Saturday, August 08, 2009

"C'mon, Who Do You Think You Are? Barney Oldfield?" An Ozarks Connection?

When I was a kid growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, my brothers and I often spent summer weekends at my grandparents' cabin on the Big River outside of House Springs, MO. This cabin was the original "B's Nest".

My grandfather drove slow. He owned a 1948 Chevrolet sedan (this was the car I learned to drive in) and everytime someone would pass him on highway 30 (at that time a narrow two lane highway with lips on the shoulder) he would holler at the passing driver, "C'mon, who do you think you are? Barney Oldfield?"

For whatever reason, my brothers and I thought that remark was riotous.

I knew Barney Oldfield as a race car driver in the Indianapolis 500 who raced with a stogie stuck in his mouth (probably so he wouldn't bite his tongue off, the way he drove). (Incidently, one of our Mother's cousins fielded a car in several Indy 500s in the late 1950s. I have pictures of him and his car somewhere. When I find them, I will post them. Or maybe 6 has them in which case we will never see them.)

What I didn't know was that Barney Oldfield had a cousin, also named Barney Oldfield who not only built the car pictured below, he may have toured the Ozarks in that same car! From the website about the car, The Spirit Of Tomorrow:

This shot looks like it was taken in the Ozarks. Basil met many friends in many places during his travels. I wish that I knew who this man was.

1 comment:

longrooffan said...

bus--I saw both of these posts over at Hemmings also. Pretty interesting, at least to me.

And like Alphonse, I say the same thing but I insert Mario Andretti for Barney Oldfield. I never knew he did until now!!

thanks for sharing.