Thursday, October 26, 2006


Deanne Blakley-Bellemans - The First Drive In Bank

[Upon discovering the Vignettes] : I've had a mystery for the last fifty years and today it was solved! My dad bought me my Aunts 1946 Studebaker in, it must have been 1955, and I haven't been able to remember who else had one. Larry Parker had a newer one, mine was a gangster style, (big, high, with lots of crome, uky green) but a couple of other guys had them too! Now thanks to Vignettes I know it was Linville and Mike Pennachi. I remember talking to them all, in the parking lot, the day I left school early to go to work. I told them my brakes weren't working right, but I had a plan. I was going to go via 150th, loop around and come down past the fire station and whip into the parking lot behind the hardware store, Van de Kamps, and a small bank, all on the corner of 152nd and Ambaum.

It was a good plan, if someone hadn't been coming out of the very parking lot I was aiming for. In a quick change of plans I could either cross 152nd at it's busiest or pull into a side spot next to the bank. I took the bank, thinking that little cement curb that keeps cars from crashing into each other at the end of a parking spot would stop me. WRONG! Now an old Studebaker is very, very long in front of the tires, too long for that spot it seems! So with breaking glass and falling bricks, I drove right into the bank! I got out of the car, went to the bank door (I could have talked to them through the broken glass), poked my head in and told them that I would be right back. I went into the bakery, explained what that big crash had been, changed into my Dutch girl get up, and went back to the bank and told them my dad would be coming soon.

I started work right on time, selling bread and cookies, and I was fine until my grandfather, my uncles and my dad all showed up. They all lined up along the back wall and watched me, and every time I looked at them I'd burst into tears. The insurance man called and wanted to know where the car was now? I told him, well, it was still in the bank, it didn't have any brakes you know! I made the front page of the Highline Times, and one of those big bank type windows cost $500 in 1955, and I never told anyone that I knew I didn't have any breaks that day!

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