 engine. John has had that car since it was new. It still is from what we can tell. His confessed that he does like the Audi’s however and would like to own one someday.



What you don’t know about John:

1. He has 8000 hours and is qualified to pilot  Beech99, Metroliner, and King Air aircraft.

2. He loves to build model railroads, specifically HO n3 gauge.

3. He is a SCUBA diver and has dived in France and in St. Croix.


John joined the cRc about 7 years ago at our World Headquarters- Midway Grocery. He said “I’ve been waiting on this interview now for seven years. Thought it would never happen!” John likes the companionship of our friendly members, people who know a lot about cars and we like John and Jean too!



Master-Sergeant-At-Arms, twin (OMG there are two of them), ball point pen collector………FLOYD DEAN YATES and his twin brother LLOYD GENE (try saying those names rapidly 5 times) came howling into this world during a full moon on November 24th, 1937. That was the same year Amelia Earhart disappeared and Daffy Duck debuted….wonder if those things had any bearing on the birth of these two twins who Dr. Buffton delivered at their farmhouse east of Norman. Doctors still made house calls in 1937.


Floyd’s mom was a housewife and his dad was a farmer. Floyd’s youth was filled with tragedy. Fortunately he has always had a wonderful spirit that enabled him to overcome anything. His dad passed away at age 54 and his mom was left to raise 4 children at home. When Floyd was 6, he lost his leg due to the accidental discharge of a shotgun in their home. He missed more than a year of school while they tried to save his leg. The accident happened on Friday the 13th – Floyd still is cautious on this particular day.

He went to Wilson Elementary and Norman Junior High and then Norman High. Following graduation, he went to California “to get rich. That was what my older brother said…..I liked to have starved!”

In the 1960’s I returned to Norman and was working for “Uncle Henry” (This was cRc member Billy Henry’s dad. 

FACTOID: Billy Henry and Floyd are 1st cousins. The work was at the Allstate Ice Dock at the corner of Robinson and Porter. At some point, Floyd decided to go independent and bought his own ice truck. He made ice deliveries in the form of 100-pound bags, to most of campus corner and many of the restaurants in Norman. One day he saw this little machine that automatically made ice for a restaurant and he said “uh-oh!” and so he sold his truck and went to work for Dunn’s DQ stores doing hands-on equipment repair. This was a stepping-stone to becoming a Journeyman in a heating and air career. He took the test and got his heating and air license.


Floyd’s wife LAVANDA and he have known each other since elementary school but took their time deciding to tie the knot. They married in April of 2003!!!!


Floyd’s 1st car was a 1948 Ford, co-purchased with his brother. A 2-door blue affair. His second car was also a Ford, a 1951 model. He said, “I have always been a Ford man. My daddy was a Ford man and so I became one. Ford is all I know. I had to spend lots of money on them so they would beat those Chevys.”


Floyd owns one of the longest cars in the club. A pearl-white 1963 Ford Galaxie XL (XL=xtra long?) convertible. If Floyd could have any car, it would be a 1957 Thunderbird red on red.



Floyd is the club’s self-appointed Sergeant-at-arms, often leading investigations into mischief within the club. “I will track down  and horsewhip innocent or guilty as needed!” Yates said.” I don’t often have to use my rubber hose, but I keep it handy.”

“This club has a lot of trouble-makers!”

"Somebody needs to take a rubber hose to those car show guys."



What you probably don’t know about Floyd Yates:

Nothing, He is an open book…but,

1. He has a massive cheap-pen collection and is very, very sensitive about his pens. He distinguishes easily between a cheap pen and a VERY cheap pen. He collects ONLY the best cheap pens. He grudgingly loans them out.

2. He has the first dollar he ever made…. this should be no surprise to anyone. Moths swarm out of the man's wallet whenever it is pried open.

3. He loves to buy old car radios, repair them and resell them worldwide. He has made shipments to Australia and all around Europe. He is able to repair almost anything.

4.  Floyd is a charter member of the Canadian RIVER Cruisers, joining in the first month of our organization. He rapidly advanced to the self appointed Sergeant-at-Arms position, which he  claims he holds for life.


Today we interview cRc member Alex Leroy Barr, but first we all need a brief history lesson.

What is a Spanish land grant? 


 The Spanish and later Mexican governments encouraged settlement of the coastal region of Alta California (now known as California) by giving prominent men large land grants called ranchos, usually two or more square leagues, or 35 square kilometres (14 sq mi). In today’s terms, about 8,900 acres. Over the years and several wars later, most of these ranchos passed into American farmers hands.

How big is 8900 acres? Well it is BIG.

Our hero in this story, Alex Leroy Barr was born in Selma, California in 1950 to F.D. and Rachel Barr, orchard and vineyard farmers on a Spanish land grant dating back to 1846. He graduated from Selma High in 1969 and went to Reedley Junior College where he studied Aeronautics. Following that he attended Fresno State.


When he turned 21, he married his wife Penny. Interesting factoid: Alex’s dad and Penny’s mom dated when they were in high school but went on to marry other people. At least their children, Alex and Penny, decided to try things out and it seems to have worked.

Alex’s early years were spent in California, but then friends who lived in the little town of Moore, Oklahoma called him and he moved out here on faith and soon  found a job with MAN LIFT, INC. the company that originally made all of those scissor-lifts. 


Alex worked with them for a number of years until they closed in Moore and offered him a job in Pennsylvania. He declined and headed back home to California where he worked in various jobs until landing on his feet at the Chowchilla corrections center for women, the largest women’s prison in the world. He found a home there and worked in the California Department of Corrections for 13 years until age 55 and he retired  - the first time.


Alex and Penny pulled up stakes in California and sold everything. California money goes a long way in Norman and so they took their family back to the Norman area and made a new home. Alex was hired by the  Chickasaw Nation as a buyer and has spent more than 13 years working with them. 


CARS:

1st car a 1959 Chevy Impala Red with black interior 2-door loaded $150  (No wonder he is a purchasing agent, what a steal!)


Car #2 a 1966 Chevelle Super-Sport with the 425hp 396 engine. Does this mean Alex has that “NEED FOR SPEED?” You bet. Watching Formula One and NASCAR are some of his favorite pastimes. “If it has wheels I watch it. I was watching tractor races one day when Penny came in and looked for a moment at the TV. She just shook her head and walked back out of the room.”

His dream car proves the need for speed, it would be a “REAL COBRA”  Alex said “ I would like to drive one and see just how close I can come to hurting myself.”

In Alex’s words “ I love to cook but I don’t do fancy.” “We love to go on road trips, primarily within the U.S. and I love the ocean. I have already prearranged to have my ashes scattered in the Pacific.”

What you probably don’t know about Alex:

“ I have my airframe and power plant aircraft license.”

“I love to do Bonsai gardening.”

“I am an active member of the Norman Moose lodge.”

“Over the years I have built 5 street-rods and 2 T-buckets. But my favorite rebuild was a 1955 Studebaker 1 ton pickup with a massive 454 engine.”


Alex has been an active member of the cRc for the past 7-8 years, attending coffee call on a very regular basis. “I like the guys. We are just guys and gals that share a common interest. There is no pretension in the club. That is what I love. You can go and just be yourself.”

Alex has the red Corvette which you have not seen lately because it decided to jump a low curb and trash itself.

We are pleased to have members like Alex in the cRc.


Born in the midst of our involvement in World war 2, Gary Lynn Lunow arrived on July 9th, 1944 at Capital Hill General Hospital. Gary has enjoyed life in Oklahoma and more specifically in Oklahoma City for his entire life. He is a true OKC native! His current classic ride is a 1951 Red ford pickup.

