Tribute to Grandpa
Odometer (Legend): 531,523
Odometer (ILX): 95,509
I grew up in a car-loving family. When my dad and I routinely hand-waxed our family vehicles each 6 months, it became an all-day affair. I remember him pulling my mom’s maroon 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix onto the grass into the backyard, under a shade tree. His father, too, took a great deal of pride in his own automobile. This is Grandpa Rex:
It was 25 years ago today, on Tuesday September 12, 1989 when he passed away due to heart failure. I was only 7 years old at the time, but my memories of him are vivid and still very real. This photo from Christmas 1985 shows Grandpa on the couch. My cousin Kira and I were on the motorized “Power Wheels” 3-wheeler at left. I guess I’ve always had an affinity for wheeled toys! I would have been 4 at the time.
Grandpa gave out Certs breath mints like candy. My brother and I would hold our our hands out and ask for “Mmms” (as that’s what we called them). He’d gladly share. As luck would have it, I had chicken pox on Sunday, September 17, 1989 when Grandpa’s funeral services were held in College Ward, Utah, so I did not attend. Here’s a snapshot from his obituary from Logan’s Herald Journal newspaper dated Thursday, September 14.
Continuing on, the obituary reads:
Rex married Marilyn Hansen on July 16, 1954, in Logan. The marriage was later solemnized in the Logan LDS Temple. At the time of his death, he was employed at Hill Air Force Base. Rex served his country in the military during the Korean War. He served in various church positions, his favorite being involvement in the Scouting program. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling with his family, which included eight grandchildren whom he dearly loved. As a husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Rex will be missed by many. We wish him a fond farewell until we meet again.
Photo of Grandpa’s birthplace – Cornish, Utah:
Thanks to my friend Ryan for sending me that picture a few weeks ago. My dad and I had driven through Cornish on the return leg of our Beartooth Highway adventure this summer, but we didn’t stop for a photo.
Several times on the blog I’ve “followed in Grandpa’s footsteps” (or in this case, tire tread marks).
- Re-creating a photo at the Arizona state line (September 2011)
- Talk about his Buick’s unique 3-speed manual transmission (January 2013)
- Re-creating a photo at a home in Logan, Utah (May 2014)
Original picture with Grandpa and his pride and joy 1950 Buick Special Model 43D “Jetback” Sedan (taken 1954). Based on the garden hose strung out across the lawn, I bet he’d just washed it.
Did you know that each of those grille “teeth” were individually replaceable? I have a dealership brochure from 1950 that talks about how the design prevented “locking horns” with another vehicle. Now that’s innovation.
Grandpa’s Buick model is pictured at the top right of this factory brochure. It had a meager 128 horsepower generated from its straight-8 engine. My ILX has 201 horses from half as many cylinders. I guess automotive technology has come a little way.
Back in 1998, I found a beat-up 1950 Buick to get a picture with in Beaver, Utah:
Then in 2002, I saw a 1950 Buick at a car show in Vista, California when I was a missionary for the Mormon church:
It’s only a matter of time until I find the right Buick and restore one just like Grandpa’s.
My grandma once recounted to me the story of a time when she and Grandpa road-tripped from northern Utah all the way to Nevada. They were en route to Vegas for their honeymoon in July 1954. Grandma got homesick and they didn’t even make it all the way to Vegas before turning back around!
Here’s the Buick all decorated up with honeymoon graffiti:
Thanks for reading! And a great weekend to all.