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James Ridgeway

'Mr. Ridgeway first rose to national prominence after writing

“Car Design and Public Safety” for The New Republic in 1964,
documenting a rising tide of deaths and injuries from crashes in
flawed American cars. His main source was an as-yet unknown Ralph
Nader, whose book “Unsafe at Any Speed” was published a year later. It
singled-out the Chevrolet Corvair as particularly unsafe.

'Neither the Ridgeway article nor the Nader book made a big
splash at first. But after the book appeared, another New Republic
article by Mr. Ridgeway disclosed that General Motors had hired
detectives to dig up dirt to discredit Mr. Nader as well as
prostitutes who had failed to lure him into compromising
situations. That news made national headlines.

'An outraged Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff, Democrat of
Connecticut, called a Senate hearing, and G.M.‘s president, James
Roche, admitted to the misdeeds and apologized to Mr. Nader, who went
on to become an overnight hero of the consumer movement. His book shot
to the top of best-seller lists, and Congress enacted the National
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966, empowering the
government to set and enforce new vehicular and traffic safety
standards.’


I liked my Corvair.

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I had a friend with a corvair in high school. We decided to paint houses for extra money. 6 am he picks me up, we tie my ladder to his on the roof of the car and take off. Had to stop for a train, and when the gate went up ripped off the ladders. Got on to the highway and some dropcloth had gotten into the latch for the hood, as the engine is in the rear. The hood flew off knocked off the ladders and we had to hustle to get the ladders off the highway. Fat Frank and I had many fun adventures. We threw the hood in the bushes to pick up later, put everything in the back seat and drove to the house. It had a high pitched gable, and trim on the peak of the roof, so I got the trim job. Such a steep roof I sat with one leg on each side of the roof and painted my way backwords, and I swear there was a squirrel that came by and looked at me like what are you nuts?

So our ladders would not reach the peak, and Frank says lets tie the ladders together. Fat Frank says ok get up there. I said no way. Fat frank says fine I’ll do it and still could not reach the peak. So he tied a paint brush to a stick and made it to the top, but ended up with a lot of white paint drops on the roof below. An oh shit moment.

In his wisdom about 9 am he went to the auto parts store to pick up some spray paint to cover the paint drops on the red roof, and picked up a six pack of beer. The rest of the day fairly uneventful. My corvair story, thanks for listening.

Well actually you can buy an attachment to an extension pole to hold a brush or a roller. I have used both in trying to reach the upper soffet portions. Yeah my ladder is not high enough either but I got smart this year and hired it.

About 1966, pre-Corvair time, my folks had just built a house. Black roof, blue siding, and white trim. The contractor had mounted a cupola on the roof though and it was copper color. So I got up there to paint the thing to match the house. Yeah, tipped over the white paint on the black roof. having some black paint too, I just painted over the white on the roof with black. I don’t think I ever told anyone and never noticed the white showing through either.

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