Kenneth A

Derby Town Celebrity

I'm not sure of the exact year, but it was around 1969 or 1970. In late July, each year, the All American Soap Box Derby is held at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. The race brings together derby champions from all across the country and even some from around the world. Until 1973, Chevrolet was a major sponsor. Lots of celebrities have attended over the years from the Bonanza gang of Dan Blocker, Michael Landon, and Lorne Greene to Peter Fonda, Roy Rogers and others. They were ushered around town in big Chevrolet convertibles

It's a warm summer Friday evening and my friend Gary and I are cruising down Main St in Akron on Derby weekend not really giving much thought to the race that weekend. I was driving my 1967 Chevelle SS 396 that I bought new and still have to this day. As we stopped at a traffic light, a big white Chevy Impala pulled up beside me on the drivers side. I hear this deep voice yell over to me, "Hey nice car." My friend Gary looks over and his eyes get huge and he says to me "Hey the Rifleman" likes your car!!!" I look over and sure enough it's Chuck Connors!! He kinda gives me a wave as the light turns green and we drive off. All the way back to my home in Barberton, 7 miles from Akron, it's all Gary can talk about! We still laugh about it today. The day the "Rifleman" liked my car!!

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