Schelley Brown Class of 1977

My Life, or a Small Part of It!

I was born in Ruston on September 23, 1959. I was the first child of Nolen and Omega Huffman Brown. We lived in Dubach for a year which is where my parents are from. My Daddy took a job with Blackburn gas plant which is now Duke Energy in Evergreen. My mother Omega Brown worked at the Webster Parish Library until 1996 when she retired after many years.

I was a 1977 MHS Graduate. Minden High in the Seventies! What more do you need to say. Or better yet what more can you say and get away with it! It was a different era to say the least. I better described it in a story that I recently wrote for The Minute Magazine.
The Dixie Cream to the Dairy Queen

The ruts in the highway back in the early 70’s may not have been just typical Louisiana roads. I’m sure the Shreveport and Homer Road running through Minden was grooved out from a constant circle of teenagers. If we weren’t at the Dixie Cream on the Homer Road we were circling through the Dairy Queen Lot. It was an endless routine of cruising the streets in search of something better to do.
Making the loop used up probably half the nations oil reserve. I would sometimes put several hundred miles in a night on a car and never leave the city limits! You don’t see kids hanging out these days like we did. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. We weren’t sitting in front of a computer or a television that much. The one thing we did watch was something new and we thought sooo… cool. We came home to watch it and then headed back out to continue our gas consumption.

Saturday Night Live (SNL) has been broadcast by NBC nearly every Saturday night since its debut on October 11, 1975. It is one of the longest-running network entertainment programs in American television history. The original (1975-1980) repertory company was called the “Not Ready for Prime-Time Players”. The first cast members were Second City alumni Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner and National Lampoon "Lemmings" alumni Chevy Chase (whose trademark became his usual falls and opening spiel that ushered in the show's opening), Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, and Garrett Morris. The original theme music was written by future Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore, who--along with his "All Nurse Band"--was the original band leader on the show. Paul Shaffer who would go on to lead David Letterman's band on "Late Night" and then "The Late Show," was also band leader in the early years.
One of my favorite shows to catch every now and then is “That Seventies Show” the writers of this show were definitely in tune with that era. They have pretty much captured my life from 1974- until graduation in 1977 from “Dear Ole Minden High”! The seventies were fun and maybe the last of the somewhat innocent era of my life. The seventies were all about having fun and hanging out with friends. We gathered in large groups and we hung out till all hours of the night or early morning.

We went to outdoor music festivals and we never worried how we would get there or get back. We went to every Texas Jam in the Cotton Bowl! We traveled in cars that probably never should have left town. But somehow we usually made it to where we were going and most of the time we made it back on schedule. We loved music and were as comfortable listing to The Rolling Stones as well as Willie, Waylon and the boys. We headed to the Sound Company when we had a little money in our pockets, always in search of that new great album or tape.

It was the beginning of young adulthood for me. It was the beginning of growing up. It was right before I had to get a job and pay for my own gas!

The defination of the seventies from Wikepedia, encyclopedia:

The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive.

Societally, the United States, which had become an influential global power, experienced a significant transition. While the sixties saw social activism, society became more self-absorbed in the seventies. Analyst and writer Tom Wolfe epitomized this feeling in 1976, calling the seventies the "Me Decade." Music became at once more introspective with the singer-songwriter movement and more carefree with the rise of disco music. As the decade continued on, the American world view became apprehensive, with continuing inner-city poverty and rising urban crime rates, the Watergate hearings broadcast on television, and the Vietnam War still fresh in the national memory. Network, arguably one of the decade's most representative films, dealt with narcissism and paranoia as violence escalated in the Middle East and America was crippled by the Oil Shock of 1973. As the economy slipped, the use of recreational drugs increased and many began to fear purported cults such as the Children of God. 1977 saw the launch of the Star Wars phenomenon (although Woody Allen’s introspective Annie Hall shut Star Wars out of the Oscars.) By the end of the decade the feminist movement had helped improve women's working conditions and environmentalism had become a major cause in the United States and Europe.
If you grew up in the Seventies you know where I’m coming from! Some things in Minden are still the same. If you go to the D.Q., Freddie Green still will be a familiar face. Freddie has been with the D.Q. for thirty years! I also love the fact that bell bottom jeans are back! They make you seem thinner! It was the best of times and the worst of times. It was the Seventies!
This story is in the Summer 2006 The Minute Magazine issue.

After high school I had a hard time trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grow up. In fact I may still be having those issues. I have gone from being a cocktail waitress for almost 10 years to selling cars for Harper Motors for almost 8 years. Now I work for the Minute Magazine writing stories and selling ads. This job I must say is enjoyable.

Some of the things that I am or have been involved with are just an extension of my love for antiques. My love of history has gotten me into more than I bargained for at times. I once went to the Old Minden Cemetery and the grass was too high and I thought it was sad. I found out that they had a Minden Cemetery Association and so guess what. I am now on the Minden Cemetery Association Board. I developed what is known as Ghost Walk after seeing a cemetery tour in Natchitoches. John Agan is a huge help with this annual tour. He is the one that researches the people for our scripts. I have been the chairperson for the Christmas Historic District Tour of Homes several years in a row. I became involved with the Historic District after I purchased the Baker home on East and West. Several years ago I sold this home and purchased the Jack Hunter home also on East and West this home was built in 1928 (also the same year as my Ford Model A Roadster). One of the best tour of homes that I ever did I think was the one where I wanted to pay a tribute to our World War II Veterans. That year the tour was on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I invented the Community Sampler in the Park. This was a great event that I wish I could do again. A huge tent was put up in Academy Park, the Community Chorus sang moving songs. The veterans came out in the droves and were so pleased with the production. Area churches brought food to sell and cookbooks to sell. Local authors signed books overall it was a great addition to the tour of homes.
My other love is antique cars. And the following story best describes that hobby.


