End of Romance


With the recent developments concerning General Motors, Ford and Dodge, it appears that America’s love affair with the automobile might be coming to a close.  I can still remember in High School, most people knew you not by your vibrant personality, but rather, by the type of car that you drove.

I didn’t have a car in High School, I had a motorcycle, could not afford the insurance. Come to think of it, I was a little short on the “vibrant personality back then too.”  Living on a somewhat limited income, the scooter route was my first adventure, I was scooter trash, a motorcycle rat, and to this day, a small part of me remains loyal to that calling.  However, I did have my fair share of big blocks, high horsepower, muscle cars in the late seventies, when gainful employment corrupted my life.

My first car was a 1947 model Plymouth 4-door, and it was painted bright orange.  I don’t recall what it cost, but it was considerably less than the $30K and more that they want for a car these days.  It had suicide doors and leather seats, big broad seats.  Lot’s of room, where a kid could introduce his girlfriend to the pleasures of life at the local drive-in theater late on Saturday Night.

Unbelievable as it may seem …. I saw my first James Bond, Shawn Connery movie, from the backseat of my old hoopie.

So a nation that was birthed on automobiles enters into another chapter somewhat void of them.  We are all being pushed into the Honda Civic/Prius mentality, high mileage, reliability and certainly less automobile as far as cars are concerned.  We will still have a rainbow of colors to chose from, but the choices as far as the car goes will be somewhat limited.  I understand that GM thinned down considerably is now only going to put out three models.

Our love affair with gasoline alley and Detroit truly blossomed in the 50’s and 60’s, it will be missed.  The poetry of it, the symmetry, bullet-shaped taillights and tail-fins, the chrome, the rumble of the big V-8 all of it now a thing of the past.

I had a “goat” and the “bird” (Roadrunner) my fair share the big muscle, high-horsepower, gasoline drinking ponies in my time.  I was an instant success, I didn’t have to dress for it, I just turned the key in the ignition and almost instantly, almost by magic, I was “cool.”  Such were the glory days.  Draggin Main on Saturday Night I was a hunk, you bet, windswept hair and huge magnetic smile, fill me up and then listen to me roar!

My testosterone rush fed by three carbs and Brylcreme, the ladies turned their heads and the guys, well they just wished they were me (not really, but this is MY story, so I can write it any way that I feel is correct).  It didn’t matter that it was my main conveyance to get me to and from work, it was also my turtle-waxed pig-iron pony, the best Detroit had to offer, and I was its master.

Over the years it kind of systematically morphed into some kind of tape playing, cup holding, family hoopie, but in the beginning it was nothing short of pure muscle.  When I was 17 and 18 I could go thru a set of rear tires in about two weeks, that is, until I realized that it was hard on the equipment and even worse on the checkbook.

Now days our cars have changed, the hard chargers are gone, replaced by the soccer moms and the SUVs’, the DVD’s playing Big Bird and Sesame Street, no more Stones, no more Grateful Dead.  Now we rush to and fro, we have play dates, ball games, we no longer have big bore Pontiac’s and Oldsmobile’s.

Life is changing and Obama Motors will give us a better deal, all we have to do is wait for the pointed headed busy-bodies in Washington to figure out a way to fund it and walla …. A new age.

Nothing lasts forever, it was a great ride, but it has run its course.  Unfortunately for old dinosaur’s like myself, it will produce another void in life to contend with, another sad note in the orchestra of time and I will miss it.