Cal Worthington 1920 – 2013

Cal Worthington And His Dog Spot

Some names we recall from the past are less notable for lofty accomplishments than simply for having always been around; for serving as permanent cultural and chronological markers throughout our lives.

Most of you will not even know the name Cal Worthington.

But to grow up as a young kid in 1950s and 1960s California was to be constantly entertained by Cal Worthington, an owner of numerous car dealerships and early master of personality-driven, novelty car dealership advertising.

As much as anyone, he and fellow California car-hustler Ralph Williams, developed the whole concept of the high pressure car dealer in the 1950s and, if the hustle was extreme, so was the entertainment value and the ever-present gifts and snacks to occupy the kids while Mom and Dad were overpaying for a gas-guzzling Dodge.

I can’t help myself: I remember him fondly. Maybe it was the cotton candy and hot dogs.

Cal passed away this week.

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