“Billy,” by W. Christian “Mental” Ward

My good friend and racing teammate, W. Christian “Mental” Ward, sent this to me back when we were running “Sunday Stories” for a bit at the beginning of the year at TTAC. Sadly, the plug was pulled on fiction before I got a chance to run this. So, here it is at Riverside Green. Enjoy!

 

Billy was a lot to take. Borderline ADHD, beyond hi-strung and often considered simple. Over the years he had earned the nickname “11,” A reference to the Spinal Tap movie. Billy never underdid anything.

It’s not that he was rude, or mean or even unpleasant. It’s just that he was loud, fast and always in motion.

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1977 Chrysler New Yorker – I Once Had A Car, It Was Big As A Whale…

(Note: Another post by my friend Carmine -TK) In their 1989 hit Love Shack, Fred Schneider of the B-52’s sings about having “a car as big as a whale…a Chrysler, it seats about 20.” Well, Fred, I had a Chrysler that could seat about six…and it just might have been the best and cheapest beater I ever owned.

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1990 Cadillac Coupe de Ville – Live for Today!

(Note: This was written up by a friend of mine, Tom Conti. As he only had a couple of pictures of the subject car (the navy blue Cadillac), I went into ‘the vault’ and found some pictures I took of a similar Coupe de Ville, but in white. -TK) Sometimes, you just need to go for it. I am so happy that my Dad was able to fulfill the last item on his bucket list – owning a Cadillac. He had always wanted to own a Caddy before he died and he finally did. The year was 1989, December to be exact. Dad was in poor health, being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and only six months to live. He owned an ’87 Maxima at the time that he was never really happy with. “It rides too rough” or “it is just too small” were the constant complaints that my Mom and I would get. The latest Motor Trend issue had a very positive write-up on the new Caddies, so of course I had to make it my job to see that Dad read that article. Did I have influence on this purchase? You bet I did!

 

 1990 Cadillac Fleetwood coupe

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2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S – A Family Affair

The biggest single reason I’ve been so infatuated with cars from my earliest memories is due to the fact that I was born into a family of major gearheads. My ancestors were from Germany, and were coachbuilders. I mean actual coach builders, because their work pre-dated the automobile. They emigrated to the U.S. around the turn of the century, and initially settled in Chicago. A short time later they learned there were a lot of Germans in Rock Island, Illinois, and they moved there. And we’re still here!

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Still Addicted to Model Cars – Attending a Model Show in Chicagoland

I have been collecting model cars since I was a little kid. I just never outgrew it. It doesn’t hurt that there are lots and lots of cool models out there, both vintage and new. And so it was a couple weeks ago I drove up to Countryside, Illinois for a particularly good show, held twice a year. My primary goal was finding some Thunderbird dealership promotionals from the ’60s, but with shows like these, you never know what you will find. Or never knew existed and will immediately have to purchase.

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1958 Continental Mark III – The Party’s Over

Note: This post was written by Carmine, a friend of mine, for another site several years ago. In keeping with the appearance earlier this week of a similar-vintage Cadillac, I thought this would be a good time to add this Continental to Riverside Green. Enjoy!

I photographed this laid-low 1958 Continental a few months ago, but had forgotten about the pictures until recently. It was spotted with a group of other cars in a warehouse parking lot in an industrial area. I had seen them from the interstate several times, and made note of the cars, meaning to get back to them.

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1960 Cadillac Series 62 – Fintastic Journey

Until 2014, I had nothing to do with Facebook. I just didn’t see the need for it, and I thought I had enough going on in my life already without having another way to kill multiple hours online. But then my friend Richard Bennett started The Brougham Society, a group dedicated to the landau-roofed, velour-lined, fender-skirted domestic yachts from the ’50s through the early ’90s. Due to that group, and my drifting away from writing for another non-FB old car site, I got involved with a number of other FB car-related groups, such as The American Brougham Society.and The Classic Lincoln & Continental Appreciation Society. And met a lot of great people. One of those people, Josh Noiles, is the proud owner of this 1960 Cadillac Series 62 six-window sedan in Inverness Green.

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1976 Chevrolet Caprice Classic – Baseball, Apple Pie and Broughams

Once upon a time, back in the ’70s, there were full-sized cars. And unlike today, lots of people bought them. Single people, families, professionals, you name it. It was the Time Before SUVs And Combovers..Oops, I Mean Crossovers. People bought actual cars. True, there were SUVs and Jeeps and pickup trucks, but people who bought them back then were more likely to use them for something besides schlepping to work and dropping the kids off at school. There were, of course, any number of compact, subcompact and mid-sized cars, but back in 1976, there were still plenty of people who stepped up to a big Chevrolet. And the Caprice Classic was the Broughamiest of them all.

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Monogamy and Friendship by a Woman Who’s Failed at Both

I don’t keep in touch with many friends from my youth. People change, right? Or maybe we don’t change, but we become more comfortable with who we really are. That is probably what makes life long friendships hard to maintain.

I have exactly one Ride-or-Die, Letty-and-Dom friend who has stood by me through the thick and thin of my messy adult life. We’ve been friends for a decade and she is, without a doubt, my soulmate. We speak several times a day (often comical because we live in different time zones), and she is  my go-to person about everything in my life. We often joke about how we can’t wait to get old so we can sit in rocking chairs and drink whiskey on the porch in the house we’ll buy together. Of course, when we met, I didn’t have a porch. Or a house. Or much of anything.

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