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  • Once you're branded, they never forget...

    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
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    So....how many Studebakers do you have now?
    sigpic
    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Milaca View Post
      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
      We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

      Ayn Rand:
      "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

      G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

      Comment


      • #4
        How many 'others'? I'm guessing five?

        Comment


        • #5
          What a great story, Bob! Truly a small world!
          Bill Pressler
          Kent, OH
          (formerly Greenville, PA)
          Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
          Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
          1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
          1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
          All are in Australia now

          Comment


          • #6
            I thought for sure you were going to be Oski Bear when he responded!

            Comment


            • #7
              I had a similar experience last Fall.....

              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by barnlark View Post
                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
                We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                Ayn Rand:
                "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MPlaia View Post
                  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
                  We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                  Ayn Rand:
                  "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                  G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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..
                      Love my Lark

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MPlaia View Post
                        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
                        We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                        Ayn Rand:
                        "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                        G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jett289 View Post
                          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
                          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                          Ayn Rand:
                          "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                          G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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!
                            Neil

                            1964 Daytona Convertible
                            1964 Daytona Hardtop
                            1962 Champ Truck
                            1957 Golden Hawk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by t1003nl View Post
                              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
                              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                              Ayn Rand:
                              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                              Comment

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