D.J. Quinn
Danny “D.J”. Quinn was born in Vallejo, Ca. on September 27, 1946. Danny is not his nickname, but his birth name. He shared that he was named Danny, after the song “Danny Boy”. The “J” in “D.J.” stands for “Joseph”. His grandfather on his Dad’s side was named Joseph, and his grandmother on his Mom’s side was named Josephine. To appease both sides, his Mom said that Danny Joseph (D.J) was named after both sides, and both sides of the family were happy.

D.J. led an active childhood, participating in Little League, and Babe Ruth baseball. The Cub Scouts taught him “To be his Best”. D.J. always had an interest in cars, and he loved to drive fast. He remembers at 12 years old that he got to drive the fisherman to the boat ramp at Dillon Beach via the beach front, in a 1946 Power wagon, because there was no other access.

driving home, he got a ticket for speeding just two blocks from the DMV. He thought ‘oh no’, what am I going to tell Mom? He decided not to tell her ‘just yet’. That night he got to drive to the basketball game, and promptly got his 2nd speeding ticket coming home on “K” Street, in Sacramento. Now he had to tell his Mom about TWO traffic tickets, but still waited for the right moment. At breakfast the next morning, she needed something from the store, and asked D.J. to go for her, since he now had his driver’s license. No sooner had he taken off, he was again stopped for speeding again. The third time was NOT the charm; it was better described as TROUBLE. His brother spilled the beans about his tickets and D.J.’s recalls that it was only the second time in his life that he saw his Mom SO upset. She immediately took his temporary license away, and took his speeding tickets which he had to pay from his part time job. She also grounded him for LIFE from using the car. Fortunately for D.J., LIFE without a car turned out to be about a month, but it sounded like torture anyway because he couldn’t drive, except to school and back. He remembers that even when his permanent license showed up, his Mom took that away for a while, too. He has since learned to control his "lead" foot, due to the rising cost of insurance he had to pay.

D.J. graduated from high school. He did well in school, and he took the entrance exams for Sacramento City College, and Sacramento State College. However, in his words, he did what was expected of him. He applied for a Student Deferent to avoid being drafted. However, in October 1965, he decided to join the Navy. His cousin had served in the Navy, and sparked his interest in learning electronics. He didn’t want to join the Army, because as a young man, he felt his chances for having to go to Vietnam would be increased. He took the Navy’s aptitude test, and scored high enough to choose any field he wanted to study. Interestingly, while in Boot Camp, he received his Student Deferment papers, and took it to his Company Commander whose exact words were “In your dreams, Quinn”.

He settled into Navy life, and attended “A” School, located at Treasure Island just outside of San Francisco, to become an Electronics Technician. After about ten months of training, he graduated with a high enough GPA that he was automatically promoted to E4- Petty Officer – 3rd Class.

What he found out about his chosen field of study was that it was boring to him. By that time, it was too late to choose another field. He was committed. While attending “B” School at the Nuclear Power Facility at Mare Island, an incident involving his moral ethics changed the course of his Navy life. Being curious , I asked him to share what happened. He recalled that he and a lady friend were enjoying some free time at a Social Club in the Presidio. An ex-boyfriend of his lady friend had a few too much to drink and came over to taunt her. It didn’t help that D.J. was also a Navy man, as the ex-boyfriend was Army. The next thing he knew, the ex-boyfriend slapped D.J.’s Date, and without thinking, D.J. ‘decked’ him, (a good Navy term). D.J. shared that his Mom taught him to ALWAYS have respect for women, and especially NEVER to hit a woman. Needless to say, his reaction was swift and automatic to the kind of treatment he just witnessed.

