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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

The Brick Buick: 1949

The Brick Buick: 1949

My sister and brother in a 1949 photo, on Second Avenue in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Not many years later, at 16, I demolished this Buick (and please take notes if you'd like to demolish a Buick) skidding on wet streetcar tracks -- too much speed might have been involved -- and nailing a brick porch next door to Sacred Heart Convent on Sixth Avenue. A woman appeared (the Madonna?), shouting "You've wrecked!" and because a few more bricks were thudding onto the hood, I said, "I believe I'm still wrecking." View full size.

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Indeed! Altoona was my mom's hometown when her family came to the United States (my granddad had a job with the Pennsy Railroad) before she moved to Buffalo to study nursing. Both my aunts and their husbands were buried out of Sacred Heart and one of them (and my grandparents) lived in a house on 2nd Avenue.

I was going to say that in addition to speed and trolley tracks, the hills in that burg might have contributed to your wreck as well (Altoona had some GREAT sledding hills in the winter) but a quick look at the Google street view disabused me of that notion.

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