(Capital Hill Hospital shown below)


Gary's mom was a housewife while his dad was a construction welder, most for projects involving OG&E. His early schools included Townsend elementary, Kerr Junior high, and Del City high school. Gary graduated from Del City H.S. in 1962.

(Capital Hill trolley line shown below)


Upon graduation, he took a job with Ledbetter Buick for a while and then Van's Auto Parts Supply. He worked with Van's from 1963 until 1974 when he bought S. Penn Auto Parts, a business he owned and ran from 1974 until 1983.


Way back when........he met his future bride-to-be Jo Nell, his childhood sweetheart and they have been married 54 years in June of 2018! They attend Cornerstone Baptist Church in Moore. Jo Nell has been a member there for 70 year, while Gary is a relative newcomer - with only 67 years of membership.

Gary is a ford man. We present the following evidence:

His first car was a white 1958 Ford 2 door which he bought from his brother.


His second car was a 1950 Ford which he made into a 1/4 mile dragster. Following his marriage, he and Jo Nell decided a dragster might not be the ideal family car and so his next car was a 1962 Ford 4 door. Gary said "My father was a Ford man also, so why not me also?"

The Lunow's have 2 boys.

If Gary could have his pick of any car, it would be a 1936 Ford V-8 Coupe. That he said, "Would make Jo Nell VERY HAPPY."


Gary was a 4 letter man in high school. "My coach believed if you conditioned for one sport, why not for many sports so I played Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Wrestled."

What you might not know about Gary:

Gary and his brother used to get up early before school and go duck hunting. If they were lucky and got a few, they didn't have a chance to clean them before school started, so they would just "drop them in mom's freezer" and when they got home they would clean their ducks. "Mom did not always appreciate having little dead ducks in her freezer during the day."


Gary once bought a Jeep and enjoyed going out and climbing the hills east of OKC. "The Jeep would climb only to a certain angle and then would run low on oil pressure. I went home and did some cutting and welding on the oil sump , redesigned it to pool more oil near the pump, and went back out and did some SERIOUS hill climbing!"

"I love to bass fish. I fish for Black Bass and I own my own Ranger bass boat. I especially like McGee creek area."

Gary has been a fairly active cRc member since joining the club in 2017. Recent shoulder surgery has had him out of the loop for a few months but he is almost as good as new! Thanks Gary for taking the time to share your life with us!

Kathern LaNell May, or Kaye to us was born in Grady County, Oklahoma, in Chickasha. Born in Oklahoma, and never to leave.  Kaye is dedicated in all aspects of her life, church, family, job, cRc. Read on. 

She has one of the best car stories imaginable. Kaye's mom and dad worked in the Grady county area, her dad in a feed mill in Grady county...... while her mom pulled two jobs, one at the local DQ and one at a local bakery. She has a twin brother, 1 sister and 2 other brothers. She also has 2 best friends who are twins, both with the name Kaye in their names.

"Chickasha born and Chickasha bred, Fightin' Chicks until the end!" while this was not her motto, to me it represents her early life. 

Elementary, Middle, and High school were all spent in Chickasha. She graduated from the Chickasha "Fightin' Chicks" High School in 1963.

Above is the Chickasha Intermediate School. To the right is the high school logo and mascot.

About age 10, there was this young man that she met. He sort of hung around for a few years, and then a few more, and then about 1962 Dale Cook and Kaye May were married and they have been together ever since.  " We are still going strong after 56 years." Kaye exclaimed. 
Read on.

Despite the challenges of setting up a household as a high school junior, Kaye hung in there and graduated from Chickasha in 1963. Kaye was always industrious and she began work as a car-hop at the DARI-DELITE during her sophomore year. This was during the time that a car-hop sometimes skated out to your car on roller skates. 
Sensing an interview opportunity, I asked Kate if she could roller skate..... (Laughter from Kaye). She said the only time she and Dale went skating, Dale left her sitting on the bench while he went out and skated around and around! Apparently, skating to and from the cars as a car-hop was not a job requirement at the Dari-Delite!
Nor was it at her next job at the local DQ. 

They have a daughter and a son, 6 grands, and currently one great-grand. You just don't think of Kaye as a great grandmother, do you?

Dale's job soon took them a whopping 76 miles due west of Chickasha to the bustling metropolis of Hobart, Oklahoma. 
Interviewer: "Well how long were you there?"
Kaye: " For the longest three months of my life!.... (laughter) There were few places in Hobart to rent but we finely found a little place. Just when we nailed the last picture on the wall and said that we now have a place to call home, Safeway had an opening in Norman and we took a transfer." (more laughter)

DING-DONG  AVON CALLING.....hard to believe but Kaye has a full life outside the Canadian River Cruisers....she is the premiere Avon lady of Norman. There may be other imposters, but none who have been dedicated to an area for the past 40 years, winning award after award (called ALBEEs). The ALBEE is shown below in the photo to the left, Kaye (who looks suspiciously like an Albee herself - is on the right with Dale). 

Little known factoid about Kaye: Kaye and her daughter dress Victorian each year during December and participate in the Guthrie Victorian Christmas stroll about town.

Let's talk great car stories:

Interviewer:  "Kaye, what was your very first car?"

Kaye: "The 1939 Pontiac that I still own. I bought it well used from my friend whose sister said she wouldn't be caught dead in a car that ugly. I paid it off over time. It was a 1939 Pontiac Businessman's Coupe. There is no real back seat as the businessman's coupe had room for samples and storage in the back. It will also hold a boatload of high school girls going to the drive in movie!

Kaye: " I decided it was going to be very cool in school to be a smoker. In my brief career as a smoker, I smoked a total of two cigarettes, and both times I almost set my car on fire! I gave up smoking after my second cigarette!"

I bought the car in 1960 and drove it all over Grady county. I once had it up to 90 miles an hour going down a long hill. Now that was one experience I will probably not repeat! (laughter!) Dale and I restored the car in 1999 and while we don't take it out often, we do love to show it off.

"Now if I had my pick of cars anywhere, my favorite car is cRc club member Ron Blisset's 1914 Cadillac. That is one perfect antique."

Things some of you may not know about Kaye:

She was stopped for speeding in her 1939 Pontiac......she looked at the officer and said "Really? In THIS car?".....He didn't write her a ticket........

One of the things on her bucket list was to see the famous ducks coming out of the elevator in the Peabody hotel in Memphis. She recently got to watch them march across the lobby.

Kaye has won more club raffles and pots than anyone in the history of the club. If your money is not already in the pot, when Kaye bets, just kiss your dollar goodbye!

Her daughter calls her "Lucy", after Lucille Ball because according to her daughter, she is always doing something goofy that ends up backfiring. (Interviewer: Kaye laughed a lot during this part of the interview and declined to provide us with examples. We will need to meet with and interview her daughter.)

Kaye and Dale are charter members of the club. I met Kaye at the defunct Riverwind car show when my car was parked next to her Pontiac. I thought about what a great edition to the club her car would be and left the club information with her. In a few weeks, she and Dale showed up and have been dedicated members since. Speaking of dedication, we have some pretty good dedication going here:

10 years in the cRc

19 years attendance at Immanuel Baptist Church in Norman

58 years owning the same classic car

56 years married to Dale

45 years living on Cruce Street in Norman

41 years with Avon (she also worked as a career Secretary for Norman Public Schools for 18 years.

and finally, the many faces of Kaye Cook:

It was a dark and snowy night. It was Christmas, 1944. Norman didn't have a hospital in '44 and so when infant Bob was ready to be born, his dad called his brother who was the Navy fire chief of the south base in Norman. Bob's future uncle arrived with red lights flashing and drove the expectant mom through the snow to Capital General in OKC.

