Dorothy and Gerard Rickey

Dorothy Rickey, 1957 Starmist Blue: 

My Starmist Blue Bird was a “hand me down” from my sister, Katherine.  Ford shipped Blue Bird in April, 1957, to Jack Roach Broadway, a dealership in Houston.  Katherine found my Blue Bird at a dealership in Austin, in 1958.  Because it was a lovely Thunderbird convertible, Katherine’s sorority at the University of Texas granted her the special privilege of keeping Blue Bird under cover at the Sorority House.  

After Katherine was married, she decided to replace the 1957 Thunderbird with a new “Square Bird”.  I had the choice of keeping my Comet coupe or taking over the Blue Thunderbird.  You know it was an easy decision.  I was pleased to be the only student at Yoakum High School with a Thunderbird convertible.  After graduation from high school, I moved to Victoria and enrolled at Victoria College.  A young man in Victoria also had a 1957 Blue Thunderbird which he raced at the local drag strip.  A gentleman contacted my father and told him, “Henry, Dorothy has been racing her Thunderbird at the drag strip”.  The report was false, but years later Walt Nuckels, performing routine maintenance, found my father had installed a “governor” on the car to keep my speed from exceeding 80 m.p.h.  Yes, Walt removed it and reported that Blue Bird would go much faster.

Blue Bird’s next college was Southern Methodist University.  Gerard started dating the co-ed with the Thunderbird. We were married and the three of us have been together since 1965.  I joined CTCI and Big “D” Little Birds after meeting Billie Broiles.  We met Billie at a Thunderbird car show we happened upon at the Holiday Inn Central in Dallas.  Big “D” members Walt Nuckels and Don Hyde kept my car on the road for many years.  Don still sends us parts. 

We live in Spicewood on Lake Travis, now.  New to the area, we contacted Rick Rosa, president of ATO.  Rick kindly gave us advice concerning a terrible noise which, it turned out, emanated from the loosely mounted generator.

The Blue Bird had a lucky escape the summer of 2011.  Gerard and I abandoned our house in Spicewood, on three minutes notice.  I drove our family sedan through dense smoke and flames for a mile to escape a Labor Day wildfire that engulfed 17 square miles in Spicewood.  On return home several days later we found Blue Bird in the garage covered with ash.  The power had gone off and one of the garage doors stopped half-way down.  After a good wash Blue Bird was fine.  The fire stopped just five feet from where Blue Bird had been sitting in the garage!

We have promised we will not leave Blue Bird alone again.

Dorothy M. Rickey, CTCI 11503

Searching for ethyl in Driftwood, Texas

 No Sky Chief available at the Petrified Wood Texaco in Decatur, Texas.

  Dorothy seated on the Thunderbird in Dallas


On August 29, 2013, it was time for the Blue Bird to visit Peter Leddy in Plano for engine, transmission, suspension, brake, etc. rebuild:

For a slide show of Peter's work, click here.