It was 1957 in Long Beach, New York. Billy’s father had finally decided to trade in their old 1948 Chevrolet for a new car. Although it was the only car Billy could remember the family owning, he was glad to see it go. Billy described their old car as a “big, black, boxy,” “ugly automobile” with a sun visor over the front windshield which made the car look like it was wearing a fedora.

It reminded him of a getaway car from gangster films of the 1930s. Brimming with pride, Billy’s dad called home to tell everyone to be out in the driveway precisely at noon to welcome the new car. Everyone in the household – Billy, his two brothers, and his mother – could hardly stand the anticipation. They argued playfully about which make, model, and even the color of car dad was bringing home. Mom hoped for a Chrysler Imperial. Joel wanted a Ford Fairlane. Rip wanted a Chevrolet Bonneville. Billy hoped for a Cadillac regardless of color or model. His siblings and mother each held firm to their preferred choice.

A writer of history, Brad Dison earned his master’s degree in the subject from Louisiana Tech University. He has written four history books and has been published in newspapers and scholarly journals. Keep up with the column through the Facebook group “Remember This? by Brad Dison.” For more real stories about real people with a twist, listen to Brad Dison’s podcast “Remember This?” at Dison’s book “Remember this?” is available for preorder on that site.

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