Ed Harding, My Dad
Dennis Harding, RLACEI Board Member
My dad, Ed Harding, and I have a number of things in common. We both had City of L.A. Street Maintenance careers, holding many of the same job titles (in different eras, of course) as we promoted up through the ranks, both of us retiring from the same Division Head position.
We also shared the love of the automobile, but, whereas I have owned only a few cars over the years, Dad has owned literally hundreds of cars from the 1930s to the 2000s. He fell in love with just about every car that was ever made; every year he would bring home a new and different model car, forsaking the previous one for a new love. He would also fall in love with old cars that would cross his path from time to time, bringing them home to savor them and to remember the good times from whence they came. But then, as he would find a different old car, he was apt to sell the former one for the “newer” one. This he did countless times.
The most remarkable thing about Dad was his complete knowledge of cars; he knows almost everything there is to know about each one of them. For example, he can tell you the year and model of every car ever made until the 1980s, when the style of every car looked a lot like all the others. For example, he can tell you the subtle differences between a 1942 Chevy Fleetmaster (pictured below) and a 1946 model, and the difference between a 1947 and a 1948 model. And he can do that with just about any older make and model car.
Dad’s love for cars is a true and complete kind of love, and it continues though he no longer drives. But that doesn’t matter, for he sees cars as we might see a beautiful sunset, something magnificent to behold.