How do you know when you’ve lived too long?

When your American icons start disappearing.

I grew up with Cal Worthington in the 1960’s. I remember sitting watching shows on a Saturday morning and there was Cal Worthington and his dog spot. The guy had that big white cowboy hat, the guitar country southern music which runs to this day even, and he was pitching fantastic car deals. In fact the deals were so good that as a kid I was almost encouraged to abandon my tricycle and buy a car from Cal, like the used 1960 Chevy in white with chrome stripes.

The “His dog spot” became a fixture and over the years the gimmick turned into Tiger’s, Lions, Bears, Elephants, Chimps and other animals with Cal and his animal spot pitching cars.

Those years growing up in the 60’s were also quite different in Los Angeles. The economy was strong, there were so many employers fighting to get you and if you had any kind of college degree you were like gold…name your own price and benefits. Yes it really was that good back then. And the cars! There was American Motors, Chrysler, GMC and Ford all mass producing the best quality cars made by real American hands. Any parts you needed were readily available. Phones, well there wasn’t really wireless back then but hey, the phones all worked were rarely ever down and the service was top notch. Refrigerators were solid always worked, just replace parts and they would go forever. Electricity was cheap to and the gas for your big V-8 engines was cheap and available. Most gasoline stations had full service and those jobs were applied to by what are now High School kids during the summer months and what would be High School dropout or homeless people during the winter season. Perhaps a second family man’s job for some extra work.

Back then we did have the Blimp, I remembered during the late 60’s seeing it over Los Angeles.

We also had several amusement parks in the area too. On those Saturday mornings watching the original “Johnny Quest” one of my favorite shows ever or “Mighty Mouse” to save the day, I loved that most weekends my dad, the greatest guy in the world to me, would take me to The Pike in Long Beach California.

Rarely a few times I got to visit with them “Pacific Ocean Park” in Santa Monica California.

And there was Cal Worthington on the tube selling the latest used cars, a 1963 this and a 1964 that. The used two year old 1963 split window Chevy Corvette in yellow, there it was, boy oh boy was this man ever a major icon in Los Angeles.

And I remember getting up early on some mornings for school, catching the news with dad before work in those early 60’s days and seeing the milkman delivering bottles of fresh milk to our doorstep. Again the level of service from this era was incredible compared to what you get today. In an ironic sense this isn’t the America I knew that was free to grow up in, expand in any direction. Everything worked and yes I realize there were race issues and the Viet Nam war back then, got it, okay. But overall this country was something. So looking back, sadly, Cal Worthington was a major icon in Southern California who lasted into another century. Like the great times of yesteryear, another end comes to a better past. RIP Cal Worthington and the older America I knew and loved.


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Filed under The L.A. Bash

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