Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ron's Olds - A memory from Eric

I knew Ron Noe when I was in High school. He was a good guy. We had the same Auto mechanics course taught by Mr. Charles Schaler, a very capable instructor who I wish I could meet up with today (but has thus far alluded my Google searches.)

Anyway Ron was a Senior and I was a lowly Sophomore. He had this wonderful 1940's or 1950's Oldsmobile that he'd inherited from his Grandfather, and he worked on it periodically in the auto shop class at the same time that I was trying to coax my dad's '58 Volkswagen back to life.

Ron's car was big and heavy and ugly, but had a lot of character. Our days in auto shop were in the fall - winter of '73 and the winter- spring of '74, just before the Arab oil embargo, and gas was still cheap. This was a good thing because a '50s Oldsmobile needed a lot of gas. Some wiseguy coined the name "The Noe-mobile" which was the name of a 1967 Disney movie called "The Gnome Mobile", and occasionally, at the sight of the car driving through the overhead door of the classroom, someone would burst into rousing song with the movie's theme which went something like -

"The Gnome (Noe) mobile the Gnome mobile
Riding along in the Gnome mobile
Oh what a wonderful sight to see
Riding along in the Gnome mobile"

You get the picture.... it was stupid but pretty funny, given the unique nature of the car at the time and the fact that we'd all been about 9 years old when the movie came out.
So one winter day in January, the parking lot just behind our shop class was slick, icy and cold. Ron had his Olds and another kid had an '57 Chevy pick up truck. They decided to have a pushing contest to see which could out-push the other on the slick surface of the lot. We all lined up inside the (heated) shop and watched with amusement through the window, as the two vehicles locked bumpers and proceeded to gun the engines; it looked like two raging buck's going head to head in a mating battle. Ron's Old's would get the edge on the pick up truck, only to have the truck push him backward across the ice. This went on for five minutes and we cheered them on.... even Mr. Schaler, who was seldom amused by anything, was standing there smiling at the action.

I don't remember who won the contest but it was great to watch, and the nearest thing we'd ever seen to an all out demolition derby. I don't know what happened to the car and lost touch with Ron after he graduated high school.

I hope that this post will bring a smile & good memory to Ron's loved ones, he sure was a lot of fun to know as a high school senior and you have my sincere condolences on the loss of this great & fun person.
With best regards,
Eric R. Thompson

1 comment:

Justin Noe said...

I enjoyed reading this. It did bring a smile to my face, thank you for sharing this about my father.