Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Making American Stories during Faribault Car Cruise Night, Part III June 25, 2020

Closing in on downtown, only blocks from Central Avenue, at the end of the car cruise route.

 

AS I WATCHED AND PHOTOGRAPHED the June 19 Faribault Car Cruise Night, I considered not only the stories I would tell with my photos, but the stories of those participating in this monthly summer event.

 

What’s the story behind the TOOTIE license plate on this Ford Fairlane?

 

And where was this young boy riding prior to the cruise?

 

What stories have been written, and shared, in this 1956 Chevy station wagon?

 

What prompted them to join the cruise? What would they see? How would they feel? What memories would they take away from this leisurely Friday evening drive around Faribault area lakes and back into town? Will they, years from now, talk about the summer of 2020 and how, even in the midst of a global pandemic, they went on a car cruise?

 

What’s the story behind this vintage Pontiac owned by Sharon and Tom?

 

The back of that beautiful Pontiac.

 

Life is one long story. With many chapters. And editing along the way. Sometimes by us, sometimes by those who think they can edit our lives or rewrite our stories. They can’t. They are not us. Our stories are ours.

 

Part of Faribault’s “American Stories” campaign.

 

“Making American Stories” is among a handful of marketing slogans selected by local tourism folks to promote Faribault. That theme, along with crafting, experiencing, shaping and preserving American stories, is bannered on signs posted throughout my community. I like this campaign. It’s clear, meaningful, uncomplicated and fitting. It defines community strengths—from history to home-grown businesses to things to do.

 

What’s the story behind “The Rock” shirt?

 

What leads someone to own a vintage car like this Buick Electra?

 

What prompts someone to get all creative and build a rat rod?

 

What’s the full story behind this tattoo?

 

Where did the owners find this vintage Chrysler convertible and what’s its history?

 

And on summer evenings in to early autumn, one of those local once-a-month activities is Faribault Car Cruise Night. It brings together the past and the present. Links vintage vehicles and new. Seniors and kids. Car collectors and, new this year, Harley riders.

 

What’s the story behind the ATV?

 

Wonder what stories this Pontiac GTO convertible could tell?

 

So many American stories in the making during the June 19 Faribault Car Cruise Night.

 

Switched from a Central Avenue-based park-and-look event, this actual driving cruise has added a new dimension in the making of this American story. I wonder about the stories. Those already written. And those being written.

This concludes my three-part photo series on the June 19 Faribault Car Cruise Night.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

12 Responses to “Making American Stories during Faribault Car Cruise Night, Part III”

  1. Almost Iowa Says:

    To get the true feel of the fifties, one must load ten kids in a 57′ Chevy station wagon.

    Here is the standard loading procedure:

    1) Dad drives.
    2) Mom in front passenger seat, a new born on her lap.
    3) A toddler between mom and dad.
    4) Middle children in back seat. One standing on plywood where the floor has rusted through.
    5) Older children in way back, far from Dad’s arm that come sweeping across back seat like a boom on a sail boat when the middle kids fight.

  2. One word comes to my mind – NOSTALGIA! How come when we are kids we want to rush/race into adulthood and then when we get there want to go back to childhood in some degrees. I remember the road trips growing up and due to that as of now have been to 32 of the 50 States and lived in 5 States. I want to escape work and go for a drive now. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

    • Yeah, when we’re young we are in a hurry to grow up. And now, not so much in a hurry for time to pass.

      Good to hear you had all those childhood road trips. Me, not. My dad milked cows so that basically meant minimal time away from the farm. In my first 17 years of life, I went on two vacations, one to Duluth and the other to the Black Hills.

    • I have fond memories of the Black Hills as a child and as an adult with the boyfriend that become my husband. Some beautiful country to explore in that area. I enjoyed my trips to Duluth too – my parents asked me what I wanted for graduating High School and I stated camping with them and then let me invite a girlfriend along. I have been on dairy farms and those cows do not wait to be milked and have their routines, so I can imagine hard to get away from the farm for any length of time.

      • I love your choice in grad gifts. Duluth is such a beautiful area, vastly different from other parts of Minnesota.

        I got a sewing machine as my high school grad gift. The older brother got a car. Reflecting on that, I find those gifts a bit stereotypical. But I appreciated the sewing machine as, back in the day, I stitched most of my clothes.

      • It was a practical gift that kept giving in helping you make clothes to wear. I wish I had that sewing talent. I made a sweatshirt in 8th grade and one sleeve was longer then the other and the neck was oh so tight – ha!

      • I loved sewing, but haven’t sewn in years, which is sad. Perhaps I need to take up that craft again. I wonder if my sewing machine even works.

  3. Susan Ready Says:

    Loved Almost Iowa’s response as it mirrored mine in the 60″s when all 10 of us would drive north to the lake.
    Audrey you have such a way with sparse words to convey a lot of meaning and today’s posting’s shined with carefully crafted words. Great job especially like these sentences.

    That theme, along with crafting, experiencing, shaping and preserving American stories, is bannered on signs posted throughout my community. I like this campaign. It’s clear, meaningful, uncomplicated and fitting. It defines community strengths—from history to home-grown businesses to things to do.


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