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AUTO RECALL by Albin Johnson

The author is a 1948 graduate of Minonk Community High School. His father was the dentist Dr. A. A. Johnson of Minonk. Mr. Johnson has retired from teaching and living in California. He and his wife Marilyn recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
This story is meant to provide a lighter touch from what has happened these very sad previous September days of 2001.

I cannot recall those first few years that gas powered, 4 tire vehicles may have been a part of my life. Photos provide a picture of me in baby carriages and "flyer" wagons, and 2 sisters who must have doted on carting me around Minonk.

The first recollection was of a black '36 Ford sedan my father bought. It was the first car he owned and he was in his 40's. I would imagine that there aren't many Minonk folks alive who had purchased a car before 1930.

I learned to drive by age 14. This age was not uncommon. Prior to that I would sit in my parents Hudson "Terraplane" which had a unique finger operated gear- shift located high on the steering column, somewhat similar in design to most sport car floor shifts of today.

When my brother-in-law went overseas in 1944, my sister Joan would help me learn to drive on her Chevy. It had the gearshift located high on the steering column also. The cruising was usually short as gas rationing (an "A" sticker) was in effect.

In 1946, at age 16, my parents presented me with a used 1935 Ford coupe complete with rumble seat. I had to be one of the luckiest teens in the county. I don't think I ever troubled or embarrassed my parents by driving foolishly. I did make trips to Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado. The car had a very colorful paint job and was a magnet for meeting girls.

I sadly sold it in Feb. 1951 and enlisted in the Navy. Now I had to depend on the generosity of my parents, ships or with my thumb. Hitchhiking was easy during the Korean War if you were in uniform. On a couple of occasions I thumbed halfway across the country to spend time with Marilyn who I had married in Aug. 1951.

Albin Johnson and his wife Marilyn in front of a late 1940's Hudson.

Dr. A. A. Johnson's 1936 Ford Sedan.

Albin's wife Marilyn and their mid 1960's Nash Rambler.

Albin's father Dr. A. A. Johnson and his 1949 Hudson in front of the Minonk State Bank.

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