The ex-boyfriend just happened to be a non-commissioned Army Sergeant, a higher rank than D.J. The Military Police stepped in to alleviate the situation, and, soon after, D.J. found himself at a “Captain Mast” or non-judicial disciplinary hearing which a commanding officer would study and dispose of cases involving those in his/her command. Although his commanding officer
Later in his Navy stint, when he was serving on an Oiler ship, the U.S.S. Mattoponi, A051 in the Gulf of Tonkin, he remembers receiving two pieces of mail. One was his promotion to E5, and the other was for a 30 day leave. After his leave he had orders to report to Long Beach to be shipped to Vietnam. He spent 14 months in-country, and thankfully, returned safely. D.J. spent a total of six years in the Navy. He was honorably discharged in 1971 as an E6 Petty Officer – 1st Class.

An interesting story that D.J. shared during a week-end pass to go home to Sacramento. He was stationed at Small Boat Handling School, in Long Beach. He owned a 1963 Pontiac Catalina Sport Coupe. It had a 421 motor with triple deuces. He was traveling on I-5 just over the Grapevine Pass about 2am in the morning, cruising at 85 mph in a 70 mph zone. No one was on the freeway but him. Then he saw headlights, but decided to keep cruising at 85 mph. He figured that if it was the California Highway Patrol (CHP), he would get stopped any minute. No such thing happened. The vehicle stayed with him for several miles, then D.J. decided to pick up the pace, feeling a bit more comfortable that it was not the CHP. However, the vehicle that was following him also picked up his pace and stayed with DJ. In that moment, DJ decided to “punch it” to the floor, burying the speedometer to120 mph. He was finally pulling away from the vehicle following him, and THEN the RED LIGHTS started flashing. D.J. remembered thinking “Ohhh, Crap, I’m dead.” He slowed down, and pulled over since he knew he could not out run a radio. The CHP caught up, got out of his vehicle, and walked along the side of D.J.’s car. D.J. was preparing to show his license and registration, when the CHP knocked on his car door asking him to pop the hood. D.J. did so, and got out of the car and walked to the front of the car to open the hood. The CHP took his flashlight to survey the engine, and then said “I knew you had something in there. You were doing 85 mph when I got on the Freeway. I wanted to see what you could do, so I pushed you” D.J. said that the CHP clocked him at 136 mph. but, fortunately for D.J. the CHP only wrote him a speeding ticket for 80 mph in a 70 mph zone. DJ was only to too happy to pay it, rather than getting a ticket for 136 mph in 70 mph zone. Unfortunately, on his way back to Base in Long Beach, on Sunday of the same week-end, he stopped at a Stoplight in town. He remembers it was about 3:30am, and the tail of his car was hit by a drunk driver going about 50 or 60 miles an hour, totaling the whole car. If it wasn’t for the sheer size of his car, in D.J.’s words, he would have been ‘creamed’. He was UPSET, but, in retrospect very grateful to be alive

Just out of the Navy, he lived with his brother Marty and his wife Charlene Quinn for a short time. Yes, our very own beloved Charlene. One day, Bernice and her husband Cam, came to visit her daughter Charlene, grand daughter Janet, husband Marty, and of course D.J.
They drove their four year old 1967 Crown Imperial and took the family to dinner. D.J. fell totally in love with their Imperial. It was even Blue, D.J.’s favorite color. He remembers talking with Cam, Bernice’s husband, and telling him that if he ever wanted to sell the ’67 Imperial, D.J. wanted to know. Of course, still a young man, he didn’t know how he would afford it, but, he wanted the chance.

After Bernice’s husband passed away, she became very active in the newly formed IOASV (Imperial Owners Association of Sacramento Valley). She partnered in helping Charlene purchase her ’65 Crown Imperial Convertible, and her son Ted’s ’68 Imperial Convertible that now belongs to Mike Hackney.
Both Bernice and Charlene appeared with their Imperials at almost every event. As time passed, Bernice could not care for her ’67 as she wanted. D.J. stepped in to help, driving it to many events for Bernice in later years.

