Found: Martha Wright, Your Packard Girl

I just got off the phone with Martha Wright, an actress who had her own TV show sponsored by Packard over the Summer of 1954.

Recently, I purchased a recording off of eBay featurng Martha and Packard Sales Manager C.E. Briggs. I also have a vinyl record of 1954 radio commercials featuring Martha.

I started wondering if Martha Wright was still alive, and I started investigating. Thanks to a gentleman named Harlan Conti, I found her!

Martha remembers her Packard experience as Your Packard Girl on radio and TV. She got the job right after she closed the Rogers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific on Broadway after taking over for Mary Martin. (She was handpicked by R & H personally to succeed Martin.)

Martha remembers the Packard Caribbean that the company gave her, and she'll tell you all about it in the podcast I'm going to record on December 5th. (She even said she'd dig around through some photo albums to find some Packard publicity photos that she has from that time.)

Stay tuned!

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

I judge books by their covers. (I'm shallow that way.)

And if the cover of Richard Peck's book A Season of Gifts is any indication, I'm going to like it. It's the first kids' book I've ever seen with a green 1950 Nash Airflyte on the cover. (Statesman or Ambassador? They're both long enough to strap a Christmas tree to.)

I'm not going to reveal the plot, but one section of the book is like a walk through an orphan car parking lot.
Richard Peck book cover

Exhibit A: The Pickle. The description: "The steering on a 1950 Nash is loose as a goose, and the hood's as big as an aircraft carrier." (Couldn't be more true if it was a police report.)

Exhibit B: on page 135, Miss Flora Shellabarger owns a 1942 Packard Clipper. (Miss Shellabarger has good taste and good sense. She's not strapping any Christmas trees to the top of her car.)

Exhibit C: Roscoe Burdick's DeSoto on page 98.

Exhibit D: the homecoming queen's float is built on a 1932 Hupmobile sedan.

I didn't see any illustrations other than the cover Nash, but I love the fact that Peck has excellent taste when it comes to orphans.

The book is available online and in bookstores now.