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Today our beloved Harvey released his musical selections for April on the new and improved Coachmen web site: www.thecoachmenclubhouse.com. The most significant of which was Marty Robbins’tune, “White Sport Coat”. While I am not a fan of Robbins’ music, this selection struck a solid chord in my memory.
It was the summer of 1957 and I was in Cicero, Chicago, painting my Aunt Mary Ellen’s house. I was there as a favor of my Father to his aunt. Lonely and bored, I remember Robbins’ tune because it was constantly on the radio. I can tell you that whole experience was a bummer! I was missing my girlfriend, Ann Wilda, and had nothing much to do to entertain myself except listen to the radio.
But this tune has brought a lot of memories back into focus. 1957 was the year that I got my driver’s license, and it was the year that Pete Christensen, Lynn Hanson and I got together to form “The Comets” rock and roll band, which altered my life completely. I could tell some stories about that but you probably have even better stories to tell about life in Manitowoc in 1957!
I know that Harvey was making his way to be the Lincoln Continental spirit of Manitowoc. Bob Warrens gave up playing the trombone. Dick Neuses aspired to the Harvey league of muscle cars and subsequently was shuffled off to military school. Lady Sharon was dazzling all the boys at Lincoln High and Pete was trying to master the ‘sock cymbal’. Westover was the most beautiful remnant of the Duke Yanda tradition and finally settled for a very cute blond and a Mercury convertible, and Torrison was trying to figure out how the turntable in the garage actually worked!
Dick Burns was trying to keep up with Harvey, but nobody could do that, and dear Phoebe was locked in the library waiting for somebody to rescue her. And Wojta, who knows what he was up to. Dan Hoffman was thinking about airplanes and Harold Emme was hanging out with me, while we planned various solutions to the “Cliff Problem”, my father. We eventually settled on “borrowing cars” from his big brother Fritz, his father and mine. Olhues was a willing co-conspirator, but of absolutely no help at all. Nitka, the only smart one, was at church! And, Balzan was off playing basketball some where, who knows. Bill Ohde was drawing pictures of cars that he and Westy would never drive. Chermak was off playing tennis and exploring golf. Skip was dreaming and doing artwork of some kind, while John Magnusson was not even a figment of anybody's imagination at that time, but proved to be very important later.
So, it was a quite memorable year, and I remember it fondly. Thank you Harv!