Growing up in the late 50's & 60's and with older brothers I was exposed to all the Chevys, Ford's and hot rods of the era. My Dad had family that had followed the jobs North as often the case during this time, that's where the high paying jobs were compared to picking cotton down South. One of these relatives drove Cadillac's! Now in this time, to a small country boy, you had to be a movie star, celebrity or ultimately rich to drive a Cadillac! Especially a 1959 the ultimate classic and icon car of the period. I mean this was actually a city block, a boat, a living room sofa front and back of riding pleasure and comfort!
Always coming home for he holidays, to hit a small rural town in West Tenn. with a new 1959 Cadillac was an awesome event! Remember this was in the day when your neighbor got a new Chevy or Ford everyone would gather on the street to look at it, because it caused quite a stir! So a 1959 Cadillac was quite the thing, because for most, they never got to see one up close and was probably the only for miles around.
These relatives came home during the summer, driving the 1959 Cadillac and from the first moment, first glance I was star struck! In awe and could not stay away from just looking at all the gleam! the chrome! the sleekness of such a magnificent car! Everyone laughed and made over of how I was taken such by just a car to them. Keeping in mind, the Chevy's and Ford of that era were what I was use to, their were six kids in my family, so six kids rode in a 1959/1960 Impala, fighting for every inch and especially to ride by a window.
Getting ready to return North after the holidays, this relative told everyone, "Before we go, I'm taking Thomas for a ride just me and him in the Cadillac". I got in the back seat, all to myself, a rarity for me from such a large family. Man, this was better than the sofa in our living room! We cruised through the small rural town, me riding in the back like a big celebrity, people stopping and looking in awe of such a beautiful car. I treasured every moment of the ride and still do to this day.
From that moment, still to this day, I remember that Cadillac like it was yesterday. And every Cadillac commercial, ad, billboard, each and everyone thru the ages, even those at red lights, etc. take me back to that ride, that moment in time, that I rode and admired a new 1959 Cadillac in its' original glory. The most icon of all of Detroit's glory, a 1959 Cadillac.
Years and years after that event, it was a family memory when we got together, "Remember how taken Thomas was over that Cadillac we had". The cars are gone, so are the relatives and although I never myself, was every able to afford a classic Cadillac, especially a 1959. Some 50 years later, in a funeral home in a small forgotten town in rural Tennessee, I said my good-byes to a wonderful lady for a lifetime of wonderful memories!, memories of a different time and place, A small boy, moving back and forth the entire seat of a 1959 Cadillac, the fins, the tail lights, the chrome and all its' glory!
It took several years and a lot of life's lesson to learn..."Why didn't everyone drive a Cadillac"