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Old 04-23-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
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Airstream trip in the 50's

When my Dad was a young pup he was the GSM of a Lincoln-Mercury store and took an Airstream in trade on a new car. I was about 7 and my sister was 2 and the old man decided to load us up and take a "trailer trip". The TV was a new Lincoln Capri and the AS was a big one and was only a few years old. We drove from Minnesota, west on US Highway 2 to Glacier National Park parked in a campground by a lake, hiked, fished, camped and watched the park service feed the garbage and left over food to the bears while we all watched from bleachers!

We hit the road and drove south through Montana to Yellowstone, camped and saw all the sights. (including bear feeding, again!) We toured the Grand Tetons, visited Jackson Hole, stopped at the Buffalo Bill Museum, Devil's Tower and the Black Hills and of course, Mt Rushmore. This was in the mid-fifties and there weren't many trailers on the road and only a few in the campgounds at the parks. The trailers as I recall were AS and many of the little teardrop jobs, the kind that are a bunk on wheels! We did meet an AS owner pulling an AS with a 51 Ford F-1 pickup, who knew he was so ahead of his time! We had a super time and neither the AS or the Lincoln had a bad moment. My sister and I fondly remember the trip and the time we spent with Mom and Dad. It was their first long vacation at that point in their lives. Dad had gotten out of the Army Air Corps, gone to school on the GI Bill, taught flying and started his career, bought a house and had two kids. My Dad talked about that trip for years. Shortly before Dad died we were sitting outside his retirement motorhome, having a drink staring at the fire and he turned to me and said,"I'm going to get rid of this damn thing and get your Mother and I one of those new Airstreams!" He sold the motorhome after that trip. A month later he died before he got his new Airstream.

My sister has a boxes of Mom's pictures, there should be some from our tour in the 50's, if she finds them, I'll scan and post them!
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:58 PM   #2
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A wonderful story, Jager. My folks took us kids camping too and the memories are still strong. I am certain that those trips is what got me going again when I "grew up" (so to speak).

As for the pictures = YES - we are all big-time voyeurs on this site. Pictures are what help us make it through until we are on the road again, ourselves.

Pat
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #3
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Yes, please post pictures if you can. What a wonderful memory= what a blessing... wow!

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Old 04-23-2010, 03:36 PM   #4
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Hi Jager, I really enjoyed this personal memoir. Can't wait for the pictures!
Lisa
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
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By all means, share the photos.

The bear feeding caught my attention. It was in the '50's and I was with my parents at Yosemite and we stopped where the bears were working over the garbage. Scores of tourists had stopped to take pictures. We also had a camera, but stayed farther away—maybe 20', while some of the others were a lot closer. Then my father and I looked at each other and one of us said, "what are we doing here?" The message was clear—these are wild animals who can maim or kill. Who knows when some idiot is going to do something to anger them? We got in the car and drove away. We had all been raised in NYC where wild animals consist of rats and cockroaches except at the zoo, so bears were [I]really[I] wild in our minds. It always amazes me that in the '50's people didn't get mauled at national parks, but maybe they did and it never got reported.

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Old 04-23-2010, 03:56 PM   #6
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True Americana....

Please share the photographs.

Keivn
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:03 PM   #7
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I wonder if you have pictures of the VIN. Wouldn't it be great to find the actual trailer?
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:06 PM   #8
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that would be..

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Originally Posted by Someday'59 View Post
I wonder if you have pictures of the VIN. Wouldn't it be great to find the actual trailer?

INCREDIBLE-- wow- that would really be neat to find the trailer-- or at the very least, to figure out what it was...
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:13 PM   #9
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The bear feeding was weird by today's standards, I remember looking out the window of the Lincoln watching morons feeding the bears out of their car windows. We were camped in Yellowstone, (pretty close to the hotel by Old Faithful) you could hear the bears going through the garbage in the campsite. I recall the old man, in his boxer shorts of course, looking out the window of the AS and turning to Mom and saying something like I'm glad we don't have these kids out there in a tent!

Like you Gene, I don't remember hearing any horror stories about bear attacks in the parks. They are few and far between even today. I've seen the Yosemite video of the bear tearing the door off a mini van, suppose if one wanted inside an AS, they could get it done!
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:49 PM   #10
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Like you Gene, I don't remember hearing any horror stories about bear attacks in the parks.
Oh, yes, they happened, and precisely because of the feeding of bears in national parks. One such event was in Glacier National Park. A fellow Airstreamer was there to record the tale ... and it was the subject of a famous book, "Night Of The Grizzly," as well as the subject of an upcoming Montana PBS program.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:08 PM   #11
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The TV was a new Lincoln Capri and the AS was a big one and was only a few years old.
A great story Jager. There was an early 50's Capri for sale here not to long ago on Kijiji. Nice looking car.

My dad too took us through that area in the early 60's. We towed a 58 Shasta but we all knew about Airstreams and had a contest to see who could spot one first. My dad always wanted one but never did. He did however get to drive the Can Am demo unit (Intrepid/31'Airstream) and got a huge kick out of it. We saw a lot of Airstreams's back then.

The black one is a Capri.

I think the yellow car is of a Mercury but it looks a lot like the Capris.

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Old 04-23-2010, 05:37 PM   #12
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A great story Jager. There was an early 50's Capri for sale here not to long ago on Kijiji. Nice looking car.

My dad too took us through that area in the early 60's. We towed a 58 Shasta but we all knew about Airstreams and had a contest to see who could spot one first. My dad always wanted one but never did. He did however get to drive the Can Am demo unit (Intrepid/31'Airstream) and got a huge kick out of it. We saw a lot of Airstreams's back then.

I think this shot is of a mercury but it looks a lot like the Capris.

Its a Capri! The Lincoln we drove on the trip was dark blue 2 door hardtop. It had blue and cream leather upolstery and a mighty 205 horsepower V8! It pulled that old AS down the highway at 60mph like a dream! The Lincoln's had a pretty good record in racing, they were real fast for the time. I was at Barret Jackson a few years ago and saw 53 Capri convertible sell for just under 50k, it was like new, but they aren't on the radar of the collectors who will pay a half a million for a Hemi Cuda!
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:03 PM   #13
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By all means, share the photos.

The bear feeding caught my attention. It was in the '50's and I was with my parents at Yosemite and we stopped where the bears were working over the garbage. Scores of tourists had stopped to take pictures. We also had a camera, but stayed farther away—maybe 20', while some of the others were a lot closer.
Gene, They didn't eat the tourists with cameras.... Emily Post had already told them the cameras should be eaten separately! LMAO! Ed
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:43 PM   #14
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I think the guy is fartin' with us, and made the whole thing up! Welcome to the Air-Nut farm.Sorry, I ate too much sugar.Disregard.Carry on.
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