Mr. Potato Head hit shelves for the first time, Singin’ in the Rain debuted at Radio City Music Hall, Chevrolet completed its prototype for the Corvette and Chester Ferris became an AMA member—1952 marked a year of firsts for many.
At the ripe age of 12, a young Ferris got a farm equipment licence to help his father out on their land in Cochrane. This was, of course, legal back then. That same day, his father gifted him an AMA membership. It’s been seven decades since then and a lot has changed, but one thing that has remained constant is Ferris’ relationship with AMA.
“I remained a member for 70 years because it was practical,” he says. “Over the years, AMA has rescued me, my eight children, 26 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren on numerous occasions.”
One of those occasions was on Feb. 12, 1997 in Nevada. Ferris was travelling in his motorhome when the engine failed. Through his AMA membership, the local AAA was able to give him a tow to a nearby repair shop. Another moment he recalls took place almost 35 years prior on Feb. 27, 1962.
During a blizzard, his car lost traction, slid off the road, and became stuck. There was no cellphone service back then so getting help took a bit more effort. He made the trek back to Cochrane where he asked for help from a local car dealership owner—who also happened to be an AMA tow truck driver.
Ferris says he was as grateful for the assurance of his membership then as he is now. In addition to the roadside assistance he has needed over the years, Ferris has also used his membership for discounts on car rentals and hotels when he travels around the world.
At 82, Ferris has been an AMA member for over 85 percent of his life. When reflecting on his longstanding membership, he says he has multiple reasons for being a loyal member but most importantly, “I have remained an AMA member for 70 years for peace of mind for me and my family whenever we drive, wherever we drive.”
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