Bob was born December 26, 1944, into a large Norman family of 7 boys and 2 girls.

Bob's family owned "Thompson's Moving and Storage", a local firm.  Bob grew us going to St. Joe's elementary, and then to St. Francis Seminary grades 9 and 10, and finally Norman High School where he graduated.  

In his words "I was LUCKY to get out of school ! I  attended OU for a few semesters but was tired of school so I joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard about July of 1965."

While serving our country, he did basic at Fort Polk (Louisiana) and then his specialty (Radio Telephone Operator) at Fort Ord, California. Just before departing for California, he met his future wife, Nancy Blair in June of 1965. They married when he returned from California and have two grown children, Tiffany and Rob. 

Fort Ord is long gone, but when he returned to Norman, he returned to work for a while in the family moving and storage business,. In 1967 he took a brief job with Uarco business forms and office supply. A 5-year stint with Security Bank followed that and in 1974 he went back to Uarco where he worked until 1980. Feeling the need to own his own company, he opened Bob Thompson Company, a business forms start-up.  "By 2004, I was bored making forms so I started a development company and home building company. I bought 108 acres in Noble and developed 71 lots and houses there."

"I had a good political career in Norman. I was elected to the Norman City Council between 1982 and 1990, served on the Norman Hospital board from 1990 to 1998, and was elected mayor of Norman from 1998 to 2001."

Let's move to cars: "My first car was  a 1955 Ford 4 door "Custom", meaning no chrome. White with red interior. It had a 272 V-8 and 3 on the tree."


After that it was a series of Ford products, '58 Ford,  '55 Merc, and a '62 Ford pickup. Bob's current automotive heart throb is "Miss Vickie" his peacock blue and white 2 door 1956 Ford Victoria, which he purchased in 2012. If Bob could have his pick of cars, it would be a 1964 Grand Prix, dark blue, 2-door hardtop with the big engine.


What we might not know about Bob:
- He refereed high school and junior college football games for 20 years.

- He worked "the table" at OU basketball home games for 35 years.

-He was a member of the pressbox team for 15 years at OU home football games.

-He was inaugurated into the Oklahoma Builders Hall of Fame.

His hobbies include work-working, or as Bob puts it...."I enjoy making sawdust!"
Bob and Nancy have 3 grandchildren and have been members of the First Christian Church of Norman for decades. They are often here and there around the state as one of their granddaughters is on a volleyball scholarship at Seminole Junior College. They make as many of her games as possible.

Bob has been a member of the cRc for a number of years. Most refer to Bob as "Mayor Bob", in order to keep him separate from "Midway" Bob. No relationship there.




Ronald Lee Borum - "I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee!"


Mischief abounds. Just one look at Ron's face and you know he is up to something, you just don't know what. Ron was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma - his dad sold used cars and also was a road driver for Santa Fe Freight Lines and his mom was a nurse. 

They lived in Muskogee for most of his misspent youth and then at the start of high school he ended up in Stillwater, graduating high school in 1960. 
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW - he was in the band and played both Clarinet and Oboe.


Ron's first car was one of those giant post WW2 cars, a 4 door Buick straight eight. He bought it from the salvage yard and it was maroon and had the phone number of the salvage yard painted in various spots on it in yellow paint. He paid $75 for that car. 


Ron graduated from Stillwater high in 1960 and went to work for OSU in the Chemistry department as a Chemical preparation guy, meaning he prepped the chemicals for classes. (The editor of this article believes that was a dangerous thing for OSU to do......look deep into Ron's eyes. Anyway, nothing was reported as being blown up during the couple of years he worked in this job. 

Then it was back to Muskogee from 1963 until 1966 as an inspector in the Muskogee Iron Works - but the United States Air Force needed a few good men and Ron enlisted and spent four years in such exciting spots as San Antonio, Biloxi, and Diyarbakir, Turkey

Ron was a "radio relay repairman" during his AF years. Below is downtown Diyarbakir....it appears to be in the absolute middle of nowhere! Ron was discharged in 1970. He returned to Stillwater where he began to put that AF specialty to work.

He attended OSU from 1970 until 1973 and worked in the "Audio Store" until 1976. He met and married Austilene - and they are still happily married some 44 years later. (Editor's note: Austilene has that same mischievous twinkle in her eyes as Ron...)

Ron's jobs between 1976 and 1990 tended toward stereo and audio retail but in 1990, he and Austilene bought a franchise "SUPERGLASS WINDSHIELD REPAIR". 


They had two mobile repair trucks and Austilene drove one while Ron drove the other, and they ran that business until they retired in 2006. They did fleet repair, like Hertz, Avis, UPS, or Pepsi.

What you don't know...Ron used to enjoy riding motorcycles....... 

Ron, if you could have any car in the world:
"It would be a Buick GNX, there were 547 built. It was a big performance step up from the Grand National.  I actually owned production number 270, but I sold it. The engines in those GNX cars had been upgrade and reworked by McLaren Engines. They were really hot for the day."


What do you currently have in your car fleet?
"Well there is my little 1968 Subaru 360 with a mighty 2 cylinder, 2 cycle, , 20 hp engine..... my daily driver is a 1999 Ford ranger, then we have the 1970 Subaru sedan, and our 1987 Buick Grand National.

Ron and austilene joined the club in 2013 and have been very active members from day one. Another thing you probably don't know about Ron: He loves to mess with electronics and computers and has been doing that since the early days of the Apple......he practically invented the "hot key" concept.
RAYMOND LEROY LANGLEY – a true OKIE

While many of us were born “afar” and got here as quickly as we could, Raymond Leroy Langley (RAY to us) was born into this world in 1945 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Other than a stint in the Army during the Vietnam war, he has never really seen any good reason to leave. He told me he was an “OFFICIAL OKIE AND DARN PROUD OF IT”.

One of 8 children, son number 2, Ray lived in Kingfisher for a few years and then moved way, way away, about 20 miles away to Bethany. His dad worked as a gasoline transport driver, his mom was a housewife. Kingfisher floods quite a bit.


He went to Bethany schools in the early years and then attended Southeast high in Oklahoma City. In 1963 Ray heard the call and joined the U.S. Army where he was shipped off for basic training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana and then to a school for radio and teletype at Fort Gordon, Georgia. 

Looking at the photo above, we see why the Army needed people to keep them adjusted. No smartphone this!
Ray said that while at Fort Gordon he learned that “the mosquito was the state bird of Georgia and there were plenty of state birds flying around at Fort Gordon”.


Following Army training it was off to see the world, well sort of. It was off for a tour in Vietnam where he was assigned to the Photo Reconnaissance Division. He did his tour without incident and returned to Fort Sill where he was moved into the artillery group and finally discharged in December of 1965. 

Not wanting to waste any time, he returned to the OKC area and, using his Army recon training,  reconned around a bit and met a pretty young girl named Betty…who he married and they have 4 children, one boy and three girls. They have been married now for 43 years.  “I never thought she would put up with me for all of this time”, he said. Those of us that know Ray from coffee call, can understand that!!! )

He began training in a new field that would be his lifetime career choice – electrical work. After a few jobs locally, Ray joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers , or the I.B.E.W. as it is more commonly known, and they hooked him up with a company named Gaddis Walker in OKC where he worked and retired decades later.

WELL LET’S GET TO THE CAR SECTION:

The car part is pretty simple. Ray’s first car was a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria, turquoise and white. Exactly like the one he has today. While not the same car, it is very, very close. The 1955 is also happens to have always been Ray’s dream car. If he could have any car in the world……well, he already has it.


