A 1970 Lincoln Continental and the Lemon Law.

An ad popped up this afternoon, it was a car disguised as a lemon or maybe the other way around. Then I remembered my dad’s best friend. A Red Headed Mexican, Eddie Campos. I loved Eddie and his wife Carlotta. He is a fair, freckled man with red hair and she was a beautiful blonde, they had a few boys, and I love to hear Eddie talk, his accent was warm and he was a funny man who was always smiling.  He was always a part of our family.  He and my dad were life long friends, companions and fishing partners until the day my dad passed away eight years ago.

Eddie was a plasterer in those days and he worked and saved to buy a 1970 Lincoln Continental.  The sticker price was $6500.00.

The 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III

(Wikipedia)

 

The 1970 model year cars included the formerly optional vinyl roof and Sure-Track anti-lock braking system. The interior wood trim was upgraded to genuine walnut wood trim (all 1969 models featured either East India Rosewood or English Oak wood appliques depending on the interior color). The Continental lettering on the decklid was bolted on (instead of glued on for 1969). The seat and door trim pattern was changed to a simpler design (instead of the diamond-pattern, button-tufted design of 1969). Also new were a locking steering column, rim-blow-horn steering wheel, map light off delay device, concealed electric windshield wipers with adjustable intermittent feature, and a three-point restraint system for front outboard occupants.

1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III

1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III

Shortly after the purchase it seemed that it was nothing but trouble.  After two years of fighting with Ford Motor Co., and around a dozen times in to the dealer for repairs that never worked, Eddie came up with a plan of his own to get the company to pay attention.

We didn’t do a lot as a family outside of the river and camping trips. But I will never forget the day my dad came home and packed up the family and drove us over to Pico Rivera to the Ford Plant, I was 7 years old. There was quit the crowd in front of that building that evening along with the local news.

Eddie rolled his Black 1970 Lincoln onto the vast lawn outside of the Pico Rivera plant. doused it with gas and lit it on fire. Shortly after that yet another car came in on a trailer,  a red one with lemons painted all over it.  For a buck you could take a whack at it with a sledge-hammer. My dad took a few swings and made the evening news.  And “his plan” brought about some very important changes and laws in our country,  we call it the Lemon Law.

The Lincoln was towed back to his home, where he parked it in front of his house, cut a hole in the top of the black car and planted a five foot lemon tree.  The last time I was at his home, the tree and the car were still there.  It gave off plenty of lemons for the neighborhood and passers-by are free to take what they need.

 

Eddie’s plan didn’t get him a new car, and if I remember right he didn’t get his money back.  Instead, we  are the beneficiaries of his deed, two years of a headache and a car that did nothing more that provide a nice pot for a lemon tree. Because of this unassuming man we have the Lemon Law to protect you and your investment.

Eddie’s plan brought about consumer protection, not just here in California, but throughout the country and the world. Eddies plight made the news all over the country.  He was interviewed many years later and he went into detail about the car and his plight with Ford Motor Co., but I was unable to find it.  There are many news clippings from cities around the country here is one.

So… Now you know.

 

My 4th of July: 1976

The 4th of July brings back memories of being a kid growing up in a LA suburb in the 70’s.  Life was pretty good.  The summers were hot, the barbecues were going   and when the firework stands went up, there was a special excitement in the air.

Ohhh what to pick!

Ohhh what to pick!

In those days our parents didn’t worry when we were gone from early morning til dark.  We didn’t have cell phones.  We spent the 35 cents to ride the bus to the beach, or .25 cents would get you an entire day at the local pool.

In those days we played with matches, lit our own sparklers, firecrackers and watched as our dads lined the tables with all sorts of goodies that would light up the night.  We didn’t wear shoes and someone was always cut or burned, but we hosed it off and kept on truckin’ as the saying went in those days. We didn’t were sunscreen or bicycle helmets and digging gravel outta your knees when you ate it going over a  rickety bike jump in the back ally was a right of passage even for the girls.   We took turns watching for traffic on our street as we practiced doing hand stands on our flex skate boards {mine was green and yellow swirls.  :)

There were water fights, secret meetings in the giant tree house in our yard, and hide and go seek games that lasted late into the night.

The fish was frying, cornbread was baking there was a pig buried deep in the ground that my dad watched over for a full day as is baked and a huge kettle of corn on the cob. The neighbor ladies carried in huge bowls of potato salad, slaw and baked beans.  Beer and sodas were on ice in big tubs, and there was a kid sitting on the ice cream maker literally freezing their butts off while another one cranked it until their arm wore out.

 

Making ice cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All this may sound a bit out of place for a girl raised in LA, but my parents and most of those I grew up with were all from the south, and that’s how we did it.  Once the food was gone and the fireworks were over, my dad busted out the guitar and my mother or a family friend was at the piano, there was a fiddler and even someone on the spoons… it was a regular hoe down, or our own version of Hee Haw.

 

Just another fun filled day

Just another fun filled day

 

Life was pretty damned good and we never forgot what the day was all about.  We raised our flag, counted our blessings and mama made sure we knew that we were living in the greatest country in the world. I am pretty damned proud to be an American and this is still the best county in the world regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on.

http://friendsofthepradodammural.com/

Save Prado Dam The Biggest Patriotic Mural in America

 

Times have changed; fireworks as we knew it are a thing of the past.  Our kids can’t go 10 feet out the door without GPS strapped to their ass and their phones in their pockets, layered in sunscreen… Even though those days are past, I like to remember them and the good feeling that those long-lost dog days of summer bring me, because you can’t help but smile.

So Keep on Truckin, fire up the Q and finally, God Bless America