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BobPalma
02-20-2011, 02:43 PM
So wife-unit Cari and I are invited to her former Dept. Head's place for cards Saturday evening, Feb. 19th. There will be the former Dept. Head host (single lady) and another single lady friend of theirs from school and two additional married couples, all in our mid-60s. Total attendees: Eight, for two card tables.

I didn't expect to know anyone, although I had met her former Dept. Head and a wife of one of the other couples at one point, during other social events related to her school.

We're the first guests to arrive and, presently, the other single lady arrives, then one additional couple. Introductions are tendered all around. The last couple arrives and are subsequently introduced as Mike and Carol Fridlin. 'Seems as though our host had dated Carol's brother, now deceased, for some time, and they remained friends despite the brother's passing.

Mike Fridlin...Mike Fridlin....the name rang a [muted] bell in the far corner of my cranium. And the guy looked vaguely, but just vaguely, familiar. I finally located the mental file; I had been in The Purdue [University] Reamer Club, driving Purdue's Official Mascot, The Boilermaker Special locomotive, during 1967-1969, with a guy named Mike Fridlin...and he had a wife named Carol.

But I had not seen or heard from the Mike Fridlin I knew in a full 35 years...since 1976, when he came to Brownsburg to do some work on the large garage I built at our first home. This guy sure looked like it could be Mike Fridlin from Purdue...albeit with a 35-year age enhancement, as they say in the police crime lab.

So after introductions were complete and everyone settled in with an adult beverage, I approached Mike and asked, "Did you go to Purdue in the late '60s?" He said "yes" and I further inquired, "Bullwinkle, right, from The Reamer Club?" ("Bullwinkle" had been his nickname as a big guy with a much smaller good friend in the club nicknamed "Rocky;" they really looked like Rocky and Bullwinkle together.)

Now, I didn't have facial hair at Purdue (save a small, brown Senior Beard when the time came), but now have a full, gray beard. When I said "Bullwinkle," though, and repeated my name, Mike broke out in a big smile and said, "Yeah, Palma, right; I didn't recognize you with the beard!"

And with God as my witness without further adieu, the very next words out of his mouth were,

"How many Studebakers do you have now?"

Once you're branded, they'll never forget...even in 35 years!

What a hoot. It was good to fill in 35 years with an old friend in an unexpected environment. BP

Milaca
02-20-2011, 02:49 PM
So....how many Studebakers do you have now? :)

BobPalma
02-20-2011, 02:57 PM
So....how many Studebakers do you have now? :)

Three, which is three times as many(!) as when Mike Fridlin was helping build the first collector car storage garage! <GGG> (All factory Astra White, South-Bend 1964 Daytonas; one sedan, one hardtop, one convertible. 'Still looking for "the" Astra White 1964 Daytona Wagonaire.) BP

Dwain G.
02-20-2011, 03:16 PM
How many 'others'? I'm guessing five?

Bill Pressler
02-20-2011, 03:20 PM
What a great story, Bob! Truly a small world!

barnlark
02-20-2011, 07:28 PM
I thought for sure you were going to be Oski Bear when he responded!

MPlaia
02-20-2011, 07:56 PM
I was also at Purdue some of the same years as Bob. And, like Bob, hooked up with an old classmate whom I had not seen since 1972. As we discussed our intervening lives and times over lunch, he asked me if I still had my Hawk. Unfortunately, no.

During my last five semesters at Purdue, I drove a 60 Hawk that I had purchased in South Bend during the summer of 1969. It was a great and distinctive car that people really remembered.

Great story, Bob. I can relate.

Mark Plaia
Oregon Cascade Chapter member
SDC Member since 1982
Born and raised in South Bend

BobPalma
02-20-2011, 09:04 PM
I thought for sure you were going to be Oski Bear when he responded!

No, Dave; I didn't have a nickname. 'Most guys didn't. But Rocky and Bullwinkle had been good friends in high school and came together to attend Purdue; even shared a dorm room. Rocky's real name was Dave Kearny, IIRC, but Bullwinkle said they lost touch shortly after graduating.

