Mr. Bearse

Springfield, Massachusetts, was a city of firsts.  It was home of the U.S. Springfield Armory where the military’s rifles were developed and manufactured.  It was the place where someone hung peach baskets with the bottom’s cut out of them and started the first game of basketball.

It was also the only place outside of England that Roll-Royce cars were ever manufactured. 

In 1919 Rolls-Royce of America was incorporated in Springfield, Massachusetts.  In 1920 the first cars were being produced.  Nearly 3000 cars were manufactured until the Depression killed the colonial outpost of this brand.

When I was a young lad and going to elementary school we would be visited a couple of times a week by an old gentleman who was there to teach us physical education.  He would arrive in a large black Buick Roadmaster from the late 1930’s and be dressed in a business suit.  He would lead us through many a class continuing to wear his suit.  He was known to us as Mr. Bearse.

To us he was an old gentleman that dressed formally and guided us through sports and excercise, but in the 1920’s he was a college student in Springfield, Massachusetts.

While he was going to college he landed a job with the Roll-Royce company.  He didn’t work on the manufacturing line or in the sales office.  No, he had the enviable job of putting on the first 500 miles on Springfield Ghosts or Phantoms. 

Since every Roll-Royce was broken in for the new owner someone had to drive the first 500 miles and Mr. Bearse had that job.  What a time it must have been to be a college student that drove a new Rolls-Royce to class every day. 

What a chick magnet.

 1930-springfield-rolls.jpg

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