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Delfeld & Son: 1954

Delfeld & Son: 1954

May 1954. "High school football player Paul Delfeld, 17, of North Dallas, Texas, helping father at plumbing business. Other photos show Delfeld attending high school classes; practicing football with teammates; playing in game; working at ice cream parlor; attending various social functions with girlfriend Janelle Gibson and other teenagers." Medium format negative from photos taken for the Look magazine assignment "High School Hero." View full size.


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Thats my Dad and Grandpa

That's a staged pic behind their house for a Look magazine article that featured my Dad and his football talent. That man could do anything on or off the field! He gave us the best of everything in life regardless of what it took and I think of him daily. I remember working with him as a kid and growing up learning so many things that I'm passing on to my kids today. I can only hope I keep trying to model myself after him. If you knew him you would understand.

Here are some pics I have from his football days.


I showed this photo to my mother-in-law who grew up in North Dallas. She remembers the Delfelds as their family's plumber during the 40s and 50s.

Arrangement of picture

Equal red Ridgid three-way pipe threaders are still used. But as every plumber can see, young Paul works at wrong, opposite side of tube, it is always easier to use your own weight and push tool down than lift the handle up.

And there was the Depot Hack

The name has changed, eventually known as the station wagon, replaced by the van, mini van, and SUV. As a lover of antique cars and hot rods I have a 1955 Chevy wagon known as a Handyman wagon and a 1948 Chevy 1/2 ton panel truck. The panel truck is basically a 1/2 ton pickup truck with a box. Some call them a large sedan delivery. The station wagons and deliveries sit on a car chassis.

The station wagon, especially those like my Handyman wagon served as a family car and a work vehicle by many who couldn't afford both. With side windows that often rolled down, the whole family could enjoy nature as they traveled, unlike the sedan deliveries. Both are on the common car chassis. There are variations of both. Some government deliveries and panel trucks had side windows and several types of rear hatches.

My 1955 Chevy 2-dr wagon served in small town America, also as a plumbers truck, for what seems many years before I saved it from a hot rodder planning on making it more of an off road toy. Far from original now, I recreated my own idea of a mini van. We've been using it for show and go since late 1989.

Silver 8 Streak

Identifies a base trim level 1950 Pontiac Chieftain.

Gridiron star back in the 50s

In 1953 Paul Delfeld was an all-state high school running back. A personable guy, Delfeld gained 1,078 yards for an 8.8 yard average and led the state in scoring with 23 touchdowns. His career ended with a leg injury. He played a little college football, then went into the family plumbing business. “He loved to play football,” says Rufus Hyde, Paul’s coach. “You sure like to coach a boy like that.”

Sedan Delivery, Part 2

In addition to what damspot stated, in New York State, you had to have a more expensive license to drive a pickup or delivery truck than a simple operator's license. For a "kid" (under twenty-one) to get one was a real pain in the behind. Nowadays, the two levels have been merged (although motorcycle licenses were separated) at the higher rate.

Sedan delivery

Some places had high licence fees for truck chassis, but the normal rate applied to the car-based sedan delivery. I also believe that certain places didn't allow trucks to frequent every street, thus putting a crimp in the plumbers, painters and even flower and grocery delivery people's ability to conduct business.
The hotrodder of today would like the delivery, but the smaller panels aren't shunned now either.

Like Father, Like Son

Paul grew up to be the spitting image of his dad. They look like twins

Lead melting Furnace

On the ground by the father's feet. Melted lead by day and fried fish on the weekends.

Sedan Delivery

The vehicle being used for this plumbing business is a 1940 Chevrolet sedan delivery, which is based on the car chassis. More common for that type of business would have been the larger "panel truck" which was based on the sturdier truck chassis. That sedan delivery would be a very valuable candidate for todays street rod builder.

Threading pipe

I see they are threading galvanized pipe. Not a fun thing to do by hand. You can see how much torque he has to put on that thing to do the job. They have motorized threaders these days, but if you aren't careful with them, you can break a wrist.

Soldering copper pipe or gluing PVC together makes things so much easier these days.

Paul N. Delfeld 1936-2011

Paul graduated from North Dallas High School in 1955 and went on to run the family business. He didn't marry Janelle, but a young lady named Henrietta. He died Sept. 8, 2011, at age 74. Henrietta predeceased him after 45 years of marriage. They were survived by four children.

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