As you might imagine, I was the Corresponding Secretary while in The Purdue Reamer Club, which meant I was responsible for getting out the newsletter to all the Reamer Alums; there were maybe 600 of them at the time. So I got to know all the current "actives'" names a little better than others, by virtue of "doing" the newsletter.

It's a great organization, still going strong today. Some day I must research and write about the first Boilermaker Special mascot locomotive, which was built on a brand new 1939 or 1940 Studebaker Champion chassis, donated to Purdue by Studebaker Corporation! True. BP

BobPalma
02-20-2011, 09:10 PM
I was also at Purdue some of the same years as Bob. And, like Bob, hooked up with an old classmate whom I had not seen since 1972. As we discussed our intervening lives and times over lunch, he asked me if I still had my Hawk. Unfortunately, no.

During my last five semesters at Purdue, I drove a 60 Hawk that I had purchased in South Bend during the summer of 1969. It was a great and distinctive car that people really remembered.

Great story, Bob. I can relate.

Mark Plaia
Oregon Cascade Chapter member
SDC Member since 1982
Born and raised in South Bend

Where did you live on campus, Mark? What years were you there? What field of study?

Yes, there were a few Studebakers on campus, still, in the late 1960s. One was Mark's 1960 Hawk. Another was my Tahiti Coral 1959 Lark Regal hardtop. Still another was the nosed and decked 1953 Commander Starliner of SDCer Howe Clark of Avon IN. It is, after all, an engineering school...so a higher percentage of the student body would appreciate the fine engineering they encountered in a Studebaker...at least until it rusted in two. <GGG> Groan. BP

MPlaia
02-20-2011, 10:40 PM
Where did you live on campus, Mark? What years were you there? What field of study?

Yes, there were a few Studebakers on campus, still, in the late 1960s. One was Mark's 1960 Hawk. Another was my Tahiti Coral 1959 Lark Regal hardtop. Still another was the nosed and decked 1953 Commander Starliner of SDCer Howe Clark of Avon IN. It is, after all, an engineering school...so a higher percentage of the student body would appreciate the fine engineering they encountered in a Studebaker...at least until it rusted in two. <GGG> Groan. BP

I was at old PU from Fall 67 to January 72. First two years were in McCutcheon Hall dorm way out on the West end of campus. Then, when I got my car, I went off campus, and then got married. I ended up getting my degree in the Engineering Technology school. I was in the 2nd class of the Bachelor's program. My Hawk was Bermuda blue (Ford color repaint over white) with a red interior. And, mine didn't rust too bad - I used to take it to the quarter (in those days) car wash and wash the undercarriage every week. Even when I was dead broke poor. I didn't even always wash the topside, just the undercarriage.

Jett289
02-21-2011, 01:43 AM
This is very true. In the 80's a high school student wouldnt be caught dead driving a Studebaker .. But that was my choice of car. I drove a 1962 lark 8 in school and was remembered very well by that car .. I went to my 20th high school reunion in the same car and everyone asolutely loved the car.. Weird what 20 years does to people since most of them laughed at me in high school. It was refreshing and the car got lots of positve attention..

BobPalma
02-21-2011, 07:03 AM
I was at old PU from Fall 67 to January 72. First two years were in McCutcheon Hall dorm way out on the West end of campus. Then, when I got my car, I went off campus, and then got married.

Unbelievably small world, Mark: From Fall 1967 through January 1969, I, too, lived in McCutcheon Hall! We were indeed there not only at the same time, but for about the same duration.

'Figure the odds on that...may have even crossed paths and didn't know each other...do you remember the Tahiti Coral 1959 Lark hardtop parked immediately west of the hall, across the street in front of the bookstore? There was a single parking place there on "the point." I grabbed it frequently because no one could park on either side of you or in front of you or in back of you! <GGG> BP

BobPalma
02-21-2011, 07:06 AM
This is very true. In the 80's a high school student wouldnt be caught dead driving a Studebaker .. But that was my choice of car. I drove a 1962 lark 8 in school and was remembered very well by that car .. I went to my 20th high school reunion in the same car and everyone asolutely loved the car.. Weird what 20 years does to people since most of them laughed at me in high school. It was refreshing and the car got lots of positve attention..

