Today marks the 75th Birthday of one of my dearest child-hood friends -- John Roger Bradley.
John and I shared our teen years together in Beltsville -- he was my idol and best friend. We did everything together -- hanging out after school drinking Cokes and eating Jiffy Time Pop Corn, eating softserve ice cream from Randy's Dari-Delight, building Go karts in his Dad's garage, going to teen club at the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department on Friday afternoon -- everything.
After I got a job at Beltsville Shell, and bought my first Corvette, John soon followed suit -- graduating from his 396 Chevelle to the baddest Corvette of that era -- the 1967 427-435 Stingray Roadster. Like everything in John's life, it was the absolute best. He nicknamed the car "Bad Bascom" and, damn, that car was a monster.
We were still teenagers, racing against all those "men" at the drag strip!
Many years later, when it came time for me to choose a photo to go on the cover of Beltsville Shell, there was never any doubt about the photo I would choose. Nothing came close to the photo above in capturing the real meaning of Beltsville Shell -- lasting friendship -- cool cars -- driving fast -- having fun!
Even though I moved to California 46 years ago, we have remained close friends.
John attended the first Beltsville Shell reunion, and many more since then.
Thank you, John, for a lifetime of memories and friendship.
Happy birthday -- and here's to many more!
Cary May 13, 2022