Ray’s fleet also consists of a 1956 Thunderbird, and a 2000 Corvette. When asked if he preferred Fords or Chevy’s, Ray laughed and said….”Fords.”


Ray and Betty enjoy country and western music, but when asked if they went line dancing, Ray shook his head and said…” Well I can’t do much more than sing once a year with the dipsticks, dancing is not my specialty.

Ray loves to play in his shop, which is on his property. "As you know I love to go to car shops and collect trophies. I have them lined up all around the wall of my shop. I have so many over the years, I have had to discard a few so the nice ones fit!"

Ray is a charter member of the cRc and for as long as we can remember, has served as our “Car show guru”. This means that every week, he looks over the shows that are all over Oklahoma and selects the one show that he feels is the best overall show for us for that week. He has a homemade reference book the size of a Sears catalog that he keeps notes and flyers in. Ray is also the cog in the wheel that coordinates the judging for our cRc shows; to be sure they are fair and impartial. Using terms like “5 ball draw, and other things I don’t understand, he causes the judging and tally to go smoothly. We appreciate everything he does for the club.


P.S. It is rapidly coming upon 2018 car show season. You will cease to see Ray at coffee call, but instead will find him every Saturday on the car show circuit. Look for his cRc webpage that features a new and fun show every week. 

LAWRENCE LEE TERRY – the man with three first names!

Born a Texan, close to the Oklahoma border, it took Lawrence a while to get north of the “Red River” but once he arrived in 1971 – well, he never left!

Born in Sherman, Texas on September 29th, 1931, Lawrence Terry was raised in the country chasing cows. Lawrence remembers that his mom and dad were always farmers and my brother and I  “loved to chase the cows in the mornings and then milk ‘em in the afternoons!”


When Lawrence was a child, World War 2 began, and there was money to be made in the war industry. Lawrence’s dad realized that, and moved the family to Bishop, California in 1941 for a war production job, earning enough extra money to buy a new tractor for the family farm back in Texas. It was back to Sherman and the family farm in 1943. It was also back to school in the Sherman area for Lawrence. “I attended South Bay country school. We had grades 1 through 12 in that little building. By good fortune and chance, my future wife Peggy was also in that little school. She wouldn’t become my wife until years later,” Lawrence said. "I was ahead of her a couple of years.”

“I graduated from high school in 1950 and in 1951 I joined the United States Air Force.” That decision would be the beginning of a 48 year USAF and Civil Service career for Lawrence.

"Once out of basic training, I was assigned to aircraft engine school at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas."


 "I completed that tour and was transferred to Kelly AFB in San Antonio, Texas." That tour lasted another year and Lawrence became a member of an all rescue team in Goose Bay, Labrador. Photo of summer in Goose Bay below:

The USAF had a SAC (Strategic Air Command) base there. Lawrence was assigned to a SA16 Albatross Rescue Aircraft. Someone asked for volunteers for Flight Engineer Training when Lawrence was nodding his head and so he became one. 

There is not much this man can’t do – including finding his way back to Peggy and Texas and so another transfer back to Kelly AFB and finally a marriage to his childhood sweetheart Peggy in 1955, and a discharge from the USAF.

Aircraft was in his blood and there was an opening for a civil servant at Perrin AFB near the family home in Sherman, Texas and so he took that job, but in 1971 Perrin AFB was decommissioned. Lawrence only needed six more months for a retirement from the government and he and Peggy and their son and daughter moved to Norman where Lawrence took a job at Tinker AFB which was to last not 6 more months but 29 more years. “I retired with 48 years and 3 months combined service”. His final job was Supervisor to prepare and test KC135 refueling aircraft.


CARS AND SUCH:
“My first car was a 1941 Mercury 4 door, light green……..followed by a 1947 Ford. While on duty at Kelly, I had a friend who had a new 1951 red Ford convertible and he wanted to swap even for my 1947 so we did!” (This gives the club insight into exactly how Lawrence does so well at Norman swap Meets!


In 1955 Lawrence bought a new Chevy, an exact duplicate of Terry O’dea’s yellow and white ’55. “ I found that I could outrun Fords so I started buying Chevy’s….and have been outrunning them ever since!”
Lawrence currently has 4 classics in his fleet:
1957 Chevy Belair

1972 Chevy pickup, which his dad bought in 1972 as a new truck 

1976 Ford Bronco

1966 Mustang convertible

“If I could have any car in the world, it would be a 1957 Corvette. I have always loved them. Don’t be surprised if one of them comes to coffee call one day.”

WHAT YOU PROBABLY NEVER KNEW ABOUT LAWRENCE TERRY….

“I was a basketball player back in the day. Played center. Our little team got to the playoffs. I was the high point scorer for the team. I got the flu and couldn't play in the state finals.”

“I have been an avid elk and deer hunter, and was able to take both 10 point elk and 10 point deer in the past. I stopped hunting about 10 years ago.”

“ A love boats. Speed boats. I used to love skiing and slalom.”


Lawrence and Peggy are charter members of the Canadian River Cruisers, having joined in the first 3 months of the club’s beginning. So the story goes, a few of us were having breakfast at Ozzie’s diner one Saturday morning before the club outgrew Ozzie's ability to give us a table (we needed all their tables), and we were leaving as Lawrence drove up in his turquoise and white 1957 Chevy.  He got out and said "I’ve been all over Norman looking for you. I heard there was a car club forming in Norman and I want to join!” 

The club is far too big to go to Ozzie’s anymore, but we are sure glad Lawrence found us that morning. It is hard enough to keep the names "Lawrence" and "Terry" in the proper order. But to add "Lee" into the mix? Too many first names here Mr. Terry!


Amanda and Cheryl, cRc friends for life

This is a story about a new member to the club, Amanda Jeanette Harris and her best friend Cheryl. Cheryl is a bit older than Amanda, Cheryl was born in 1966 in Germany. More about Cheryl later.

AMANDA JEANETTE HARRIS was born in Reno, Nevada, a true millennium child (actually born in 2000) the whole world celebrated the year she was born.


Amanda arrived in Norman when she was 7 years old. She is the daughter of Jennifer and John Harris of Norman. Cheryl is her 1966 deep blue Volkswagen 1300, the only year they made the souped up 1300 cc engine. 

Amanda said that Cheryl just sort of named herself. We have all been there before on cars like that. She is just a “Cheryl” and that’s all there is to it.


Amanda came to live in Norman thanks to a corporate transfer, which brought her family here, and they have been here ever since. Amanda attended Madison and Wilson, and is currently a senior at Norman High School. She will graduate this spring with the class of 2018 and has been accepted to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.


Amanda is a VW girl! She is also a member of the OKC VW club.  She saw our participation in the Norman Christmas Parade and thought that it might be fun to be a member and so here she is!

She is the proud owner of “CHERYL”, the 1966 modestly customized VW beetle which she has owned for the past 18 months. Cheryl sports California windows, a unique roller gas pedal, an excellent sound system, T-bar bumpers which give it a real custom look, and the prior owner added a hand stitched steering wheel cover which took 4 hours of hand sewing to complete. 

I asked Amanda what her dream car would be, and I was expecting her to tell me she wanted a Maserati or a top of the line BMW, or maybe a vintage Corvette. Not exactly... Amanda wants a green VW “THING”. She really loves the quirky looks of the Thing. Her love for the VW is split between VW and Mustang, but right now VW takes the prize.


Amanda’s mom, Jennifer is currently making cRc hats for the club and selling them at coffee call. They look much better than the commercial hats we have had in the past. Her professional embroidery machines are capable of making your car’s logo, putting your name of your hat, or possibly even adding the cRc logo to a jacket. You will have to catch Amanda and Jennifer at coffee one Saturday and talk.