Yep, Jett; those of us who were uncool in the '60s now have everyone hoping you'll show up at a reunion in a Studebaker so they can reminisce! What goes around comes around and all that. BP

t1003nl
02-21-2011, 10:54 AM
Another Studebaker driving Purdue grad here. In 1982-83 I was living at the Phi Kappa Tau house at the end of the Engineering Mall and was driving a Rose Mist '63 GT Hawk. In 1984 I stepped it up and was driving my '63 R2 turquoise Avanti. Rain, snow, whaterver. I bought them to drive and I drove them!

BobPalma
02-21-2011, 12:08 PM
Another Studebaker driving Purdue grad here. In 1982-83 I was living at the Phi Kappa Tau house at the end of the Engineering Mall and was driving a Rose Mist '63 GT Hawk. In 1984 I stepped it up and was driving my '63 R2 turquoise Avanti. Rain, snow, whaterver. I bought them to drive and I drove them!

Wow! Driving a Studebaker 5 or 10 years after they were no longer built in South Bend, in this environment, was an accomplishment....but 20 years out, driving a 1963 Hawk every day; that is really something, Neil! BP

MPlaia
02-21-2011, 11:42 PM
Unbelievably small world, Mark: From Fall 1967 through January 1969, I, too, lived in McCutcheon Hall! We were indeed there not only at the same time, but for about the same duration.

'Figure the odds on that...may have even crossed paths and didn't know each other...do you remember the Tahiti Coral 1959 Lark hardtop parked immediately west of the hall, across the street in front of the bookstore? There was a single parking place there on "the point." I grabbed it frequently because no one could park on either side of you or in front of you or in back of you! <GGG> BP

I am sure that you saw me. I worked in the dorm kitchen as a waiter, and often served at the steam tables.

We will have to visit. I have been going back to Indiana about twice a year to visit my elderly parents, and typically fly in to Indianapolis.
MP

BobPalma
02-22-2011, 07:19 AM
I am sure that you saw me. I worked in the dorm kitchen as a waiter, and often served at the steam tables.

We will have to visit. I have been going back to Indiana about twice a year to visit my elderly parents, and typically fly in to Indianapolis.
MP

Absolutely, Mark; the world gets smaller yet. I am sure you worked with (or "under") my good friend Don Armbruster, Head Waiter. Don and I roomed together, graduated in Industrial Arts teaching together, and were both officers in The Purdue Reamer Club at the same time...heck, we even bought only one set of books our last semester and shared them, since we were in all but one class together as well!

Don and his wife Janet stayed in the area, settling in Crawfordsville IN, 35 miles west of Brownsburg. We stay in touch regularly and had dinner with them last summer. They would have been here for our Christmas Open House, where I posted the picture of SDCers Dale McPhearson and Ted Harbit, but Don broke his hip when he fell off a ladder cleaning gutters a couple weeks before the event, so they weren't able to make it.

Small world indeed. 'Give me a call when you are back visiting. (I am embarrased that I do not remember your '60 Hawk, though; where did you hide it around McCutcheon? <GGG>) BP

Dwain G.
02-22-2011, 11:21 AM
So do any of you Purdue guys from that area (early '70s) remember any of the football coaches?

BobPalma
02-22-2011, 12:39 PM
So do any of you Purdue guys from that area (early '70s) remember any of the football coaches?

Sure, Dwain; Jack Mollenkopf. 'Probably the best football coach Purdue ever had. 'Took us to The Rose Bowl in 1967...and I was there at age 20! 'Bought one of the student all-in-one, one-price packages; airfare, connections, hotel, Rose Parade, bus passes for transporation to the parade one day and stadium on game day, etc. What a great deal; nothing extra to buy!

