I Chose The 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 – My Graduation Present (Part)

These are the first three Chapters from the book “I Chose The 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 – My Graduation Present – Book 2: Trips & Rides”.

If you like it I hope you consider ordering it from the Canadian Stories website.

I Chose The 1964 Ford Galaxie 500


“I Chose The 1964 For Galaxie 500: My Graduation Present” by Ed Janzen.


Reviewed by Ellis Gunter


A MEMOIR: My Life in Chemistry




A Special Edition of CANADIAN STORIES


I had read Ed’s first book of Memoirs, “I Chose the 1938 Plymouth ‑ My Life in Cars”. I had thoroughly enjoyed that book. It is about his early life in a rural prairie community where he went to one-room schools. It is about working on farms in harvest time. I could relate to those stories. But I was hesitant to buy Ed’s second book. I thought I wouldn’t relate to ‘Life in Chemistry’ and I must confess, I don’t have Ed’s passion for cars.


Finally, My curiosity got the better of me. I had to find out how a life vocation in the field of science and chemistry would lead to a literary field of being editor and publisher of Canadian Folk Stories. Upon reading the book, I could see the connection. It has 50 chapters. Ed doesn’t call them chapters, but they are named. Ed refers to them as short stories.


The subject matter of these short stories are what you would expect in a memoir. They are about people (his associates, fellow students, professors). They are about chemical classes, chemical experiments, job hunting, chemical companies. I became engrossed in these stories immediately. The chemical stories had words and terms that were new to me but Ed wrote in a manner that the layperson can understand. I liked his style of writing. After a paragraph or two containing words and terms that might not be familiar to the average person, he followed with a series of short sentences and paragraphs (some as short as one word). I was taught in Grammar that a sentence had to consist of two or more words; it had to have both subject and predicate but ‘one’ word seems to work well for Ed. There is a saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. For Ed, one word can paint a picture in the mind’s eye.


Speaking of pictures, the stories are accompanied by photographs, pencil sketches and anecdotes, enhancing their interest. So we have two books, “I Chose the 1964 Ford Galaxie 500” and “I chose the 1938 Plymouth”. If you have only one of these books, you should get the other. They are companion books, and I thoroughly enjoyed them both.


For ordering information contact Ed Janzen:


Email: ejanzen345@sympatico.ca, or



P.O. Box 232

Fergus, Ontario N1M 2W8


And here is an excerpt from Book 1 in the Trips & Rides series.


1964 Ford Galaxie 500 2-door hardtop

#1: Prologue

The Degree

A student once asked me, “What does it mean to have a degree?”

My reply was that having a degree simply means that the person obtaining the degree has fulfilled all the requirements expected of him or her to attain that degree.

The student was visibly disappointed. He continued: “But doesn’t it mean that that person is exceptionally bright and above average?”

“That may be so but the degree does not necessarily say so. All degrees are equal if viewed from a distance. All Bachelor of Science degrees and all Master of Science degrees are equal in the USA and Canada to first approximation.”

Discussion followed as to whether the name of the university had any effect or the country where the school was located.

“Of course these factors will influence the quality of the degree but the title of the degree does not disclose these differences,” was my reply.

“Obtaining an advanced degree is more about meeting deadlines and passing over hurdles and getting through tests than it is about native brilliance and soaring IQs. Many very, very bright individuals have dropped by the wayside because they couldn’t stand one more exam or one more deadline,” I continued.

The Book

The story of one student’s trip through the maze of requirements to get a Ph.D. in the 1960’s is the material of this book.

But this ride could not have been successful without the generous support of one brilliant teaching vehicle named Professor Glen A. Russell (1925-1998) to whom this reportage is dedicated.

The first draft was read by Dr. E. Thomas Strom and Professor Stig. E. Forshult. Suggested corrections and improvements were made accordingly.

Dr. Martha Russell approved the publication of this book and the dedication to her husband Dr. Glen A. Russell.

MORE pages to follow: click the page numbers below!
Ed Janzen is the editor and publisher of CANADIAN STORIES, a literary folk magazine that publishes short stories and poems from Canadian writers of every province of Canada. Story Quilt is an electronic magazine similar in content. Ed has written four memoirs. He also writes for the old car hobby and has a column in OLD AUTOS - a biweekly newspaper featuring mostly Canadians events and automotive history.
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