Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Part II: When memories cruise into a car show August 4, 2016

A 1964 Chevy SS.

A 1964 Chevy SS.

THERE ARE REASONS we love the things we do. Always reasons. And at the Cruise-In Car Show held last weekend at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township, there was a reason my husband voted for a 1964 Chevy SS as his favorite car. He once owned a similar Chevy. Not an SS. But a rusted out 1964 Chevy Impala. He wishes he still had that vintage vehicle, albeit in pristine condition.

The tail light on the 1958 Chevy I liked.

The tail light on the 1958 Chevy I liked.

I favored a cherry red 1958 Chevy that reminded me of the car my maternal grandpa drove. I remember mostly the salmon (not red) hue, the distinctive click of the blinker and the bumpy plastic protecting the seats. Grandpa’s car may not even have been a Chevy. But the lines of this car looked familiar.

Look at the graceful lines in these vintage cars.

Look at the graceful lines in these vintage cars.

My appreciation of vehicles is more about lines, curves and colors—the visual artistic appeal—rather than performance. Perhaps that’s why current day cars seem less attractive than those of 50 years ago.

Several tractors were registered at the show.

Several tractors were registered at the show.

As I approached the four tractors parked at the cruise-in, I hoped to see a B Farmall or John Deere like the ones from my childhood farm. But there were none. It’s difficult for me to think of 1970s tractors as collectibles. There’s a reason for that and it’s called aging. My aging.

At the request of St. John's car cruise-in organizers, I climbed a 10-foot step ladder to photograph the scene.

At the request of St. John’s car cruise-in organizers, I climbed a 10-foot step ladder to photograph the event.

These days I find myself growing more nostalgic. I am drawn to that which defined my past. I find that a tad unsettling, this yearning for seemingly simpler days when life was less complicated, less stressful, less cluttered. The “good old days,” they call them. Am I that old already to think that way?

Chevrolets are popular collector cars.

Chevrolets are popular collector cars.

Perhaps this is really what car shows are all about. Not about shiny vehicles or souped up whatever, but rather about memories and appreciating the past.

BONUS PHOTOS:

A tractor owner left his key in his tractor, complete with key chain from the Little Brown Church in the Vale.

A tractor owner left his key in his tractor, complete with key chain from the Little Brown Church in the Vale.

I have an affinity for Mustangs that traces to my teen years.

I have an affinity for Mustangs that traces to my teen years.

I was intrigued by these gauges on the exterior of a car, just outside the driver's side of the windshield.

I was intrigued by these gauges on the exterior of a car, just outside the driver’s side of the windshield.

Because green is my favorite color, I am naturally drawn to this car.

Because green is my favorite color, I am naturally drawn to this car owned by a Minnesotan who is a big Green Bay Packers fan.

Likewise, this blue on a blue Volkswagon also drew my eye and my interest.

Likewise, this blue on a blue Volkswagon also drew my eye and my interest.

FYI: Click here to read my first post from St. John’s Cruise-In Car Show. And check back tomorrow for one final post from this rural Faribault event.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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18 Responses to “Part II: When memories cruise into a car show”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Great capture of the keychain of one of the fun places to visit in Iowa.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    “Red” is such a ‘grabber’ color! And that first photo sure fills the bill!!!! Nostalgia, reflection, a moment to ponder………yes, signs of aging but in the (good) sense that those thoughts contain valued moments of a seeming by-gone time. A time that, perhaps, we feel more “connected” to rather than today’s frenetic (my assessment….yours, too???) world. As you well know, I really do embrace much of today’s tech stuff as it serves a current need I have, but, could I do w/o it??? Yes. Would I prefer to?? Hmmmmm…………pardon me as I wander off to ponder a bit……………..

  3. We own a 1975 Karmann Ghia that we rarely drive — all because I wanted one as a teenager. I tried to talk my dad into buying one, but he went with the more standard Beetle. I guess we’re naturally drawn toward the items from our youth. I agree, though, cars today don’t have the charm of older models. I think it’s the focus on fuel efficiency that has made all cars look like of the same (sedans anyway).

  4. Wãshē Kōdä Says:

    Nice shots 🙂
    That looks like my old Dodge ‘Super Bee’ (3rd photo)

  5. Valerie Says:

    My husband has a 1968 Roadrunner. Someday we’ll make it to one of these “Cruise Ins.”

  6. Don Says:

    The “good old days,” they call them. Am I that old already to think that way? NOPE, you like me, are what I call classic (not old)!

    Wish I had the Mustang! Mine was white with a black vinyl top, remember vinyl tops?


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