Amanda has all of the makings of a true ‘cRc girly gEarhead”, spouting Solex carburetor part numbers as though she was asking for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. She is doing some mechanical work to Cheryl, including emergency brake adjustments as well as other things. Quiet in her presence at coffee call, Amanda is enjoying the morning dreaming about that VW Thing that she will own one day. We can’t wait to see it!






KENNETH WAYNE SEELY (WE KNOW HIM AS KEN DEWBRE)
 was born in 1953, (one of ultimately more than a dozen siblings) in the Texas panhandle town of Wellington....a ranch and farming community of 3,000 people back in 1953. That was the high water mark for Wellington and its population has slowly declined to about 1900 now. 



Ken said that his first words spoken as a child were "Let's move to OKLAHOMA!"

(Ken shown in a moment of rare smile!)
Sadly, the Seely family disintegrated and Ken was adopted at age 7 by a family that gave him love and stability. He changed his last name to Dewbre. The family moved around in Oklahoma a bit, but always stayed in the sooner state. Duncan, Fredrick, and Billings were spots that Ken lived while growing up. He went to elementary school in Duncan and high school in Billings (think north of Perry). Ken's high school graduating class was a whopping 16 students. Ken played both football and basketball at Billings H.S. and was nominated for "all conference" center. His head was in the game. Actually his head was usually over the ball.

Early work experience was mostly rural in nature, hay hauling and moving furniture. Following high school he decided to attend East Central in Ada and so he spent a year deciding that he really did not want to go to college. Once this momentus decision was reached, the next step was easy. It was about 1972 and the USA was still mired in Vietnam and so Ken enlisted in the United States Army and did his basic training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. He found a specialty in refrigeration, heating and air, and took advanced training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and was subsequently assigned for the rest of his enlistment in Stutgart, Germany. An exce,,ent assignment given the scope of the war. A photo of Stutgart base housing is below.


Somewhere well before that he had met this young gal named Kim and for 5 years they had dated and so marriage seemed the right thing and so they married, Kim moved to Germany and that was 44 years ago. They have one daughter, Kaci, born in 1983 on July 4th, a "little firecracker" as Ken said.  They also have two "apples of Ken's eyes - granddaughters" More about grands later.

Following his enlistment, Ken and Kim returned to Oklahoma where Ken worked as a farm hand in eastern Oklahoma near the Talimena drive. figuring it would be a good idea to continue the skills that he had trained for in the Army, Ken enrolled at OSU Technical in Okmulgee where he continued learning about refrigeration.

following OSU tech, they moved to Norman and have never left. Ken worked for a few years at Gordon Specialty (now Service Experts) and hired on with OU for the next 30 years. He retired from OU a few years ago, spending most of his career in the air conditioning/ mechanical department .

Ok - so that is part one.......his first car was a 1955 Chevy, metalflake blue, a $29.99 paint job from Earl Scheib! If Ken could have any car in the world it would be........a 1956 Chevy Nomad with a 396, 4 speed...the color is irrelevant.

Ken was driving a 1963 Ford (yes, a FORD!) custom that kept breaking down so he went to test drive a few cars, one of which was a certain 1976 Camaro which he fell in love with and still owns after 45 years.

Ken didn't know to stop with one Camaro, so he now has 3. The 1967 shown above, a 1989 RS (black) and an IROC z-28 (red).

Now what don't we know but probably suspect about about Ken is that he likes to collect things, Johnny Lightening cars........or old cameras.........or a collection of shot glasses even though he rarely drinks. Lot of collections. A fun hobby.

Ken and Kim  recently collected a "new" (for them) 1993 Sedan de Ville Cadillac with only 45,000 miles on it. Kim is driving in style these days.

Ken and Kim are charter members of our club. 10 years as members and still going strong. Ken's favorite pastime is getting to take care of his two granddaughters. we are sure that the girls look forward to a long visit with Granddad as often as possible!


The color of our background today has to be Ireland's "shamrock green" as we take an end of the year opportunity to interview our club's "parade coordinator", Terrance James O'Dea, or as we know him -  "Terry".

Our big mustached smiling Irishman who knows everyone in town, was born in Saint Anthony's hospital in Oklahoma City. "Terrance" was named after the first O'dea who immigrated from Ireland. Terry's branch of clan O'dea immigrated from the old country about 1863 and ultimately found their way to Oklahoma City. The O'dea coat of arms is shown below....and they even have the ruins of a castle in County Clare.

Terry's dad, WWII Veteran, began a midwest outpost for this branch of the O'Dea family, a true first generation Okie, having served in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill.
 
Terry grew up in the OKC-Norman area and attended Harding High School in OKC, graduating in 1966. He enrolled at Central State and spent a year, but college was not his thing and the Vietnam war was raging 
 - so he enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve after a year at Central. 

Vietnam was in full call-up during those years and his reserve unit was activated. They say, "Join the Navy and See the World"......well this is true. Coronado Island, California was his first stop - for "survival school". {Editor's note: Whenever you are going to a place where you need survival school, that is not always a good omen} 
True to form at that time, our hero landed in Vietnam, as many of our cRc members did -Punque Island, Vietnam as an Engineman. The photo below, was taken in 2017 and Terry can STILL FIT INTO HIS NAVY UNIFORM........
  So now we see how he came to love engines. That and working in one of the best jobs in his life, the full service Skelly Gas Station, like the one shown below, but on Classen. Terry loved the full service aspect of the Skelly station. This employment was just as his reserve unit was called up.

After two tours in Vietnam, Terry was discharged in 1970 and naturally returned to his hometown of Norman where the future Becky O'Dea was patiently waiting and so they married in 1971. At that time, Terry had employment as a local driver and dock worker for Oklahoma's MISTLETOE EXPRESS from 1970 until 1973. That job would change his life.

 During his amazing 42 year driving career, he worked for several trucking companies including CHIEF FREIGHT, {Reference: Ed Smith obituary: this truck company grew and grew until it became the largest family owned truck line in the Midwest. It was called Chief Freight Lines with terminals in Tulsa, Kansas City, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City.}
  Terry also worked for CHURCHILL trucking, and finally he drove a long stint with ROADWAY EXPRESS. In all cases he was one of their local driver team members. Terry still maintains his Class 1 lisc, and in retirement has driven busloads of seniors (Rivermont and Full Circle) as well as school children in and around Norman.

Let's talk cars......Terry's first car was a 1941 Chevrolet pickup, bought in 1963 to haul lawn mowers. Did we mention that Terry had a yard business? 

While the pickup below is not Terry's actual pickup, it is much like his original....an original he still dreams about owning. Don't be surprised if we see one at coffee call one day. 

He kept that  '41 Chevy for a while, and wishes he had kept it forever (Don't we all wish we still had those golden oldies)....but then, Terry was a Chevy guy and so he bought a '47 Chevy 2 door sedan, similar to the one below....

If he could have any car in the world, it would be to have that 1941 Chevy pickup as a fully restored vehicle. In 1981, he stayed with the Chevy theme by purchasing "OLD YELL'R", his beautiful 
canary yellow and white 1955 Chevy 2 door. Old Yell'r is a great authentic restoration with a sweet 235 six under the hood. She purrs....


One day a few years ago, when he got middle aged crazy, he bought and then sold a 1929 Model A pickup, and currently owns a 1929 Model A Ford "Special Coupe", reportedly to be Henry Ford's favorite body style. Complete with rumble seat and other goodies, Terry is hopeful he will sell the Model A "Henry" because he knows where there is a 1941 Chevy just waiting for him.

