Pretty weird to be reading classiccars.com, scroll down through the stories and see a photo taken in 1962 of myself and my fellow members of “The Velveteens.” I don’t even remember sending this to this website but someone did, so here it is!
Funny, this was taken during a Christmas Parade in Riviera Beach, Florida, right after ‘The Polio Telethon’ on Channel 5 WPTV at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse, Palm Beach in 1961-62. Seated in Bill’s, near new 1958 Ford Fairlane Skyliner are Toni Marrotta, Ellie Strong (behind my arm), Mike Wood to the right, and myself, waving to the crowds after winning first place in the telethon.
I remember this well because a young, attractive girl named Billie Jean Keene, a ballet dancer, was our top competitor. Quite a feat for a “deaf and dumb” girl.
We had a newly formed doo-wap quartet group with two back-up electric guitarists and quickly learned, maybe, three songs before appearing on the telethon. It was a dead-heat in voting but, we finally triumphed in the end with the most votes and most money collected.
First prize was a travel alarm clock, a $50 gift certificate, a trip to the Bahamas and a sweater from a Worth Ave. Boutique. (Tough to divide amongst four winners — LOL). The girls fought over the sweater, we divided the $50 six ways, to include the guitarists, and I think I got the leather covered travel alarm.
I do remember the car as Bill S. (driving), a boyfriend or relative of Ellie’s, offered its use for the parade. The hardtop disappeared into the trunk and was quite the mechanical marvel for its time. Ford would offer this unique boxy-looking car one more year and then drop the idea until the Continental convertible came out by Lincoln in 1961 with a fully retractable soft top was built on the same concept.
I would like to brag the photo was taken by a groupie but actually it was snapped by my (proud) Mother standing in front of Knights Pharmacy on U.S. 1 in Riviera Beach.
You can imagine how excited we were to win. Looking back now….. these were the Good Old Dayz ! Thanks ClassicCars.com!
— Kerry Bogard, Palm Beaches, FL