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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Super Carrier Christmas: 1957

Super Carrier Christmas: 1957

"Christmas 1957" is the label on this slide from the Kermy and Janet Kodachromes, taken at their house in Baltimore. Gifts include a Revell model aircraft carrier and something called the Shopping Center Game. View full size.

That B-24!

First model I ever built was that same B-24, summer of 1955, when I was 8. I learned the hard way that you REALLY have to refer to the directions when you build those babies. It came out a total mess. I spent THOUSANDS of happy hours as a kid building models by Revell, Aurora, Lindbergh Line, etc., etc.
Another thing kids of today seem to have missed out on.

Kodachrome, enough said!

I love this image! Ok first off its a Kodachrome, enough said. But I love the tinsel on the tree. Yes real tinsel that you cannot get anymore. Secondly look at the those glass beads on the tree, we have strands of those on our dinning room tree which has all vintage glass figural ornaments of all different sizes, shapes and colors.

Now for the toys! As a boy I would have loved for that ship. I can remember Christmas morning in the late 1970's opening my presents from Santa. I was so excited to find an X-Wing Fighter, Tie Fighter and so forth.

I have been capturing our family memories on slide film for years and continue to do so to tis day. I will continue to do so until there is no slide film left on the planet and then I will quietly put my camera away.

I attached a photo taken on Christmas Eve in 2006 of our boys. Every Christmas Eve the Elves make deliveries of treats to the neighbors.

A Model Child

I had that Forrestal and many others by Revell and AirFix. The few I took to decorate my first college apartment are all that remained, after, much to my dismay, my parents gave away the rest from my old room at home. If they weren't turning over in their graves from the recent earthquakes directly under the cemetery where they're buried, they certainly would be anyway--to know I've spent a good part of my inheritance from them paying $200 a whack to replace those models. Figured I'd put them together on snowy winter evenings of my second childhood (and it's snowing right now). What I hadn't figured on is old eyes. They're all still in their boxes. Nevertheless, they make me happy.

More than an inhalant hazard

That glue would make a crater in the dining room table (whilst assembling a Lockheed Constellation). Followed by a brief lecture from my father. I suspect that he was not without sin. BTW, I crewed in Neptunes. I never knew that they made a model of that critter. A product of the Burbank Iron Works. One point two million rivets in tight formation.

U.S.S Forrestal

I built the U.S.S. Forrestal a few years later, about 1961. I still have a few of the aircraft from the deck. 1 co-workers brother was killed in the tragic Forrestal fire in 1967.

Patrick Wentzel
Parkersburg, WV

A Betsy McCall doll

is lurking in the background on the right.

Partially hidden by the tree and the basketball game is a rather substantial collection of magazines, newspapers, and phone book or two. Could this indicate an early effort at recycling in '57?

[Not if it was like the typical accumulations that could be found at this time around our house 3000 miles to the west. Like ours, it appears to contain at least one mail-order catalog (Wards in our case). Quite possibly Kermy, like me, would eventually have to be torn away from his toys, kicking and screaming, to deal with it. -tterrace]

FIVE Models for Christmas! Jackpot!

I remember building my very first Revell model kit, carefully, lovingly gluing ever tiny piece in place, patiently waiting for it to dry. Then it occurred to me: "Oh, you paint it first . . ."

b-ball

We had that basketball game-- the ball was a ping pong ball, if I recall correctly, and it shot off the cardboard floor of the game via a lever....fun!!

Values

The value of mint, unopened model kits can be amazing. If I'd known, I would have bought two of each kit I ever built, but, sadly, only realized this fact 65 years too late. A company called Pocher made 1/8 scale, museum quality models of famous cars; their sealed, unopened kits are like finding gold and they were expensive new.

U.S.S. Forrestal

I know that girls aren't supposed to be interested in model kits, but as a kid, I was. I bought the U.S.S. Forrestal kit and put it together. I've often wondered what my mother did with it when we moved?

Kool Kermy

With his button down collar AND blue suede shoes Kermy must have been stylin' in '57!

Miss Revlon!!!!

I would have sold my then five-year-old soul for that platinum-pony-tailed Miss Revlon doll lying atop her box beside the red boots.

Composite Carrier

I too had an aircraft carrier kit; mine was the USS Bon Homme Richard. I kept it for many years and modified it often by adding various vehicles and armaments from other models.

Sticking Point

I built that B-24 model sometime in the '50s. Revell kits had great detail and lots of little parts. But the most difficult part was keeping the glue from fogging the clear plastic pieces. I was seldom successful at that.

Painstakingy painting the pilot was a useless effort when the canopy became a blurry mess.

You Rang My Bell

In the pile on the right I see Miss Frances and her bell on a box of something good from Ding Dong School, a popular TV program when I was a lad in the 1950s. I will readily admit I was bigger fan of Winky Dink and Buffalo Bob who was great fun with his buddy Howdy Doody.

My Forrestal

Came 2 years and one week later, I think, on my 10th birthday.

Lucky Kermy!

Not only did Kermy (who appears to be a year or so older than I am) get some nifty gifts, I envied anyone who could put those models together nicely. God knows I tried, but my models looked thrown together. That's because they were; I wanted to do them in an hour. Some of my friends would have great model airplanes hanging on fishing line from their bedroom ceilings; that was so cool!!!

I remember reading the Sand Dune Pony book, though I preferred the Hardy Boys or Tom Swift, Junior.

Kermy's shirt is pretty stylin', too!

That lucky old Kermy!!!

The book

is Sand Dune Pony by Troy Nesbit.

Kermy

always got the coolest stuff for Christmas!

Revell models on the scene

There are a total of five Revell model boxes visible here. The other model kit hiding below the USS Forrestal carrier kit's box is a B-24 Liberator. There's the Piasecki H-16 helicopter kit and behind the boy there's a couple more models: an A3D Skywarrior model on top and a P2V-7 Neptune model below it. Images of all these boxes can be found here.

The third model

is the box scale (about 1/92 in this case) Revell B-24 Liberator. I have lusted mightily for that one for some years. Ah, nostalgia!

All these kits command prices far in excess of what Kermy's folks had to lay out. One dealer (known for high prices) lists the Forrestal at over $200. Nostalgia at a price.

I remember building that same model carrier

as well as the helicopter kit beneath it. Brings back vivid memories of those days, with scattered kit parts and the pungent smell of Revell glue (readily sold to kids back then) permeating my bedroom. How I never got high, nor developed an affinity for that glue stuff, amazes me to this day. The chemicals probably killed off a few brain cells along the way, but boy, those kits were fun and launched your imagination!

B-24

The third model is a B-24 Liberator.

B-24 Liberator

The Revell model under the carrier

The helicopter that wasn't

Hiding underneath the Forrestal box is another for a Piasecki H-16 Transporter helicopter. The model never made it to full production after the second prototype crashed during evaluation by the Air Force. Unfortunately, I can't see enough of the third box to identify the model.

Shopping Center game

I bought that at an estate sale a couple years back. There are some pictures of it here.

Loot aplenty

The two additional Revell boxes promise many happy hours inhaling glue fumes.

And a pair of spiffy red boots in the bargain!

Revell aircraft carrier model

Some time in the mid-sixties, I put together an aircraft carrier model like that, though not so large. The icing on the cake was gluing the dozens of tiny aircraft to the deck. (I had two younger brothers, so everything had to be glued down.)

Fun for ALL Non-Toxic

says one gift, and I wonder if he really completed that aircraft carrier with its 23,000 parts.

 
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