Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I took new pictures, made them look old, and wrote fake stories to go with them

In 1944, Ezra Sutton took his ’37 Chevy pickup to the Midville General Store to pick up some supplies for his chicken farm.  Ezra had been trying to keep the old truck running for the last two years, but between the broken exhaust manifold and the massive oil leak out of the main seal, plus the ever-increasing valve clatter that refused to adjust out, it was getting harder.  There were no parts available because of the war, and he had to do it all himself because his son was stationed in Japan.  The truck simply refused to start when this photo was taken in front of the general store, and no one there could figure out how to make it run.  Ezra’s neighbor ended up towing the truck back to the farm, where it sat until the scrap metal dealer hauled it away two weeks later.

Jack Boyle and his wife Alice bought this Ranchero new in 1959.  It was the first new vehicle they ever purchased.  Jack was a plumber, and used the reliable Ranchero for all his service runs.  This photo was taken on what appeared to be a clear day in 1967 in front of the Boyles’ home.  But there was trouble on the horizon.  Two hours after this was shot, a tornado tore through the countryside, leveling the house and carrying the Ranchero 200 feet from this location.  Virtually no part of the Ranchero was recognizable when it was finally located in the bottom of a ravine.  Miraculously, the Boyles survived the ordeal, having huddled together in their claw-foot bathtub.  Jack became a meteorologist, and had a long career as the on-air weatherman at the most popular television station in Springfield.  Ever Ford loyal, Jack owned a Lincoln Town Car that he also purchased new when he passed away in 2004.

Bernie Green’s daughter Jenny really wanted a new Vega as her first car in 1972.  But Bernie was against it.  His wife Edna was killed in when her ’60 Falcon was rear-ended by a telephone truck ten years earlier, so he bought this ’55 Coupe DeVille for Jenny instead.  Small cars were not an option.  Jenny hated the Cadillac, and everyone at George Washington High School made fun of it.  Still, when a big group of kids needed a ride somewhere, Jenny always ended up being the designated driver.  One night, Jenny was driving five friends home from a party in the Cadillac when she was distracted and ran a red light.  The other car barely hit the big Caddy in the driver’s door, but Jenny hit her head on the steering wheel.  She was in a coma for two weeks before she finally succumbed to her injury.  Bernie still had the Cadillac sitting in the yard behind his house when this Polaroid was taken in 1976.  He died soon after, and the Cadillac was sold at his estate sale.  The car’s whereabouts were unknown for awhile, but in 2002, it was made into a hot rod by Chip Foose, and made the indoor car show tour in 2003, garnering many awards.

The only thing conspicuous about Goldie Malloy was his light blonde hair.  Everything else—the way he dressed, the way he talked, even his beige-and-brown ’37 Dodge Sedan—was as bland as it came.  But looks can be deceiving.  During the period between October 1950 and September 1954, Malloy was the most prolific bank robber in the southwestern United States.  He could stroll into a bank virtually unnoticed, pull his .32, and be out the door with a sack full of loot before the security guards even knew something happened.  Some people say one of the secrets to his success was that homely Dodge, which didn’t look like much on the outside, but sported a hopped-up 302-c.i. six-cylinder engine out of a GMC truck.  No police car could touch it.  That is, until the Santa Fe police department got their hands on the new V8 Chevrolet.  Malloy pulled his last bank job that cool spring day, when Deputy Charles McDonald was able to overtake the Dodge in his ’55 Chevy and shoot out the left rear tire.  Malloy got twenty years in prison, but died in ten.  This photo was taken at the Santa Fe impound lot in 1965, where it is reported that the car still sits today.

Frank Cooper was a stove salesman for Hotpoint.  Every two years, he was assigned a new company car, and in 1950, it was this little Plymouth DeLuxe two-door sedan.  Frank used to visit department and hardware stores armed with catalogs and small models of the latest in modern cooking appliances.  But that all changed when his Plymouth was spotted in front of the Gentle Hands Massage Parlor in Pueblo, Colorado.  You see, Gentle Hands was known for, well, more than just massages.  And Frank had the poor fortune of visiting when a police raid was scheduled to take place.  This photo was among the crime scene photos taken by the police.  Frank insisted that he was just there for a massage, and ended up getting two years probation.  He lost his job with Hotpoint because of the incident, but was soon hired by Amana.  He stayed on with that company for another 25 years, and was instrumental in the development of the countertop microwave oven.  Sadly, he died of radiation poisoning in 1974.

More new pictures that I tried to make look like old pictures in the slideshow below.


  1. C,
    You have way too much time on your hands !!

    What will you do when you retire, keep us all
    in stitches !!!!!

    Thanks..........good work !

    Don - Basehor, Ks

  2. Very cool. The 'Polaroids' and the old dealership photos worked especially well. Fun stuff!