1/25/19

A MAN and His Car


Living in California we are pretty much raised to think a car is an extension of our body. We also seem to think it's a constitutional right to have a car. No place is this more obvious than Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area during commute time. Pure hell. Car after car going by with a single occupant.

It used to be, I believe, that cars were a statement about a man's manhood. For woman it wasn't the engine—or so the dealers thought—but the color of the outside and interior of the car and whether it had a mirror the ladies could look at to do their makeup. Seriously, they were idiots. Though I find nearly all ads for cars pretty stupid and repetitive (don't get me started on the luxury models that we're supposed to put under the Christmas tree each year), at least there is an attempt to go beyond the clich├ęs of the past with the male/female stereotypes. Now we're supposed to be reckless, off-road, and extremely hot looking. I'm just glad I ended up in publishing and not advertising. I would have been shown the door in no time at all.

This week's Sepia Saturday photo is of a fellow standing in front of a car. I immediately went to the big BIG box of photos I was given for Christmas. Surely in the hundreds of shots in that glorious box there must be at least one of a guy with a car. I stopped after finding the following three.

I do know who this fellow was. His name was Ben and he was a Naval officer.

Click on image to see it larger.

On the back of this one it says "Taken June 18, 8th grade graduation." Diggin' the car and the flattop.

Click on image to see it larger.

NO idea who this fun fellow is.

Click on image to see it larger.

I love my car. I love driving my car. I have always loved driving. I do like to drive fast, but I don't anymore. The fastest I've ever driven was on the Autobahn. I thought I was doing pretty good until I saw the flashing headlights way way way behind me approaching at a tremendous speed. No sooner had I seen them and pulled into the slower lane than a Porsche blur shot by. I pretty much stayed in the slow lane the rest of the time which was still moving very fast.

As I recall I have only one photo of myself standing next to a car. It was a bright red Audi in Germany. I loved that car too. It's long gone, but like with most cars, the memory remains.
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12 comments:

  1. Talk about ads for cars, while working on my post I ran into a commercial for the 1959 Oldsmobile featuring Bill Hayes and Florence Henderson. It's on YouTube. Fantastic ad.

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    1. Oh, I've got to see that. Bill Hayes, singer of the Davy Crockett.

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  2. I love the photo of the tall eighth grade graduate - his hair, his posture, his white jacket, and the car.

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    1. He does seem a wee bit tall for an eighth grader.

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  3. That second picture of the teen in the white dress jacket is so typical of the 1950s & early '60s. I had to smile! Living in the Sierra mountains I have to drive everywhere all the time, but at my age I'm beginning to wonder how much longer I'll be able to do it? I'll be 83 when my current driver's license expires. Hopefully I can renew it for another 5 years at least! I've had no tickets and no accidents so perhaps that will mean something to the DMV?

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    1. I wouldn't worry about it. As long as you keep your wits about you and smile you should be fine. My father still had his license at 94 and drove just fine.

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  4. A wonderful post with graceful, beautiful cars.

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    1. Would be nice to have those cars to tool around in.

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  5. Ben the navy guy is somewhere in the south with all the Spanish Moss draped on the live oaks behind him. Maybe Charleston, Pensacola, or Jacksonville.

    The vestigial gates attached to the garage door of the graduate's snapshot are classic 50s design. And Gomer's a real hoot.

    I think car stories are one of the few things that unite all Americans. Everyone has a favorite tale to tell. Mine is about speeding on the Autobahn too.

    Last summer my mom, now 88, traded in her new red Honda Fit for a newer deluxe Fit with heated seats. The dealer made the sale by happily listening to her stories for over an hour! She started in 1951 with an epic road trip from DC to LA to meet my dad on his return from Korea. She was 21 driving a new Willys jeep (that she picked out) with her mom at shotgun and my dad's grandmother in the back. She continued to recount something about every car since. After an hour she was only up to 1969 so I made her stop and sign the finance papers. Yet she insisted on telling the one about the seagull and the Volvo.

    Sadly it's time she put up the keys, so that's my big challenge for this year. Yet another story to come.

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  6. I was thinking Pensacola too. I don't know where all he was stationed other than when I was in Hawaii. And I had not noticed the cool deal on the garage door.

    Have you written down all of these car stories? Has your mom? It sounds like a nice little book of short stories. Might make it easier next time she buys a car. Just hand them the book first. But she sounds like a great gal.

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  7. I'd love to drive on the autobahn someday in a fast car. Might scare myself silly!

    I love the flattop and the laughing dudes. ;)

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  8. Oh good for you, just posting the photos with males standing with cars...and they certainly look like a cross-section of types of males, and cars!

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