1965 Ford Galaxie 500 Police Interceptor

Three years ago partner Alfred, on a whim,  bought a 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 making us a three car household as we already own two Saturns a 2008 Aura and a 1996 SL sedan so adding a third was not necessary.  Since money exchanged hands and a contract signed there was nothing more to do then to figure which car would get the proverbial axe so, after some talk we decided to get rid of the 1996 model, keep the 2008 and the Ford.  Fortunately, a mutual friend was in need and indeed we signed over the 1996 Saturn sedan.

The Galaxie 500 was manufactured from 1959 thru 1974 going through model changes over this period ours is a black two door hardtop with chrome trim and racing wheels, a re-built V-8, 390 cubic inch, 330hp engine you can actually see, a ferocious appetite for gasoline, and the previous owner added a decal on the back that reads “police interceptor.”  Some individuals recognized this as one of those specialty cars but a check online only came up with a picture of a Galaxie 500 used in The Andy Griffith Show.  The interior is bench seating, an AM radio replaced by an AM/FM CD stereo, manual windows including those small ones on driver and passenger side that look like cat ears when opened (if anyone knows what they are called let me know) automatic gearshift on the steering column, and extra play in the steering.  Oh yes, the car has a sub-woofer which occupies the entire trunk.

Enjoyment came easy to Alfred showing off the car and why not, eh BLASTING the radio/sub-woofer everywhere he went I should not wonder if people heard and felt him coming miles in advance.  Then due to circumstances beyond his control Alfred lost his job but the entrepreneur in him seized upon the opportunity to start a business and did so in February 2011.  All the money he had went into its startup so costs with Alfred now driving the Aura and I the Ford Galaxie.  Uncomfortable driving such a large, older technological car my first month I spent getting used to a heavier car, bigger steering wheel,large wheel an accelerator needing force to move, however, though, the stereo is wired to accept an IPOD which makes the transformation back in time easier.  The last car I drove similar was a 1972 Oldsmobile Delta 88 four door my father gave me in 1977 after he updated.  In time the Galaxie became the “I want to drive” car helped along with the admiration from the outside world.

Within a couple of weeks fellow workers figured out the shiny black, chrome object in the parking belong to me and talked of memories of their muscle cars which I never desired to own one but now that is different, maybe due to aging?  Nostalgia?  Back in high school friends drove Ford Mach 3 Mustangs, ragtop Barracudas, and souped up Plymouth Roadrunners but high-powered cars just did not interest me, the Olds gave me everything needed.  Recently, I took the Galaxie on a photo shoot to Fort Vancouver National Park and, after a fortifying, healthy snackthe healthy stuff, I park near the reconstructed fort shooting various angles with and without flash, stop along the parade grounds and repeat the process snapping many shots so that I am sure to get a few good ones.  Nature cooperated blanketing the area with sunny skies, these two some of my favorites,the smileand shinyas I move around recollections of other classic cars and Galaxie 500 owners met over the past two years surfaced.

Once when buying a cell phone battery a woman approached me in the parking lot, maybe sixty she reminded of a smoker, leathery, wrinkled skin and spoke softly with a sad, bittersweet expression.  She asked, “What year is the car?”  I replied, “1965.”  She started the conversation about her convertible Galaxie and the use a rope to keep the doors closed, talked about gas prices, and then she broke in to say, “I just wanted to say you have a nice car,” turned and walked away.  While driving home one evening a light blue 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 passes by, I waved to the driver and he back; again this happens on a rainy night on the way home a black Galaxie 500 with two people, we smile and wave.

And the hits just keep coming.  While Christmas shopping last year an elderly gentleman (a Chevy man)  from Baker City, Oregon approaches and we talk about classic cars and fixing dented fenders and quarter panels as opposed to rusted ones.  Same day an elderly couple is out walking their dog and ear-to-ear smiles cover their faces as I slowly drive by.  After parking at a local library I meet a gentleman who informs he had a 1966 Galaxie and that the hood paint was notorious for peeling, but had Earl Scheib’s in Southern California repaint it.  The other day driving home from the gym I come up on a 1956 Chevy Bel Air white across the top half and creamsicle orange along the bottom half of the car, waves and peace signs flash back and forth.

