Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Go See Cal. Go See Cal. Go See Cal get Divorced

Go See Cal. Go See Cal. Go See Cal Get Divorced

Here’s to Cal Worthington, a potential divorcee at 91?

Cal epitomizes the American Dream.

One of 9 children growing up dirt poor in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, he dropped out of school in the Ninth Grade. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corp during the Great Depression, and then became an Army Air Corps pilot of B-17 Flying Fortress during World War II.

He co-piloted the first American bomber over Berlin. He flew 29 missions, and was personally awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by the fabled Jimmy Doolittle.

Like many veterans, he found his way to Los Angeles after the war. He bought an auto dealership and then took off.

Southern California boomed, and he saw the potential first in radio and then the nascent TV. Cal is eternal; he is TV’s longest pitchman. He’s been selling cars for over 6 decades, over 1 million new and used vehicles by his estimate. He owned 29 franchises at one time.

There's been disgruntled customers and state false advertising and bait and switch claims, but that's not a bad record over time.

Cal Worthington is the last of the old time iron movers. Earl “Mad Man” Muntz (My wife thinks I’m Mad”) and Ralph Williams (“Ralph Williams here; Do I have deal for you”) went out of business, but Cal prospered.

He had a three hour show, Cal’s Corral, featuring such country western stars as Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Buck Owens, Roy Acuff, and Flatt and Scruggs. The Stetson wearing Cal was the originator for Dodge’s Good Guys in White Hats.

His biggest success came with his ads. A competitor started advertising with “my dog Storm.” Cal responded with his dog “Spot.” Cal and Spot appeared together, but Spot was never a dog. Spot could be a Bengal tiger, lion, bear, gorilla, camel, chicken, rhino, hippo, skunk, boas, and even Baby Shamu.

And he had a ditty : “Go see Cal. Go see Cal. Go see Cal” accompanied by a lyric, such as “Give a new car to your wife, she will love you for all her life.”

He created his own advertising agency, Spot Advertising, which only had one account, Cal Worthington, a clever economic move.

He owns ranches in California, Idaho, and Nevada, and three shopping centers.

His personal life has been just as interesting. He’s been married 4 times, the first
marriage for 37 years, and the second and third for seven years. He has two children from his first and second marriages and one from the third. His children range in age from 10 to 64.

The youngest child makes Cal the fabled figure of estate planning, The Fertile Octogenarian.

And now comes the marriage to wife number 4 in April. She was only 50 years younger than him at 41, hardly robbing the cradle.

Anna Mjoll Olafsdottir, an Icelandic singer living in Los Angeles, filed for divorce seeking spousal support, citing irreconcilable differences. He probably snores at night. He may not have given her a car, not even a Focus. Perhaps he offered spot to Anna.

Cal’s been around the block a few times, so we assume he had a prenuptial, rather than being blinded by love as Sir Paul McCartney was with Heather Mills. In any event, Anna took his name, and now she wants to take his money to be supported in the life style she quickly became accustomed to.

Apparently she could not hold out until Cal croaked. She is no Anna Nicole Smith.

His auto empire in the dismal economy shrunk to a Ford dealership in Long Beach, a Mitsubishi shop in Carlsbad, and both a Ford-Lincoln and Mercedes dealership in Anchorage, but his vital signs remain strong. He's a survivor.

As marriages go, the Worthington-Olafsdottir 8 month marriage falls between Sinead O’Conner’s 4th marriage of 18 days, Kim Kardashian’s 72 day romance, and Katy Perry-Russell Brand of 14 months.

Go see Cal’s divorce.

No comments: