Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Darwin and Alma once owned a 1957 Chevy Bel Air July 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:18 AM
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A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, parked along Central Avenue in downtown Faribault during the July 20 Faribault Car Cruise Night.

DARWIN LINGERS, gripping the handles of his wife’s stationary wheelchair as he admires the 1957 India Ivory and Matador Red Chevrolet Bel Air.

Alma seems equally mesmerized, transported back in time to the days of early motherhood and mobility—of youthful legs and a Chevy that hauled her family from farm to town and beyond and back home again.

When the family grew too large, the couple ditched the Bel Air and upgraded to a roomier station wagon.

Admiring the popular 1957 Chevy Bel Air in downtown Faribault.

But on this Friday evening so many decades later with the kids grown, one deceased, the aging farmer and his wife lock their eyes on the Bel Air waxed to a glossy shine. They remember the days of kids piling into the backseat of the 57 Chevy.

Darwin wishes out loud for that Chevy, just like the one parked on a Faribault city street on a late summer evening. Alma, hands clasped in her lap, nods ever so slightly in silent agreement.

I placed my camera on the sidewalk and angled it up to capture this rear view shot of the 57 Bel Air. And, yes, the date on the license plate says 1956. My husband insisted the car is a 57 and I checked numerous sources to verify the year.

I wonder, as I wander away, how many other such memories are sparked by the old cars and trucks parked along Central Avenue during Faribault Car Cruise Night.

As treasured as those vintage vehicles are for their monetary worth, it is the memories which hold the most value. Just ask Darwin and Alma.

Just another shot of the 57 Bel Air because it was so photogenic and I simply fell in love with this Chevy.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling