The Fifties Were Cool


Vesta Irene of vestairene.com taking a picture.


Here’s a shot of Vesta, camera in hand. In this shot she’s just taken a picture of the red ‘52 Chevy that’s in my next photo. If you want to see her shot, you’ll have to go to her FB page.

Here she’s shooting with a fast nifty-fifty. And I took this picture with a nifty-fifty on my camera. There’s something to be said about fast glass, both lenses are f1/4. Of course, there’s no zooming, but I guess that’s what feet are for.


A red 1952 Chevy.


And here’s that Chevy I was talking about in my last photo. I had a 1954 Chevy way back when with a 53 front end on it. My dad bought the car for me and my brother from a friend of his for twenty-five bucks. I was sixteen, John was fifteen. I remember driving it home from L.A. to Lakewood.

This car reminded my of that old Chevy. That car had an electrical problem that drained the battery deader than those turkeys that the big guy (Gordon Jump) dropped out of that helicopter. I used to go down to the supermarket on Bellflower and South Street and get a new Sunpower battery every other week, because they had a thirty-day warranty.

I remembered the scorching summer days in our backyard, John and I taking the front end off that car and putting on the ‘53 front end we’d bought at a junkyard. But damn, if I couldn’t remember why we did that. So I called him up and asked and he said, without missing a beat, “You were taking Carol Hamilton to school, ran a stop sign and broadsided some son-of-bitch.”

And all of sudden it all came back. Me and Carol in the front seat. Me trying to get a peek down her cleavage, which was deep as a jungle, not looking where I was driving. Didn’t see the stop sign.

Naturally, I had no insurance. But I had a dad who had more Marine Corps pals than there are cars in L.A. He called up a guy he’s served with named Ed Bedis, who owned a body shop and the old guy I hit was fine with Ed’s work.


Vesta Irene of vestairene.com standing next to a red 1952 Chevy.


Here’s a picture of Vesta in front of the ‘52 Chevy. So, how come I had Carol in the front seat of my Chevy and not Vesta. Well, that’s because she was dating my friend Art Lapre' who introduced me to her. Carol was Vesta’s friend and you know how it goes when you’re in high school. You date around, meet your friend’s girls, they meet yours. Somehow, Vesta and I got together and we stayed together. So, if you’re reading this, Art. Thanks.


A red 1952 chevy. Photo by Ken Douglas.


When I was in high school, having flames on your car was the coolest thing. It still is.

Ken Douglas Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529