During 2006 or 2007 when D.J. was preparing Bernice’s ’67 Imperial for Mopars in the Park or the State Meet in Monterey, (one of the two); he went to her home to pick up the keys. On the coffee table addressed to him was an envelope. Inside he found the pink slip and a note to the DMV that she was giving her ’67 to D.J. as a gift. He was very overwhelmed. He always thought that he should be the last person to receive her car as a gift, since Bernice had two children that she could leave her car. He shared that Bernice wanted to transfer the car to D.J. so there was no question of her gift to him. She did have two stipulations that D.J. has honored. The first was to keep the car “as is”, and the license plate the same, until one year after she was gone. The second was to stay connected with IOANC. She also bought D.J. and Rosie their first year membership. After one year, D.J. wanted to get some work done on the ’67 Imperial. He had dual exhausts put on the car. He had the paint color sanded and buffed. and had the transmission re-done. He replaced the valve covers and gaskets, He replaced the bias ply tires with radial tires which makes the car run like a champ now.
D.J. met Rosie, his beloved wife in 1972, a year after he got out of the Navy. His childhood friend, Russ Lawson, from Dillon’s beach introduced them. In 1973, they were married and spent 35 blissful years together. Sadly, Rosie’s life was cut short August 10, 2008. She died peacefully in her sleep, and, with no warning. D.J. shares that Rosie changed his life definitely for the better. They have two beautiful daughters, Nickol Danette, born February 1977, and Natalie Diann who was born in July 1982. Nickol and her husband Bill Catterlin have given him two beautiful grandchildren, Brady who is 5, and Sarah who is 4. Natalie is not married yet, but is in a very happy relationship, and D.J. approves of her boyfriend, Matthew.
He says with sincerity of IOANC “It is a good group of people”.

Thank you, D.J., for your wonderful life story. I know we all experienced humor, righteousness, and the poignant passing of Rosie, too soon. You are a WONDERFUL addition to IOANC, and we are glad that you also enjoy being a member, as well. I want to acknowledge, Linda Meyer-Ehly, the special lady in your life now. She is a gentle soul, and great to be around at our events. You are very fortunate for a second time. You both certainly deserve the happiness you have found together.

When D.J. was a sophomore in high school, his Mom got a job at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento and the family relocated. At 16, he got his driver’s license. He remembers his Mom lending him the car to take his driving test, and after getting his license, he was so excited that
agreed with D.J. about how he handled the incident, he had no choice under military justice to discipline him, because the Army guy pressed charges. Hmmm…

D.J. was reduced to an E-3, and now instead of finishing “B” School in the prestigious Nuclear Power training program, he received orders to dispatch to a Seaman’s Striker Fleet, the U.S.S. Bellatrix AF62, a Cargo Reefer which transported frozen foods, and food storage to other ships. There he reported to the electronics technician shop on board. His duties included the maintenance and repair of surface search radar. The new orders were okay with him, as he said he was getting tired of school.
D.J. retired from the State of California in 2004. He went back to work for them as a retired annuitant (RA) and worked there three days a week until 2008 when he lost Rosie. She had been babysitting their grandchildren daily and he took over until the kids could find daycare for grandkids, in Feb. of 2009. He went back to work as a RA for the State, but just didn't want to do that anymore so he fully quit in March of 2009. Since then he joined the Citrus Heights Police force as a Volunteer. He works there for a total of about 18 - 24 hours a week. He enjoys it, and feels it gives him something to do, and he can give back to the community.

His collection of die cast cars started 10 years ago. He says “I get most of them from auctions on ebay and some from die cast manufactures. I stopped counting quite awhile ago, but I think I have somewhere between 250 and 300 cars. I collect mostly cars from the and 60's (my era) although I do have some older and newer than those eras.”
Nickol Danette
Natalie Diann
DJ got the idea for the design of his beautiful new upholstery from the pillow that Bernice had embroidered. The emblem was exactly what he wanted to portray on the headrests for the front and back seats. He got a perfect sample which was sent to Highlands Upholstery and they were able to re-create to perfection the eagle that was Bernice’s design. When he received ‘Most Improved’ award at the 2010 State Meet in Palm Springs, he was surprised and much honored. What tribute to Bernice Hackney, and what a dream come true to be gifted this beautiful Imperial that he asked to buy back in 1971, if Bernice and Cam ever wanted to sell it.

Perfect replica of Bernice's eagle