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History Call it!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by modagger, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 301


    Call it!

    Maybe it’s the isolation forced on us by the “Mist of Misery”. More than likely it’s the looking back with fondness at happier, simpler times when my main responsibility was making sure the trash was put out for pickup every week. And every so often trying to figure out how to fit two weeks of trash into a one week sized can. “Really dad, I put it out but that darned trash man went right on by!”. Which would get me the one raised eyebrow, slightly canted head look that said, “you really do think I’m that stupid?”

    Whatever the reason, I’ve been revisiting events in my life that have some connection to my love of cars.

    One standout memory is a game that my best friend Artie and I use to play. Back then we were sure we had invented it, but I’ll bet that just about every H.A.M.B.ER has played it in one form or another. Our game was, “Call It!”.

    I’ll get to the rules in a bit. But first, the location.

    Our houses were only a block away from U.S. Rt. 1. So we would use it to get from our neighborhood to others without having to go through the woods. The woods are gone now but not Rt. 1.

    At the point where we would enter the road, was the beginning of a grade that crested about two hundred feet away. In the middle of the hill was an underpass with a trail for people to get their horses to the other side of the road. We called it the Bridle Path. We figured that section of road was built in 1931 because the concrete Art Deco type barriers on the overpass had “1931” formed right into them. Probably a WPA project.

    Those barriers must have been really something when new. Back when form and function were given equal attention. But in 1960 after twenty nine years of New England winter exposure, they were severely pockmarked from the Tsunami like waves of rock salt laden snow thrown at them by the big State snow plows.

    Artie and I would take our positions by sitting up on the barriers which were about three and a half feet high. Then we would look to the crest of the hill on one side and as far down the road to the other side to be the first one to yell out the challenge. “Call it!”.

    It was up to the one who didn’t yell “Call it” to name the make, model, and year of the approaching car. If he faltered on any one of the three, the other could claim the point by correctly filling in the blank or blanks. The goal to win was the first one to ten points. Some days there were so many “spotting” opportunities that we didn’t care about points because we were enriching our libraries of car knowledge.

    We learned the subtle differences between model years, the gap in manufacturing during the war years and the differences in sound between a six and eight cylinder. We could tell when a car had a six in it because the shift point on the hill was right in front of us and only the sixes had to down shift. The eight cylinder cars cruised right up.

    Occasionally off in the distance we would hear the sound of a “foreign” car coming our way. We never yelled “call it!” For them. In our learned minds they couldn’t compare to American cars. Besides, all the guys driving them seemed to wear the same silly tweed hats with beak forward. Not like the guys we knew that had motorcycles. They knew that a hat like that had to be worn, beak backwards.

    On a slow day we would sometimes get silly and yell out things like, “ ‘58 Chevy hardtop with two cigarette burns on the driver’s seat!”. Or, “Hudson Hornet with a rip in the headliner!”. Being only twelve years old and not having entered the “age of enlightenment”, we had no idea that a back seat could be used for something other than brothers incessantly asking, “are we there yet?”. Or the defensive, “he hit me first!”.

    Had we known, I’m sure we could have come up with any number of descriptive reasons as to why that Hudson’s headliner had a tear in it.

    I had occasion to pass by that spot not too long ago. As I suspected, it’s not the same. The bridge has been rebuilt. Our concrete perch is gone. Replaced by a simple, function over form railing as nondescript as the thousands of cars that pass by every day.

    I imagined what our game of “Call it” would be like today. One of us would yell out, “Call it!”. Then the other would begrudgingly take up the challenge with, “I don’t know what year it is, don’t know what make it is, but I can tell you it’s silver”. “Wanna go skip some rocks?”.

    Every generation has been known to say, “I wouldn’t trade the time I grew up for any other time!”. Well except maybe for the teenagers driving a Conestoga westward.

    I’m glad I came of age in the Fifties and Sixties.

    Be well and stay safe


    Sent from here. Where? Here.
  2. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 410


    Never played that game but my mother used to ask me why it is that I can identify any car on the road but can't remember my history lessons.
  3. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 782


    My Dad and I would play that game in our car on road trips to see my Grandparents . The farther away the car was identified was the winner . Started playing this game when i was 4 or 5 years old .
    Joe Blow, bchctybob and modagger like this.
  4. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 2,563

    oldiron 440

    I was the only one in our group who could identify the cars at night by there lights. Something I started doing about the age four.
    Joe Blow, seadog and modagger like this.