Terry and Becky have a son named Ryan and a daughter named Molly as well as a lot of red headed grands. We also know "Gabby", Terry's 5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback who loves a road trip on Saturday morning with Terry to Midway.  Gabby will sit patiently for hours in the model A, waiting for dad to return.

Terry loves to:
1. Spend time at his Colorado mountain home near Buena Vista...
2. Spend time renovating buildings in the old Colorado ghost town of Saint Elmo, where Terry knows everyone (all 30) and is his car is usually one of the 8 entries in their July 4th parade !

And their lovely home in the rockies...a home away from home....

Terry is a charter member of the cRc and is our parade coordinator as well as the liaison between the club and the city of Norman for the Veteran's Day ceremony. He also is liason with the city of Noble for their Rose Rock parade.

He is a volunteer with a big heart....spending days as a school "WATCHDOG" at Monroe elementary school, and occasionally driving a school bus for All-Saints Catholic School. Becky also does lots of volunteer work at St. Vincent de Paul, Kindergarten at Monroe, and is retired from Hospice as a clinical social worker.

And finally, we continue to await that beautiful Irish tenor voice which we know lies deep within him, as he is a charter member of everyone's favorite Christmas party singing group, the cRc singing DIPSTICKS. And that my friends is Mr. Terrance O'Dea! Thank you Terry, for being a member of the cRc!
BILLY HENRY

BILLY CECIL HENRY was born an OKIE. Born in 1939 in Dorgherty (Murray county), Oklahoma to Cecil and Ada Henry, the Henry family were farmers, and Billy was the 3rd child of 3.

At an early age, the family moved to Wynnewood and then to Norman, about 1-1/2 miles from Hollywood Corners. Perhaps that is why we usually see Billy on Thursday nights at the cRuise-in there!

Sooner of later his dad quit farming and went to work at a feed store and then at an ice plant. Billy meanwhile continued his education in the Norman public school system at Jefferson elementary, and the old Norman junior high, and finally Norman high, graduating in 1957.

The Air Force sounded pretty good and so in he went. Following basic training he was married to Mary and they have been together ever since. Billy moved to Charleston, S.C. as a radar electrical power production specialist – where he learned some of his good engine skills. Speed skills were to come later. They lived in Charleston for 1-1/2 years, Fire Island, Alaska for 1 year, and then were transferred to Eagle Pass, Texas for 1-1//2 years. During that time, Mary gave birth to twin girls.


Once his enlistment was complete, Billy and family returned to Norman where Billy ran ‘Henry’s Ice and Beer to go” up on North Porter. The site has since been cleared and a Farm Bureau business sits there. He bought the ice business from his dad, and then in 1966 bought a Fina gas station, also on Porter. This building still exists as a flower shop just south of Van’s BBQ. In 1969, he joined Coors Brewing Company where he found a good home, good advancement, and worked there for 31 years.


In retirement, Billy used to buy wrecked Hondas from insurance companies and mix and match the cars back together. He did this for almost 14 years. I suppose that if you ever wanted to know anything about a Honda, well, you should see Billy first.

Example...Honda before Billy:


Honda after Billy:


WHAT WERE YOUR EARLY YEAR CARS? 

“My first was a 1949 Ford that was totaled in a slight head on collision with a highway patrol car. I then purchased a 1952 Ford convertible, followed by a 1955 Ford and then a 1957 Ford convertible.” Billy is a confirmed Ford guy, as well as a lover of convertibles.


Floyd Yates is Billy’s cousin, and those of you who know Floyd, know his 1963 white Ford Galaxie XL – well Billy had one just like it and both he and Floyd purchased these cars within a week of each other! As the story goes, Billy ordered his in November and was waiting for it. When it arrived, one week later Floyd bought his off the showroom floor. Billy hopped his up and decided to use this family car as a dragster, racing it weekly in Ardmore or at the strip up in OKC at the fairgrounds.

“I don’t think that transmission was ever built to stand up to my racing. I think Ford rebuilt my transmission a number of times. Much of it was still under warranty. They finally convinced my to keep that car off the track.” Billy said.


So Billy decided to make the 1963 back into a family-mobile, and he went out and purchased a 427 engine to put into a dedicated drag car. And hot it was. When he first started running it, it was turning a 13 second ¼ mile, but when he finished – well, it was a 10 second car.


IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY CAR YOU WANTED……”I already have it” Billy told me. “It is my 1955 Thunderbird convertible.”



WHAT DO PEOPLE PROBABLY NOT KNOW ABOUT BILLY HENRY?

“Well, I was a scuba diver for a good while, and I used to water ski competitively. We built a competition ski jump over in Lake Thunderbird and held ski competitions there.”



“When I was younger, I went through a motorcycle phase and a group of us would gather in the flood plane near Lake Thunderbird at dusk. We would then ride the dirt bikes looking for Jackrabbits. Back in the day there were many. We would stir up a Jackrabbit and the chase was on, the rabbit cutting back and forth and the dirt bikes zig zagging left and right to try to keep the rabbit in the headlights. Jackrabbits can go very fast for a short period of time but the tire pretty easily and so in a few minutes the rabbit would tucker out and just stop cold. We would stop also and reach down, and pick him up and pet him, passing him around among the chasers, and then set him carefully back on the ground and go try to find another one. We never harmed any of them, just chased and petted them.”


His current fleet consists of the 1955 bird, a 1966 Thunderbird, and a 2004 Thunderbird. But just then you think he is a has Ford tattooed on his forearm – his family car is an Acura! He was an early member of the cRc and we see Billy and Mary in their 1955 at most club events.


“We also love Colorado, especially the Lake City area where we like to go and ride 4-wheelers. We went there for 16 years in a row. As you know, Mary and I have been going to south Texas since 2005, spending part of the winter in Mercedes, Texas. We have gradually built an entire set of friends down there from all over North America.”

Billy and Mary are faithful members of our club, always willing to pitch in and lend a hand of run a project.


MICHAEL DEAN FAIN AND BIG M


Michael Fain was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, way back when Phoenix was just another midsized town in midwest America and had yet to experience the explosive growth that it has seen recently.


Michael was a middle child and attended grammar, middle, and high school in Phoenix. By all respects a normal childhood in a normal city. But wait! Sometime in 1956, his dad drove home in a 9-month-old green and cream 1956 Mercury, and that has been a game changer for Michael ever since.

Following high school, Michael hung around and attended and graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe with an undergraduate degree in Speech and Theatre Education. He continued at ASU and received an MAE which is a Master in Arts Education.

After a stint teaching high school classes in theatre, English, speech, remedial reading, as well as breaking up fights in the parking lot.  He thought…” maybe a different degree will allow something of a change.”

So it was off to New Haven, Connecticut where he enrolled and graduated from the Yale  School of Drama with a second master’s degree – this one an MFA with a concentration in Technical Design and Production. Following graduation, he worked with the world renowned  Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

The roots of the great southwest were strong and Michael and spouse Carol were lured back to New Mexico to spend years teaching in various colleges and universities in Santa Fe and other areas of New Mexico.

While in Santa Fe, an old childhood friend arrived into the family in the form of his father’s 1956 Mercury Monterey – and Michael has owned it ever since.  The rare footage below is of Michael preparing the parking space for BIG M by shoveling horse droppings from his designated parking spot at the Cleveland County Free Fair. As we said, BIG M wants for nothing!

“BIG M” as it is known, has always been a weekly driver, but an example of one which is meticulously maintained. There is the recent new dash, as well as a complete new custom interior – one whose fine work caused Marsha Burnett club member and classic interior specialist to proclaim…”That is the last car interior I will do….that was so difficult I think I will retire!”

