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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Cave of the Winds: 1963

Cave of the Winds: 1963

June 1963. A tourist stop in Manitou Springs, Colorado, with mineral water springs and all the usual "souvenirs." Captured on 35mm Kodachrome by my great-uncle Herbert F. Krahn of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. View full size.

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Was There, Then

I could have been riding by when this picture was taken. I was 5 and in the back of one of my dad's cherished Buicks, reading Scholastic Books that kindly teacher Mrs. Hanks had loaned me for the long trip from Ohio. I had some Silver Surfer and Sgt. Rock comics that I read over and over too, often sitting on the floor in the back in a tent made of a beach towel held up by tucking the edge behind my parents' backs. Dad had a job interview in Denver, so he and Mom made a trip out of it. We also drove through the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore on that trip. I remember the pine smell and the friendly chipmunks. He didn't get the job.

A matter of taste

My father had a 1960 Mercury Monterey just like this, even the same color. It was about 4 years old by the time he acquired it. My brother and I thought it about the ugliest car ever built. I have to admit I still feel pretty much the same over 50 years later. I guess it's a matter of taste though, my father liked it, as he did just about anything else built by Ford.

Not the best purchase

My father bought that exact white 1960 Mercury Monterey new when I was 18. A huge slow beast based on the Lincoln unibody. Not a teenager's favorite, to say the least.

[Mercurys of this era used body-and frame construction and were not based on the unit-body Lincolns. - Dave]

Oh Google

Funny that Google automatically blurred out the face of the statue of the Indian chief in the Google Maps picture, to protect the privacy of the statue, I guess!

The Trading Post and the Mineral Spring

If you zoom out a little and view to the right on the Google Map posted by John Howard, you can see the remains of the Trading Post souvenir shop and the statue of the Ute Chief that dispensed the spring water. Here's what they looked like in 1963.

The charm is missing

At some point, the road less travelled was given an arch less inspiring.

That's a 1953 Cadillac Fleetwood

Seven-passenger series 75 in the foreground. I have the same model in a '51 which I've been trying to restore for 24 years. In the background is a 1960 Mercury, or there's a slight outside chance it could be a 1960 Canadian Monarch. If only I could read the script on the right rear fender. Both are magnificent automobiles.

[The Mercury is a Monterey. The 1960 Monarch had different taillight lenses and a crown on the trunk lid. And weren't Series 75 Cadillacs generally advertised as eight- or nine-passenger cars? - Dave]

You're right. They were 8 or 9 passenger cars. I don't know what I was thinking. I should get the thing finished and drive it.

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