Or so I thought.

On the day of the actual Rose Bowl Game, we got the little bus tickets out of our packets and tendered them as we boarded the bus from the hotel to the Rose Bowl stadium. I figured they would had out the game tickets on the bus while we were traveling to the stadium.

We got pretty close to the stadium and I began to wonder when they were going to hand out the game tickets. 'Probably as we exited the bus, I now figured, so I started asking around my buddies on the bus.

OOPS!

'Turns out tickets to the actual Rose Bowl game were not part of the package; you were on your own to buy your ticket(s) to the actual Rose Bowl game! Everyone else on the bus gladly showed me their ticket(s) and I came to the sinking conclusion that I was scre*ed. 'Here I was about to disembark the bus at the Rose Bowl stadium an hour before kickoff and I had NO ticket to the game!

'No matter; I'll buy one off a scalper as soon as I make a few laps around the stadium to scope out the game-day ticket market. Which I did. Since I was only looking for a "single," I was in a better bargaining position for someone who had a "widow" ticket he couldn't sell because people were looking for at least pairs.

BINGO! I found a guy with one ticket in what sounded like a decent seating area, and it was. The ticket's face value was $7, but in true CASO fashion, I got him down to $5. 'Found the appropriate gate and walked up the ramp, quite pleased with myself for having scored a decent seat below face value in time to be seated and see the kickoff.

And I got to the top of the ramp, entered the stadium in my proud Purdue garb, and found out the seat I bought was smack dab in the middle of the USC section; our competitors! 'Saw the kickoff and the whole game, but wasn't able to cheer too loudly. No matter, Pudue won.

And being a souvenir hound, I still have the ticket stub: Gate E, Tunnel 13, Row 49, Seat 124! Right on the ticket: Established Price: $7.00. BP

SilverHawkDan
02-22-2011, 11:04 PM
Bob and friends,
I too took a lot of flack for driving a "Stupidbaker" to high school. At least for half a semester. That's when I had enough. During auto shop I challenged all comers to a ten dollar race after school. By then I had been racing Stude's for a year and I knew my 1959 Silver Hawk would give them a run for the money. Long story made short, five races and fifty dollars wealthier, I no longer drove a "Stupidbaker". I drove the "that's the car that kicked everyones butt". After that all they wanted was to see me leave the school and do my patented second gear chirp of the tires. I guess that's why many of them were not surprised to see that engine in a 1959 Lark Wagon set the track record at Lyons Drag Strip in Long Beach, California in 1971. Here's a photo of the car taken at the location of the after school slaughter.
http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p56/dieselguy2006/TuesdayJanuary092007-1.jpg
Dan

Jett289
02-23-2011, 02:51 AM
Very good SilverHawkDan.. The teasing I went through was bad but when it came to a cold canadian winter and my car always started while all the other junk was froze solid .. Course it helped that I like to keep my car in tune.. :)

BobPalma
02-23-2011, 07:41 AM
Bob and friends,
I too took a lot of flack for driving a "Stupidbaker" to high school. At least for half a semester. That's when I had enough. During auto shop I challenged all comers to a ten dollar race after school. By then I had been racing Stude's for a year and I knew my 1959 Silver Hawk would give them a run for the money. Long story made short, five races and fifty dollars wealthier, I no longer drove a "Stupidbaker". I drove the "that's the car that kicked everyones butt". Dan

'Good show, Dan. That usually shuts 'em up. BP

Dwain G.
02-24-2011, 10:03 AM
The reason I asked about football coaches at Purdue in the '70s is that my aunt Jean (dads sister) married Pat Naughton who worked at Purdue for many years. I think he was a line coach?

comatus
02-24-2011, 10:14 AM
BP: Mollenkopf.

Bowling Green State Normal School (Ay Ziggy Zoomba), '26.
The stadium at East Toledo Waite is named after him. Three national championships there.

jlmccuan
02-24-2011, 01:00 PM
What? No mention of the Chuck Conners TV series?