Several times during their 14 years in New Mexico, the University of Oklahoma invited Michael to interview…and 3 times he declined. The 4th time was the charm and the Fain family moved to Norman in 1996 and after a full career in academics, retired from OU in 2014.

What you probably don’t know about Michael:

-If he could have any car in the world, it would be a 1968 Midnight Blue GTO convertible with a black top….nothing too specific here!



Michael and Carol enjoy river cruising in Europe on those long boats of Viking Cruise lines.

- In high school, he acted in a number of plays. His favorite character? DRACULA which he played. He has acted in more than a dozen different shows.


- He once played with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. I asked him what instrument he played, thinking Trumpet or maybe Saxophone (Michael seems like he could play a mean Sax) …..he looked at me with amusement and said….”CANNON.”  I said “Excuse me?”….he repeated quite clearly as if there should be no mistake…” I played the Cannon” …and I thought "Oh yes the William Tell Overture".  

Michael continued….” In one indoor performance I needed to play 24 rounds and the theatre had a smoke evacuation system that failed to activate properly…..and all the smoke slowly settled down to the expensive seats. “It was so thick you could see nothing at all”, Michael said with his wry smile..


Sometime 9+ years ago, the Canadian River Cruisers were trying to organize a little car club, and we are proud to proclaim Michael, Carol,  and Big M as charter members.  



The cRc member we know as CAROL HOFFMAN was born into this world Carol Odom, of Union City, Tennessee.  Carol Odom liked Union City at the time she was growing up so she hung around her parents house and stayed there all through elementary, junior high and high school.

But she left Union City for good, around her 17th birthday when she packed up and left for college. Her parents still live in her childhood home, and her dad, who is 90, still cuts the grass and does a daily workout. Good genes.

She travelled a whopping 47 miles from Union City, and landed in Murray, Kentucky where she enrolled for undergraduate classes. She earned her B.S. in Speech Pathology from Murray State. A Master’s degree would be nice so she stayed in school and got her masters at Murray State also. Carol describes herself as a very serious student at that time.

She remained in Kentucky for an additional 4 years following college, but longed for a change of scenery. She registered for employment in Oklahoma, and to her mother and father’s dismay, she landed a job in Norman at the J.D. McCarty center.  A nice pay raise and she was off and driving towards Norman, despite her dad suggesting that “Oklahoma was just dirt and rocks and nothing much more  was there!” She needed to learn what was there first hand in the form of a life adventure.


Her dad’s advice did not slow her down one bit, and so Carol arrived in Norman at her new apartment in 1983. And both the cRc and Jim Hoffman are glad she did!

“Jim was the first person I met” said Carol. “He had an apartment in the same complex. I saw him the second day I moved in.”  Soon they began dating and were married 3 years later in 1986. They have 2 children, a boy and a girl. Their daughter lives with them and attends OU, their son lives near San Antonio.

Carol’s first car was a pea green 1976 Maverick with a vinyl top, plaid interior and bucket seats. While she claims not to be a girly gEarhead, she is always present at coffee call, is co-treasurer of the club's sacred funds, does our cRuise program, and can be seen on events like the Powertour and other long haul cruises riding shotgun in their big black Buick. Carol’s personal car is a 2001 BMW convertible shown above.


She has always loved her work, and has been a speech pathologist for 38 years. She is currently employed in the Newcastle school system. Speech Pathologists work to diagnose and treat speech related disabilities that can result in social or communications problems for children or adults.

She and Jim love the outdoors and recently - hiking. In the past few months, they have been hiking the trails in the Wichita Wildlife Refuge and have completed almost all of them. In addition to hiking, they both enjoy ballroom dancing. Carol loves most 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s rock ‘n roll music, but country tunes don't appeal to her. They are both serious foodies and enjoy dining out at a variety of restaurants. Carol said...  "There is little I won't try at least one time. About the only food on my "NO NO" list is liver. (join the club)

Quiet and unassuming, Carol is always working behind the scenes, willing to lend a hand with any cRc project. We are fortunate to have the Hoffman family as members. Her dream vehicle?

A PLEASUREWAY 19' VAN - this took her no time to reply to the question "If you could have any vehicle in the world....what would it be?" Carol said after she gets her fill of work, she can envision Jim and her in a van like this, roaming about the country and enjoying the outdoors.

While we wish Carol success in her dream of the van, we are a bit selfish in not wanting to lose them to a roving lifestyle - at least not for a few years yet!

Ed Paulus - 

KOREAN WAR VETERAN, MASTER MECHANIC, 
FAMILY MAN, charter cRc member.

London, Oxford, Dublin, Athens, Marseilles, Toledo,  Moscow, Vienna, and Amsterdam are all names of cities in Ohio…             Russia, Ohio  is also there and it is possible to drive from Russia to Versailles in just a few minutes. 

And so right at the beginning of the worst depression the USA has ever known, EDDIE PAULUS began his richly rewarding life of 89 years (to date and still going strong)  on July 03, 1928.  Eddie says he had a normal childhood, growing up on the family farm in Russia, attending grammar school in Russia  (we’re still in Ohio remember). But in 1939, the beginnings of World War II changed everything.

Sadly, Ed’s family lost their family farm and as Ed said….” We moved a WHOPPING 4 miles away”.  Ed and his family moved to their new home in Versailles (Ohio). Ed attended high school in Versailles, and graduated in 1947. He enjoyed Industrial Arts classes the most. (duh!)

His first job at age 15 was to tie wires on bales of hay, 
not far from his family farm.


This lasted a season and Ed decided that working around his neighborhood SOHIO service station was far more to his liking and so until he was 23, he spent every moment pumping oil, washing windows, changing tires and oil, and doing mechanic work. 

The automobile was to become Ed’s life’s calling and beyond a few years of dedicated service in the military, Ed has never ventured far from a sure thing. He can still tell you that a 1936 Chevrolet needed an extra 10 foot pounds of torque on the front part of the head, or that they used to have to drill 3 small holes in the right rear door sill to keep the door from rusting out.


Too young for World War II, but just right for the Korean War, Ed joined the Ohio National Guard in the late 40’s and as luck would have it, his unit was activated for the Korean War in 1951. He served with distinction in the artillery at Ft. Bliss, Texas, during the entire war. Discharged in 1952…..but wait!



Did we mention that Ed and Miriam went to high school together? They were married in 1950 and soon son John was born. But war does not respect families and so Ed served his time in the Army, and was discharged in  September of 1952 where it was back to the SOHIO station. Late in 1952, Ed landed a job with SWS Chevrolet in Dayton, Ohio and worked in new and used car prep. He worked there for years, and then between 1960 and 1962 owned his own transmission shop. In the meantime the family grew. Gayle was born in 1952, Chris in 1953, and Gene on  April 5, 1955. 

In 1963 it was back to work for Chevrolet as the SWS group opened their 2nd dealership, this one in Tucson, Arizona. Ed spent 10 years in the service end of the business there, and ultimately a job at Adams Chevrolet in Norman brought the family here. We are all thankful it did!

In 1991, MASTER TECH opened at its current location and the rest is history. Master Tech is jointly owned by Miriam, Gene, and Eddie as partners.


CARS:
Ed’s first car was a $25 1928 Model A Roadster he pulled out of a farmer's field and quickly had running. 

His second one was a 1936 Ford Coupe and then a ’36 Ford 4-door……..if Ed could have any car in the world free of charge, he would pick one within the club. In fact the car is Koy Floyd's 1936 Ford – certainly a compliment to Koy’s fine ride.