  5. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,183


    Yesterday, I was watching "Cold War Motors" and Dean, the guy who is always flipping mid 70's era Ford land yachts was going through a yard full of old cars and quoting year, make, and model. I realized that I was doing that too and waiting for him to make a mistake.
    Joe Blow, B Bay Barn and modagger like this.
  6. We played punch bug, back then there was thousands of them on the road, my arm stayed sore all the time. HRP
    Joe Blow and warhorseracing like this.
  7. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 301


    Mine said the same thing! Brother?
    Joe Blow likes this.
  8. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 3,034

    Corn Fed

    Back in the 70s we had a bingo type of game that had a color and model of car in the spaces. Just like bingo you would fill in the spot when you saw that car. Back then it probably took half an hour or so to get a bingo. But I bet it would take years to find that green Rambler on the road nowadays!
  9. My grandparents lived on the same block as "QUALITY CHEVROLET" in the 60s, I would sit on the porch with Granpa and name every single make , model and year that came down. The best was when they would crank them up running the alley back to the dealership, that was EAR HEAVEN. I can honestly say that he was so proud of me, he told just about everyone of my gift. My son David has the gift, he loves cars, trucks and BICYCLES. My youngest daughter Rachel could name cars by the symbol on the hood but that kinda went by the wayside as she got older, now she only cares thst her car starts everyday!! Mitch
    Joe Blow and modagger like this.
  10. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 301


    I’m glad my little tome brought forth this flood of memories. It’s great to hear all of the variations on the same theme.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
    Joe Blow likes this.
  11. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,087


    Back in the late 70s, when I was dating my now wife Bonnie, we would sit on her parents front porch swing and play "best of 10"
    The object was, of the next 10 cars that went by, who ever claimed the nicest, coolest or most interesting car of the 10 wins. Claim your pick too soon and the other person as chance that a better one would come by. It was a really stupid didn't matter who won...Because I'd be sitting there with my arm around opportunity to play with her boobs the whole time:D:D:D:D:D:D
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  12. Used to sit on the front steps of the General Store with my Grand Dad and his friend our neighbor and call out the Ford and chebbies. Weren't too many Dodges as there was only a Ford dealer in the town. When with friends cruising we would call padiddle for a one headlight car. First to call it got to slug the other.
    Joe Blow, loudbang and modagger like this.
  13. I think you played padiddle wrong. You were supposed to kiss the girl next to you.
    Joe Blow, loudbang and modagger like this.
  14. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 875

    Joe Blow

    Another one for car bingo.....mine in the late 50's when I was just a sprout.
    il_794xN.2492085205_hfgg.jpg il_794xN.2492084975_oj5a.jpg
    rc57, loudbang, bchctybob and 2 others like this.
  15. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,947


    Attended Goodguys Des Moines this past summer. Traveled with an older couple that had only been once before. After a long Friday of enjoying the day. At about 5:00 we found a bench and played name it and who gets to have the car. The guy liked 4-drs so he got those along with the pickups. His wife got the girly looking vehicles and I got everything else. The thing we noticed is how many vehicles had crappy exhaust hanging below the frames. At least about 25%. Then the cars with low hanging headers that were scary on some nicely built cars.
    Joe Blow and modagger like this.
  16. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,625

    from oregon

    When I have nothing better to do and want to challenge my old guy car brain I dig up vintage wrecking yard photos on the internet and see what cars I can identify.
    Like this one.
  17. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 301


    Great pic DDD!
    First one my eyes went to was the ‘59 Chevy.
  18. If there had been a girl in the car I would have kissed her. We were usually out cruising looking for a race or girls to pick up. Slim pickins in a small town.
    modagger likes this.
  19. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,056

    from Minnesota

    I have one of those. Road Bingo. It's around here somewhere.
    modagger likes this.
  20. Jack Rice
    Joined: Dec 2, 2020
    Posts: 160

    Jack Rice

    As a lad of 4 or 5 in the sixties I'd stand on the seat between my folks while we were on the road
    and name the cars in front of us by their taillights day or night. Mom would turn to Dad after a few of my answers and ask if I was correct to which he would proudly reply "every time". Good memories, thanks for this thread.
    Joe Blow, modagger and bchctybob like this.
  21. borderboy1971
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 757

    from Canada

    This is only a joke so don't get too offended with me..... I'm sure back then you had your arm around her shoulder playing with the boobies, with age comes gravity, you now need to put your arm around her lower back to touch the boobies.:)
    loudbang likes this.
  22. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,087


    LMAO Well, a good heavy duty bra does wonders:D...without it...all bets are off:eek:
    loudbang likes this.
  23. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620


