Saturday, November 13, 2010

Standing athwart history yelling "Slow down!"

Driving down the interstate the other day, I passed an early Dodge Viper. It occurred to me that the first model year Vipers will be eligible for "Classic Car" license plates in some states in a couple years. And that they are about as old now as the original 427 Cobras were when I was in high school...

20 comments:

Ed Foster said...

Think backwards the same number of years from your birthday as you have travelled through time in a forward direction.

That pretty well encompasses your grandparent's time on earth, and equals your temporal area of personal expertise, through your own experiences or those related to you by people who lived through them.

Scary thought. I'm an early boomer, and my TAPE reaches back to the 1880's. Go cry in someone else's beer Punkin, you're still a baby;-)

Montie said...

Worse yet, when I was in high school, my dad had a couple of 1955 Olds 98's we lavished attention on as hobby cars. They were between 15 to 18 years old when I was in high school. I bought a new 1970 Cutlass W-31 which I used to terrorize the streets and annoy the cops of my hometown. I still have that car and was just thinking yesterday about the fact that it is now 40 YEARS OLD!

Nathan said...

Wonder how many of them are still intact...

Nathan said...

(Thinking along these lines, of course.)

Keads said...

Don't feel bad Tam, I have the car I drove in high school and GASP- It is sporting an Antique Auto tag. To add insult to injury it still looks better than I do!


WV "hegarl" Hegarl, wanna go for a ride?

og said...

The first vehicle I remember was dad's Ford pickup, which had a Town & Country radio- it would automatically switch to the next station when you hit a foot pedal. It was a flathead V8 pickup, and it hadn't come with that radio, Dad retrofitted it from the neighbors wrecked station wagon. Dad drove that truck until I was a teenager, cracked block and all.

Yeah, I feel ancient. but then, Old Glory only had 48 stars when I was born.

Mark Alger said...

My TAPE is similar to Ed's. My great grandparents were still alive in the '60s. Objects they had in their homes in everyday use would be referred to as artifacts within a decade. Their practices -- I'm thinking diet and personal health in particular -- were written up in books as quaint and ancient in books before I was out of high school.

Grandma Gubby had a prewar DeSoto with brown cloth seats. To my preschool eyes, the back seat was as capacious as a Checker taxi. It was actually green, but so dark it looked black. She replaced it with a Ford Falcon of similar vintage to those Cobras Tam mentioned.

My parents' first car I could remember was a Studebaker Hawk.

M

doubletrouble said...

Yep- what Ed said.
My "TAPE" would go back to 1892.

I remember my Grandfather talking about a guy he knew who rode with TR in Cuba.

He once had an old bud who was a CW vet.

Kidz these days...

DirtCrashr said...

The guy we got our kitchen cabinets from has a Viper V-10 in his unlimited-class off-road racing machine - a monster hotrod sand-rail.
So the life of a Viper goes on...

DirtCrashr said...

I heard somewhere that if you show a modern kid-of-today (a twenty-something Starbucks-slurper) a rotary dial phone, they get a funny look on their face when they put their fingers in the holes and PUSH - and nothing happens.

bluesun said...

Hey, I'm a 20 something (though I think I've only ever been to Starbucks... once) and we had a rotary phone till I was 10 or so.

Anonymous said...

11/1 was twenty years since we opened the business that I then sold in '05 and am apparently about to reacquire. Those two decades went by in a blink, and I live in the same house we bought soon after we opened that business.

The twenty years before that encompassed my whole life, from turning 16 and getting my driver's license in '70 and the old Bug within which I became a "man", finished high school and went to work fulltime, got married, had two babies, got divorced, changed careers, got remarried to the same woman, moved from South FL to the rural heartland, had a third child, and lived in a total of thirteen homes from '72 to '90. Those two decades seemed to take, like, two decades.

Stand in the road and yell at life to "slow down!" if you want, but be careful because it's just picking up speed and it'll mow you down. The longer you live, the faster it goes; the only thing that's gonna slow it down now is the sudden stop at the end.

AT

Stretch said...

If Happy Days were pitched today it would be set in 1989.
My 20-something workmates view the Regan administration with the same historical perspective I have of Eisenhower's.
Off to get my Geritol.

Ed Foster said...

Hey doubletrouble, I lumberjacked back in highscool with an amazing 86 year old guy who could swing an axe, sledge hammer, and maul from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., all while chatting about taking Santiago Cuba away from the Spanish in 1898 as a young Marine.

Also about driving wagons with 20horse teams around Boston in 1900. Except on Thursday afternoons, when old man Drownes would drive into Middletown and spend his scheduled afternoon in the cathouse across the street from the Arawani hotel.

Kinda' gives you hope for the future, doesn't it?

George said...

I never knew my maternal grandmother. She died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Her husband, my grandfather, traveled to Germany in 1938, with his mother (!). He never spoke much about the trip, except to say things were bad. He was very proud to have been born here.

Marja said...

My paternal grandparents emigrated to America in the end years of 19th century, met there, married, had a son, moved back to Finland when that son was already old enough to stay behind (I'm not quite sure how old, between 15 and 17 I think) and had 6 other kids, my father the youngest. Funny to think that land line telephones were on the cutting edge when they were starting their married life... and I can still remember the phone number we had when I was starting school in the late 60's, and it was about half the length of the one I have now. Scary. And I remember my mother telling me about a dress she made for me when I was a toddler, modeling it after something she had seen Brigitte Bardot wearing in some magazine photo.

Anonymous said...

Four years ago I taught an intro US history class at Flat State College and none of the "traditional" students had heard of Pink Floyd or "The Wall." I felt rather old. I felt older when one of them, after watching the video for "Land of Confusion" said he'd heard it on the oldies radio station. Grrrrrrrr. I shoulda flunked his rump for that.
LittleRed1

Anonymous said...

I recall Harry Harrison had a story with sten gun potentially ending up in the hands of Confederate cavalry

Can't remember the name though

Dirt Sailor said...

Ed- if I were to use your TAPE, it would only go back to 1960- at which point my Grandfather already had been awarded his first Purple Heart. And put on Master Sergeant's stripes. And had 3 children. So, maybe it doesn't work so well for us yournger folk.

Starbucks slurping 20-somethings? I don't slurp mine. And I'm also eminently familiar with rotary phone.

Justthisguy said...

Don't worry, Tam, as long as Oleg is yer photographer you'll always look five years younger than you are. Unless you piss him off.