Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Smoke Rise East Gate

The Smoke Rise East GateKim Vawter's article about Smoke Rise Relic: Car Badge generated comments from Jim Rohrer and Herb Fisher about the Smoke Rise East Gate and the car badge.

Jim Rohrer wrote:

Ah yes, the car badge. Growing up in Smoke Rise in the 50s and 60s I remember them well. Wish I still had one.

The East Gate was the main gate for many years. There was a family who lived there and they were responsible for operating the gate 24/7. 

I don't think that lasted very long before the club hired shift workers to operate the gate. Many of those workers were SR residents (college kids, etc.- myself included).

At the time, there was only one road, very narrow, entering and exiting the East Gate. Also the gate was operated by turning a large wheel almost like a sailing vessel. It took some real muscle to open and close the gate. It wasn't always electric operated.

Not sure when the North Gate was built but I do remember the Sales office was there for the SR Club. 

Many men commuted to NYC by bus. They parked in the parking lot on the hill on the right as you exit the North Gate. Is the lot still there?
Welcome to Smoke Rise
Herb Fisher said,

Yes, I remember the "Badge" as Kim calls it. Actually, if my memory serves me correctly, that would be a 2nd generation badge.

I remember in 1960 or so my dad traded the 57 auto for a brand new one. He was very angry with himself after several months, because he forgot to take the SR "badge" off that trade in.

The "badge(s)" were the equivalent of today's SR sticker. It was attached thru the front grill. Honored at either gate, you got one.... you live in the RISE.

Second, he was fuming because the originals were a machine stamped disk of metal, the letters, the Chapel, etc were raised then hand painted. They were actual works of art. A metal threaded rod was centered welded to the rear of the disk. Rod was then inserted thru the grill and secured with a large washer and wing nut from the inside of the engine compartment/grill. Remember EVERYTHING was metal back then, not cheapo plastic.

I know I do not have one of those. I wish I could find a picture of one of Herb's early Cadillacs with a frontal view. It would clearly be displayed.

Thank you, Jim and Herb, for sharing these great details!

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