All of these occurrences although minor shed that “out of place” sensation, I want to drive the Galaxie more but gas prices keep this to a minimal.  Yes, I do enjoy driving the Ford Galaxie 500 Police Interceptor and wonder what high school friends might say.

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Blah morning

Due to watching T.V. late into the night, deep sleep evaded me so by this morning, blah.  Going through my morning ritual I figured coffee will do the trick so with a few cups in me and Alfred gone to work I settled in for a morning read.  With Smokey Joe snoring next to me on the loveseat, no doubt resting for the busy day ahead, I crack open Sports in America by James A. Michener and begin reading.  Michener wrote this in 1976 and although an “about face” of what he usual writes I bought I anyway from the local library.  Michener is a favorite and even he combined with coffee is not adequate in removing the cloudbank over my head so, I turn to that which caused my dilemma, television. (more…)

Walking Amongst Clouds

Wednesday March 3, 2013, 4p.m. When Smokey Joe, our black pug, wants to go for a walk he will either shadow you or stare you down with his globular, black eyes the latter as if sending a telepathic message. On this day when I stand Smokey Joesmokey joe jumps and follows me to the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, or wherever as he feels this may be the moment to get out into the neighborhood and let friends know he is around. Then, “Smokey Joe, go for a walk?” I ask to which he responds with sparkle and excitement in those bulbous eyes. From upstairs in the computer room I get up, Joe gets up, we walk downstairs with Joe carefully navigating each step, we both head for the door, and then I slip a harness and leash over Joe’s head as he instinctively lifts the left front paw up and into the harness thus completing the process. If left up to Joe he would just head out and do his business, he don’t need no stinking harness. Now for me to get ready is a process that Joe, seemingly, does not understand as he stares out the door window so, putting on my shoes, a cap and jacket to ward off the cold I grab a plastic bag for the inevitable waste then out through the backyard, unlock the gate, and into the park.

The first leg of the walk is what I call THE GAUNTLET, as it is a challenge to get beyond the point from the trees in the foreground of this picturethe gauntlet to the pines in the background. Smokey Joe yanks me to an abrupt halt every few feet he smells something by locking his right front paw then pulls hard on the leash dragging me in the direction HE wants to go, either in the grass or to the base of a tree. Clearing THE GAUNTLET and making sure no other dogs are around I take Joe off the leash for some temporary freedom.

Also along on the walk I bring my pocket camera as the partly cloudy sky promises sculptures (I love cloud formations) worth capturing so I look for open, expansive, clearings and find some by a middle school and this being a Sunday no kids around. With Joe still off the leash and following I find some great places to shoot sky and clouds near some treessky framed by tree branch, along fencingclouds, trees, fencing, and open fieldsclouds on open fields trying to get some scale in each shot. Half way through Joe’s pace slows as he is nine years old, I adjust mine to compensate and take advantage of this by snapping pictures of dark clouds contrasting against white clouds and blue skydark, ominous clouds. My heart races excitedly.

Now on the tail end of the walk, Joe back on his leash and wanting to investigate something, I lean against a tree to support the camera to take sky shots looking into the sunspooky tree. Joe pulling forward I realize this can be used as a counterbalance to assure a non-blurred picture, I release the shutter, taking a 2nd one for good measure, and then back from whence we camethe gateway. Opening the gate I remove Joe’s harness but he is not ready to complete the walk and looks back into the park as if on a vacation taking one last, long look before leaving. Gently pushing him through I assure it be there tomorrow when we head back out for your morning walk.

 

 

copyright 2013, jim pykonen