Over time he has personally restored a 1970 El Camino, a 1967 Camaro which most of us remember, and a 1974 Chevy Caprice Convertible.

Ed turns 90 years young this next July 3rd......a charter member of the club, we have all grown and profited from his membership in the cRc. Ed still goes to MasterTech every day and opens the shop. Master Tech hosts our annual cRc Christmas party. Ed is a proud member of the singing "DIPSTICKS" the cRc acapella group.


Dan Haggerty.........

Born Daniel Aloysius Haggerty in Massachusetts, Dan was named for his uncle Aloysius Haggerty who had the unfortunate distinction of being the first American soldier to fall in 1914 during the brief Mexican-American War. This took place in Veracruz, well before Dan came on the scene.

Dan originally hails from Cambridge, Mass, but like a lot of us.......he got here as quick as he could!
Growing up in Cambridge, he attended Rindge Technical High School and after graduating, enlisted in the United States Air Force where he was trained and sent to Vandenberg AFB in California as a high pressure boiler operator. 

Following his enlistment, it was back home to the Boston area and 4 years with Western Electric. Remember them? They leased you every telephone you ever had while you were growing up and until the government opened up competition from much cheaper phones. They are long gone now. Anyway, Dan spent from 1964 to 1968 with them, and gave up a career there, dropped everything and moved to Oklahoma where he opened a window cleaning business - and he has owned that business since 1968. ABILITY WINDOW CLEANING COMPANY will celebrate its 50 years in business event in 2018.

Dan's company has cleaned windows in more than 18,000 homes and countless businesses. 

Let's talk about cars:
His first one was a 1949 Chevy, followed some years later by a 1956 Oldsmobile and then a 1963 Impala hardtop S/S. Somewhere around 1963, Dan married his dream girl "Flo" and like his window cleaning business - they have been going strong ever since. The marriage did have an early impact on his cars however. After their marriage, a daughter came along, so the 1963 Chevy became history and they purchased a 1972 Malibu station wagon...ummmmm!

This is not Dan's car but I just could not resist! If Dan could have any car in the world, he would have that old 1963 Impala hardtop back again. Recently, he came pretty close with the acquisition of a 1962 Chevrolet Impala convertible.Dan and Flo have a son, who works in the business and a daughter who is a retired U.S. Army Colonel.

Dan is a serious coin collector of U.S. minted coins, and said that he would like to try sky diving - at least once! Dan joined the cRc in 2016, after having some work done on his vintage black Chevrolet at MasterTech. Eddie and Gene wanted to know why he wasn't a cRc member, and the rest is history. We hope Dan stays involved with the club like his business and his marriage....at least 50 years!


Bill McBee:    
You will quickly notice why we picked the blue background for this edition of "know your members".....
but first to Bill....
In Bill's own words he was "born under a large rock in Frederick, Oklahoma in 1949". 
He said "Yikes, I was almost a Texan it was so close!"

Early years:
Bill lived in Frederick and went all the way through high school there. His dad thought working was a much better idea than letting Bill loose on the streets in a hot rod, so Bill was not allowed to buy a car during his high school and college days. Bill attended and graduated from the University of Oklahoma where in 1971, he received a double major and double minor, all in the Finance and Economics areas.

1st car: 1972 Olds 442 Bill says "This was a Cutlass Supreme with a 442 package. The car was Viking Blue with white interior......sound familiar! The car had 350HP coupled with a 400 Turbo transmission and a 2:73 rear end. Bill said that it would really really fly in the top end!

Armed with his BBA from OU, he ventured off to graduate school and spent two years working towards is MBA in finance. He moved to Colorado and worked for Dun and Bradstreet as an analytical report writer. His most interesting company was the Coor's Brewery in Golden, Colorado.  Sometime after joining the company and sitting behind the desk day after day - he knew he must get a job outdoors, or he would go "postal".

Sometime along the way he bought his second car, a1961 TR3A white with red interior.....

IF BILL COULD HAVE ANY CAR HE WANTED, IT WOULD BE A 1967 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE WITH REMOVABLE HARDTOP, 427 4 SPEED WITH AIR. BLUE WITH A WHITE INTERIOR. BILL ANSWERED THIS QUESTION IN LESS THAN A SECOND, HE REALLY DID NOT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT.

Over his career, his most rewarding job was working with SW Bell wireless and building out their tower network. Bill has always loved construction projects and today in semi-retirement, manages a group of rental properties around Norman.

LITTLE KNOWN BILL MCBEE FACTS:

He "chopped cotton" as his first real job.

Bill was a DJ at KTAT AM radio in Frederick........1520 on your  AM dial.

He built and licensed a radio station in Anadarko, OK.

Bill's third classic was the blue with tan interior 1969 TR6, which many of you in the club remember. I remember it also as I helped him install a new slave cylinder!

Finally, his 4th classic, which is now for sale on the club website is the...get ready...BLUE with WHITE interior 1971 442. Notice a trend here. How DID that little red TR3 get in the mix!

A few other tidbits about Bill you might not know:

1. He is an avid downhill skier......

2. He says he has "the disease of golf".....

3.He is a certified NRA shooting range instructor.

Bill has been a member of the cRc for about 8 years. He and Joyce are at most of the club events. Always smiling, always affable, Bill enjoys everything life has to offer.










VAN HARRINGTON:

Just about as certain as there is to be coffee on Saturday, members will find one of Van Harrington's Corvettes parked at coffee call and Van inside visiting with other members.

Born in Orange, Texas in 1953. (He notes with pride that he and the Corvette were born in the same year, 1953) 

His dad was a school principal in Orange. At age 14 the family moved to Waco, Texas where Van attended and graduated high school. At age 15, he bought his first Corvette - a 1961 Vette.

 "Dad had one and my brother had a '63, so I just fell in love with them. I drove both my 1961, and also my brother's 1963 all over the area, putting thousands of miles on them. I consider my brother's Vette to be my 2nd Corvette."

Van graduated from high school in 1971 and went immediately into the U.S. Air Force and following recruitment camp, was stationed in Wichita Falls at Sheppard AFB where we worked as a mental health tech.
His 1st son was born while he was stationed at Sheppard and his 2nd son was born while he was at Norton AFB in California. In 1978, he changed from hospital care to data systems and was stationed at the Air force data systems facility in Montgomery, Alabama.

A relocation to Germany brought a top secret security clearance, Nancy his wife and a 3rd Corvette. This one was a 1979 model.

Returning to stateside to Langley, Va. a first daughter was born. Additional assignments in data intelligence , in the D.C. area afforded a stint at Andrews AFB where the Air Force 1 is based.

While at Andrews, a third son was born. Van retired in 1991 and he and his family (his wife was also career Air force) moved to Biloxi for her final assignment) and then in 1996, they came to Norman, Nancy's home. 

Meanwhile, a 4th Vette had been purchased, this one a 2000 year model - unfortunately it was totalled in Norman in 2005.

Van and Nancy live west of Norman in what is known as the nine mile flats. A 5th Corvette was purchased , but Van did not like this 1996 C-4 and sold it shortly after buying it. Then there was the 6th Vette - a 2005 and a 7th Vette, a 1971 C-3 (which was the year of Van's graduation from high school).

Van got his mechanical ability by the well tested "trial and error" method.


Some of the interesting things you probably do not know about Van are:

- He has his hang glider license.

- He learned to water ski at age 6.

- His favorite sport is NASCAR racing.

- He likes to race ATV vehicles and has raced on the National ATV racing circuit. He even built an ATV track at his house in Virginia.

An active member of the cRc, Van joined the club about 2012.