One of teevee car dealer Cal Worthington's jingles went, “Worthington Ford in Long Beach, Worthington Ford in Long Beach, San Diego Freeway at Bellflower Boulevard.”
But Worthington, who died Sunday at his Northern California ranch at age 92, was of course better known for the “Go see Cal” jingles that found him with an Noah's ark assortment of animals who were all named “my dog Spot.”
He was a millionaire several times over just from his car dealerships, he was his Spot Advertising agency's only client and he began on the airwaves out of Los Angeles in 1949 by purchasing time for ads on a KTLA/Channel 5 country-and-western music show that was later renamed Cal's Corner.
Now I'm not old enough to remember that program, but to give you an idea how long he ruled Southern California's late night airwaves, I believe my first recollection of his commercials was from when I was just out of diapers and I continue to see them as I battle insomnia am near the age of adult diapers. Worthington IS the history of broadcast television in these parts.
He apparently collapsed at his sprawling Flying W ranch outside Orland on Sunday afternoon and was pronounced dead in his home by paramedics. He was beloved up there for being a local fixture and has an annual charity event in his name for a local hospital that just happened to be coming up this weekend.
Give a new car to your wife,
but not from Cal who's left this life
Forever Cal, forever Cal, forever Cal.