On this day in 1922 my marvelous mom was born. For those of you who don’t know me, you will now have an idea what I look like.
I wasn’t going to show this photo until next July 15th, but who knows what will be happening then.
I used to call her Mamaleh, Yiddish for “Little Mother.” Some pronounce it Mamalah.
She used to call me Tataleh, Yiddish for “Little Father.” She often said I reminded her of her father, my grandfather. Americans take relationships with their grandparents for granted, but I never knew any of mine. They all died during World War II.
In fact, my existence is a very low probability event. My mother and her parents fled their Polish village (shtetl) mere days before the
Nazis burned it to the ground. My mother said her father’s intelligence saved their lives as he knew what was happening and what would happen if they had stayed.
Of course, my father watched his family murdered by
Nazi troops. You don’t want to know how he survived. Like I wrote, it’s basically a fluke that I am even here.
This is the 18th birthday that my mother has missed. Sad and most sobering is the reality that she will miss every birthday for the rest of time. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that will be everyone’s fate, eventually.
I am sometimes guilty of wallowing in self-pity as my life lacks the level of engagement I enjoyed for many years. We are all products of expectations and the status quo. In comparison to what my parents experienced, many of the “problems” faced by Americans are not problems, at all. I guess that applies to me, too.
In 1922, American car production rose sharply from less than 1.5 million in 1921 to almost 2.3 million. A brief, but severe recession affected most of the world from 1920 through mid-1921. I won’t bore you with economic data.
Of course, the Ford Model T was the most popular car in the US in 1922 with more than 1.1 million units sold. Obviously, that means the Model T accounted for about half of all cars sold in America.
What was the number two make? It was Dodge, which edged out Chevrolet. At this point, Dodge was not part of Chrysler Corporation. At this point, Walter Chrysler had just acquired a controlling interest in the Maxwell Motor Company and the business that still bears his name was still a few years in the future.
According to the great work, standard catalog of® of American Cars, 1805-1942, Dodge had two series of cars in 1922 and no separate production breakout exists by model. The best laid plans of mice and men…I had intended to show a photograph of the best-selling Dodge model for 1922. So, from Old Cars Weekly a picture of a 1922 Dodge roadster:
For 1922 Dodge automobiles were powered by an L-head inline 4-cylinder engine displacing 212 cubic inches and producing…wait for it…24 horsepower. Bumpers, both front and rear, were optional. The cars had two-wheel mechanical brakes. The Series 1 roadster was priced at $935, the Series 2 at $850. In 1921 Dodge priced its roadster at $1,235 and the reduction in price for 1922 was caused by the severe recession, which was quite deflationary. The Series 1 price for 1922 “converts” to about $15,000 in 2021 dollars.
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8 thoughts on “Happy 99!”
Happy birthday Mamaleh! I remember the first time I had her stuffed cabbage!
Watched a video last night of a guy documenting the fastest SUVs. Not sure why one would want an SUV that went 0-60 in 3 seconds. The car business these days seems geared towards a niched market. Why can’t Nissan restomod the 240/280Z with today’s mechanics?
Many thanks, Doc.
Government regulations play a large role in automotive design and engineering. Ever stricter emissions standards are going to kill the Hellcat engine, for example. It will be up to individuals to restomod the early Z cars.
Great picture of your Mom and yes, an incredible resemblance.
Pictures of moms are always welcome. The world should hear and know more stories like your parents’ to help us avoid a recurrence of those horrors. Sadly critical thinking and the teaching of history are in short supply. Stuffed cabbage is also always welcome.
Recent Federal legislation and regulations are allowing the production of short run classics. Some of the major manufacturers are licensing a few of their classic designs so we may see the appearance of classic body styles on new chassis and power trains. Time and prudent investment will make these happen.
Thanks, Philip. Sadly, I don’t think sharing stories such as my parents’ experiences will make a difference in this world of ignorance fueled by “social media.”
As I recall, George Bailey drove an old Dodge Brothers car in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, something close to that vintage I think.
I’ll have to take your word for it, Mark, as I have never seen that movie. I may have been physically raised in the US, but culturally I was not.
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