Sharing the Past

I received another email from Chuck’s son, John Coffman, today.  To my delight he sent some more photos of the ’56 when it was a big part of life in the Coffman family.  He has given his generous permission to post some in the blog.

Here’s one of the 1946 Chrysler New Yorker that was the first family tow vehicle.  They were built like tanks back then.

Here’s one of Chuck in Olympia, WA, in 1968.

I love these two of Kate in McAllen, TX first in 1969 then 1973.  Take a look at the awning in both shots. That is not a Zip Dee.  It is a roll-up type rope and pole awning John made for his parents from rubberized nylon. Pretty awesome.  Notice in the second shot the 1965 Chrysler that is now the tow vehicle.  How cool is that!And there’s one of the Leg-o-Matic chairs right behind Kate.

This is Chuck with a New Guinea bean in 1970.  Check out the graphics.The same peel-n-stick lettering that is on Elvis today, but the Oklahoma state outline that was once there is now missing.  This shot also told me that what I thought was a heavy-duty full size flag pole holder on the tongue was actually used to hold the TV antenna.

Here’s one at their home in Ponca City with their travel buddies who own the Yellowstone trailer, also a classic.

Here’s Chuck relaxing beside the Airstream in Canada. And this is John with a mess of freshly caught fish while camping with his Mom and Dad in Canada.  To John I send much gratitude for sharing this trailer’s fascinating history.  The Coffman’s owned the trailer for 37 years. John worked many hours maintaining, upgrading, and repairing this Airstream for his Dad.  Without his work, the trailer may not have survived the eight years of sitting unused before I found it.

Next month I’ll be going to Trailer Buff to meet again with Dave and Martha Makel.  Can’t wait! Hopefully, by May restoration will have begun. I’ve been gathering thoughts and ideas on everything from subfloor materials (Nyloboard maybe??)  to solar panels to countertops.  I’ll start posting more on those things soon.There are four main goals that will influence the restoration of Elvis:

  • Keep it lightweight — Like Wally Byam said, “Ounces make pounds
  • Design for energy efficiency
  • Use green building materials whenever possible
  • Preserve the vintage look and feel while incorporating updated technology and design


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