    Back in the late 1960's, as a kid of 13 or so, I would tag along with mom as she drove around doing errands'. As a simple way to pass the time, I would spot and count vintage tin cars that could make-up a Figure-8 Main Event at Ascot Park Gardena. It would take some time but once I got to about 40 I decided "Enough!", and start again. It was cool to drive around in Southern California on the Boulevards and spot cars that could make a cool Figure-8 car. Once upon a Time.
    loudbang and modagger like this.
  24. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,573


    I haven’t heard “padiddle “ in so many years. When I was growing up you said “padiddle” when you saw a car with a headlight out.
    It was how my folks kept me and my sister occupied I guess.
    NO kissing involved!
    loudbang and Joe Blow like this.
  25. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 301


    I knew sooner or later someone would say out loud what I was thinkin’! :p
    loudbang and hotrodjack33 like this.
  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,434



    Those days of driving around all of California in our dad’s old Buicks started with identifying out of state plates. My dad offered the solution to keep the two brothers from bothering him while driving and going crazy in the big back seat area. My mom thought that was a great idea to keep us busy and quiet. Boy, did that backfire… The main rule was to identify the out of state license plate and yell out… "Out of State” while saying the name of the state.

    At first, we had to crane our necks to watch the car go by and see the wording on the state name. Color was easy to identify, but sometimes it was difficult to see the complete state identification. We were good at naming the states with our different USA puzzles our parents gave us. So, when we learned the names, we identified the color, then if we happen to see an out of state license at a restaurant or shopping area, we wrote it down for future reference.

    We were lucky that most of our family road trips were in California. Back then travelers from all over came to California to seek a nice place for a vacation and when Long Beach became “IOWA of the West,” more people flocked in from all over. So, even our trips to Los Angeles and San Diego always gave us a bunch of out of state license plates for our reference games.


    That lasted until our final family road trips during the 1957 Buick years. As larger teenagers, we went along because our dad wanted to go trout fishing in several back woods streams and lakes he had chosen for our family vacations. It was nice to read the Burma Shave signs and then yell out "Out of State" when a sedan came from the other direction.

    One last game we were good at doing with less enthusiasm was the “Identify the New Car.” It was a version of the “Out of State” game. During the early fall months, all of the new cars were filtering into the dealer’s showrooms. When we were on a late summer vacation, we would see those people who got the jump on most with their purchases of “first to get a new car…” status.

    On our last family vacation at Mammoth Mountain Resort cabins, my brother took a video of me walking back to the cabin from the main building. It looked like I was swatting at those pesky gnats that the trout like so much. But, in front of me was the prize identification of the whole family trip. A brand new 1959 Ford Station Wagon with no plates or identifying logos. Either it was a family that borrowed the dealer station wagon for the last of summer road trip or it was a factory worker road testing the latest offering of station wagons, incognito.

    "Call it", indeed ! The sharp eye of the youngest teenager won this valuable round and there was film to prove it later when we got them developed. Chalk one up for the kid!!!

  27. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,176


    Years ago I remember a Dennis the Menace cartoon in which he told his mom to name the car and he would sing the commercial jingle. Still have a few clogging up my brain along with a bunch of other none car jingles as well. I CRS but I can still recall "You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent" and of course
    "See the USA in your Chevrolet"
    loudbang, Joe Blow and modagger like this.
  28. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 301


    Great stuff guys! Jnaki, that video is priceless!

    How sad it is that even if there were enough cars on today’s roads worthy of spotting, kids wouldn’t take their eyes off of their mind numbing screens long enough to focus on the road. Hell, most of them don’t do that even when they’re behind the wheel.
    loudbang and jnaki like this.
  29. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,434


    Hey Mo,

    Thank you for your nice comments. These are the only ways to remember those times so long ago. We did not have a normal Brownie Camera to take snapshots. My dad had a big 4x5 Crown Graflex Press Camera. I have no idea why, other than it was a large film format and once set up, could take a lot of pictures from the film cassette in the back. But, it was the size and ability to carry it around, then be able to shoot something for a spur of the moment photo. Not happening with that large format set up.


    So, the two brothers played around with a 16mm movie camera that we could take just about everywhere. That is where it all started, then the drag racing idea came to us.

    Thanks again. Those old moments were cool for us, until we no longer went on "family" vacations.
    upload_2021-1-26_7-26-56.png The big blue 57 Buick in the forest...
    40ragtopdown likes this.
  30. papajohn
    Joined: Nov 2, 2006
    Posts: 892


    My older brother told me that at the age of five, I could name make/model/year of most cars and was almost always right. Said he could never figure out how I knew them all.
    modagger likes this.

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