Christmas Lights 1953 In A ’50 Ford Woody

(c) LGC Leo G Campbell 12/24/2020

Christmas Lights 1953 In A ’50 Ford Woody

Christmas Lights 1953 In A ’50 Ford Woody

We went, in late December 1953 when it was nearly dark, to drive around east Portland – view the Christmas lights. Part of those times- not much vehicle traffic in wintertime, after dark. The economy was tight.

The Whites’ family had 8 kids, and a 1950 Ford V8 station wagon, that had genuine wood panels on the sides. Two adults plus small child, in the front seats, 8 kids (me included as guest) in the 2 rows of back seats.

We went To Candy Cane Lane first, a long single block, on the west side of Mount Tabor. Every house had strings of multi=color lights, and we drove slowly past every one. Turned around, we did the review again, our car singing Christmas carols out the windows.

Mount Tabor is an extinct volcano, which the city fathers discovered… in 1915. Portland was founded about 1850… took them 65 years… to find a large volcano, within the city’s rough boundaries. Close Enough For Government Work.

Peacock Lane, over by Laurelhurst Park, was next, more elaborate. It was over two blocks long, with big light schemes on the houses, and reindeer, and Santa figures, all over on the lawns. Laurelhurst was a good land development in 1914… a farmer sold his 840 acres, to a developer named Coe who turned farmland into a large city park, with a small lake/pond. Today, Laurelhurst is filled with million dollar houses mostly built 1915 – 1925.

In 1953, aluminum 6 foot Christmas trees were very popular – and were always placed in a picture window for display to the outside world. Often, only one color of ornaments would be on the silvery tree, lit up brightly by a spotlight underneath the artificial tree.

Our group switched away from Christmas songs, for old folk songs… I forget the song, but one line was, “…And The Grandfather Clock Stopped, Never To Go Again, When The Old Man Died.”

Another song the girls liked, was “Scarlet Ribbons”, with “…Scarlet Ribbons For Her Hair”.

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