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My First Car: '53 Ford Fairlane, Arlene R. Stern, 77, Tampa

'53 Ford Fairlane

Our first car was this beautiful, new 1953 two-tone green Ford Fairlane, priced at a little less than $2,000. That's me leaning on the car. We had moved to Baltimore immediately after getting married on Aug. 10, 1952. I was working as a teletype operator for the U.S. Corps of Engineers, making $55 a week. My new husband was a graduate assistant at Johns Hopkins University, getting a fellowship of $875 a year. Even with this meager income, our application for a 24-month loan was approved by a local banker. We proved him right, by paying off the loan without missing or being late for a single payment. And in the following 57 years, we have taken our obligations just as seriously. Currently, I drive a MINI Cooper convertible and my husband drives a Hyundai, but we will always remember that beautiful and reliable first car, which, among other things, drove us through a blizzard to the hospital in January 1956 for the birth of our first child, Paul.

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My First Car: '53 Ford Fairlane, Arlene R. Stern, 77, Tampa 04/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 17, 2010 1:40am]
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