Cars, Car Clubs and most of all life-long friends!
I have loved cars since before I was able to drive them. My first car was a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain. I later would be fortunate enough to be able to purchase a 1937 Buick Special, 1958 Cadillac and a 1928 Ford Model A Roadster. All of these are great cars but one of the added bonuses that came with most of these cars is the people that I met or became acquainted with because of them.As with most antique and classic car owners we eventually join a car club. This again acquaints all of us with a unique group of people with one common interest the love of old iron. The first club I joined was the Mid-America Old Time Automobile Association (MOTAA) this national car club’s headquarters is located at the Museum of Automobiles on the top of Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas. I wanted to join this club because when I was a kid my parents had taken me to the car museum and this was where the first spark was ignited that later would turn into a full-fledged fire in my heart for old cars and antiques. I was honored in 2005 to be elected to the board of directors of MOTAA! I was amazed and overwhelmed when I was elected to become Jr. Vice President for the 2006 term! Here I now sit on a board with all men that know a whole lot more than I ever hope to know about antique cars. I guess they realized that I do have a true love and appreciation for the history and preservation of the antique automobile even if I can’t change my own oil! I have met some great people and friends through the MOTAA organization. I look forward to all that the next year will hold.

The second club I joined was the Ark-La-Tex Antique and Classic Car Association in Shreveport, La. When I joined this club I had just purchased my 1937 Buick and just wanted to meet a few people and have some fun. Boy was I in for a treat and not only did I meet members of this club I meet hundreds of people from the Ark-La-Tex to boot.

I think when folks join a club they think, ok I’ll go to some meetings drive my car some and that will be about it. It can turn in to a way of life and life-long friends. The first folks I meet and became close to are my friends Ray and Linda Shaw the proud owners of an Model A Ford. Ray and Linda took me under their wing and Ray made sure that I had a trailer and anything else I needed to get to my first car show on Petit Jean Mountain. Ray later helped me purchase a 1928 Ford Roadster that he worked on and got it running and ready all for no charge. Ray is a Model A whiz and the greatest when it comes to wanting to help. He is what being in a car club is all about. People helping people and sharing their knowledge on a particular car with others is why most folks want to join a club.

Going to that first car show was a thrill for me. As I drove thru the judging stand with the Buick I had such an overwhelming feeling of finally making it! To top it off I had a group of friends from the AACCA cheering me on. I also had Mr. Wayne Chance the man that sold me my first car the 1951 Pontiac when I was in high school watching.

The 37 would later go to Senior Car status which I was so proud of. The man that I bought her from Mr. John R. Young from Eunice, Louisiana said he felt like a proud Grandpa. This man has become another friend. He owns 1937 and 1938 Buicks and introduced me to the 1937-1938 Buick Club of America. I would later be honored by this California based club when I was asked if they could publish a story that I had written about my Buick. That meant Olivia and I would be internationally known. This club has many members world-wide and is growing everyday.

Then in 2003 I was asked to serve as vice-president and later stepped into the presidency position of the AACCA until 2006. These last three years I have met so many folks and been involved in so many things from watching a one of a kind car the Bour-Davis come close to completion to creating my own car show the Minden Cruisin’ For a Cure for St. Jude car show in Minden, La.

From car shows to overnight trips and weekend getaways all of these car folks have banded together to form a tight knit family of sorts. We care about each other and when one of us is sick or our car is sick we care. We try to help and sometimes all we can do is just be there for someone. But the important thing is that we all have a common love and that gives us a little bit of happiness. I believe all car club members would agree nothing gives you a since of belonging than when you are going down the road and ahead of you is maybe a 1963 red Corvette with a good friend behind the wheel and when you look in your rearview mirror you see a 1957 Chevy Nomad with two more of your good friends waving at you. When you see a long caravan of antique cars going over a hill in front of you, you just have to smile and thank God for letting you know all of the great folks behind the wheels and in the passenger seats.
If you aren’t a member of a car club look on the internet for a club close to you are give me a call or contact me at iluvoldcars@yahoo.com I’ll try to help you out on the right club for you. You will be making a life changing decision when you join a club! It can turn into a lot more than just a Sunday meeting and a drive or two! Until next time be safe and keep it between the ditches.

 

 Vintage Vacation members of 8 car clubs come together for a trip to Natchitoches, La.

 

 Ladies from the AACCA at the Winnsboro, Texas Model A Tour

 

 My friend Debbie Warner with her Mother’s Day gift a 1963 Corvette!

 

Jefferson, Texas Vintage Vacation and members of many car clubs went on weekend get-away.

 

Aubrie Stahl my niece and an antique car lover!   She is so much like me!

  

Ray and Linda Shaw with my uncle Norman Hanna (some of my travel buddies)

 

1957 Nomad on Vintage Vacation tour

 My 37 Buick Vintage Vacation or Bust!

 

Schelley and Michele Warner (daughter of good friend Debbie)  

I also have a very special man in my life that makes things go a little smoother, and listens to me when I get stressed out.  More on him later!