The long drive.

When Alan and I were in Argentina with the Fellows a few years back, we were amazed at how many ’60s-era Ford Falcons we saw on the road. We called them “Aunt Dorothy cars,” in recognition of the last woman we knew who drove one.

It turns out most of them only look like 1960. One of our guides told us the story of how Ford continued to make the Falcon in Argentina for years after the last model rusted to pieces in the States. Still, it was strange seeing that retro old-lady styling and round taillights around every corner.

So I was highly amused by this story in the News today — Argentine family restores their Falcon wagon and loves it so much they drive it 10,000 miles to Dearborn, just to say so in person. Unannounced, I might add:

It would be an understatement to say that the Percivaldis caught Ford by surprise when they pulled up to the Glass House around noon Thursday. The family trooped in to tell their story to a bewildered guard at the front desk.

“He didn’t know what to do,” Diego said.

As always, the good stuff is in the details — how Diego, the father, skirted the high-crime regions of South America on his drive north, and their impressions of the U.S. See if this sounds familiar:

The couple said they also are amazed by the food. “When you drive down the street anywhere in America, you see all these restaurants, hotels, motels, churches and theaters. It isn’t like that in Argentina. The portions of food are so big; if we keep eating all this food, we are going to die,” Diego said.

They’re all flying home, and sending the Falcon by freighter.

Posted at 1:20 pm in Uncategorized |
 

58 responses to “The long drive.”

  1. Andy Vance said on May 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Whoa. Followed the link in the Wikipedia to this story. Check out the Falcon sculpture half way down the page.

  2. nancy said on May 30, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Falcon as symbol of oppression and terror — great stuff. At Alan’s house, it just meant today was the day for piano lessons. (Aunt Dorothy was his teacher.)

  3. Dexter said on May 30, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I was used-car shopping in 1976 when , at Allen County Motors in The Fort I was stopped cold in my tracks. There for sale for $650 was a 1964 Ford Falcon Woody Station Wagon.
    I bought it for $600 and only performed routine maintenance on it the year I had it. My GF and I took that car all over…Mackinaw City, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and it never let us down.
    I was returning from the ’77 NCAA Basketball Finals at The Omni in Atlanta , picked up the car at the Toledo Express airport, and in West Unity a man ran the ONLY light in the town and killed my car. A local man came up to check on me and told me the car that hit me had been driven by a nutcase who had just that day been released from Toledo Hospital Nut-Hut. (It is a very small town.)
    Guldurn insurance? Gave me 200 bucks, saying my new-like car was a junker. And this Falcon was tricked-out…interior amber running lights on the doors and under the dashboard, and the woody trim was perfect…and it got great mileage, too. My appeal to the insurance company was disallowed.
    My attorney told me: “fuhgeddaboudditt.”

  4. Dexter said on May 30, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    There is one Falcon left here in Bryan, I see it around town all the time; it is driven by a thirty-something woman.
    I may have the only 1969 VW Microbus left in the local 4-county area, alas, it is crumbling and not road-ready since the brakes are gone. But we are discussing Falcons, and I miss mine, more today.
    …Oh, nance? Remember about eleven years ago when The Freep did a story on the family that drove a freakin’ Model A or Model T from South America to Detroit? They gave or sold the car to the Ford Museum (did you see it recently on your field trip?) They , too showed up at World HQ, but I seem to recall they were treated much better, maybe Ford went so far as to help with plane fare home.

  5. brian stouder said on May 30, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    A journalism question for you all –

    Here’s an excerpt from an article from today’s News-Sentinel, about the now-looming closure of Fort Wayne’s Lincoln Museum:

    http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080530/NEWS/805300306

    I learned things I didn’t know about Abraham Lincoln, reminding myself why he’s considered by many to be our greatest president. The museum succeeds on two fronts: explaining the enormity of his contributions to history and offering a glimpse into the type of man he was. For example, one exhibit on slavery allows visitors to slip their hands into an iron manacle to try to imagine what being shackled was like. A whip is enclosed in a case; on the wall above it is a photo of a slave with the scars from lashings covering his back.

    I posted this elsewhere, and a history professor immediately commented on whether the word “enormity” was a malapropism, or a deliberate editorial comment.

    In re-reading it, the stand-offish nature of the sentence preceding it (“considered by many”) stood out, to me….and now, I’m bothered!

  6. Lex said on May 30, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    This Falcon story makes me wish a documentary filmmaker had accompanied the family on their trip. What a movie that would have made.

  7. nancy said on May 30, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Don’t overthink it, Brian. I guarantee you the writer didn’t.

    Reading the passage myself, I’m struck by how flabby it is — “reminding myself” instead of “reminding me”; the “type of” man he was, instead of just “the man” he was; “try to imagine,” instead of just “imagine.”

    “Considered by many” is just standard newspaper ass-covering. If she stated it as a fact, she’d get calls from Ronald Reagan or FDR partisans. The writer (and I haven’t clicked through to see who it was) may well have done this between six other assignments due this week, and just didn’t leave it all on the field, so to speak.

  8. caliban said on May 30, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    According to Fox News, the Scott McClellan book was ghost written, possibly by George Soros.

    This is why the anti-Hillary vituperation from self appointed ‘progressives’, who are more liberal than thou, is disturbing. Pat Oliphant is, OMG, mainstream media. Does he buy into the Vince Foster fantasy? Does he believe the Clinton’s are hillbillies and his intellectuall inferiors? (Fat chance cartoon-boy.) Is he suggesting seriously that Barack is in mortal danger from a Clinton assassination attempt? It’s just about as reasonable to figure some progressive martyr needs to take peremptory action. Bull goose loony, but, maybe like Nurse Ratchford they think buzzing and fuzzing would do the trick. I mean, after all, a woman President?

    I guess it’s within legal purveyance for any political party to shitcan actual voters and delegates, especially when your 50 state strategy didn’t account for letting Republicans set primary calendars, and the Chairman was so misused by the Terry McAuliffe politburo. But suggesting the Clintons are some inbred, morally reprehensible trailer trash and voters fron two immense states with serious electoral votes don’t count is irresponsible and fuels the ego of a little man that made a total ass of himself on a world stage. Did it ever dawn on anyone that Obama recused because he was going to get his ass kicked in Michigan? Sure did in Florida.

    OK, this is from the Freepers, but even blithering idiots stumble on the truth occasionally, like anosmic hogs stumble onto truffles sometimes. Best Paper in the Country, that would be the Boston Globe, nailed his mogul-jumping, sore-coccyx ass to the wall on this one. Snatched from his grasp when it was so close it might have been a Quarter-Pounder about to slide down the cheese-hole..

    I know Barack’s the nominee. I think the extended battle is salubrious. McCain’s abandonment of vets is so heinous it’s hard to imagine anybody but that solid 30% buying a word he’s said. But, you know, these are American voters, and, eith this bunch, stupidity knows no bounds. When did getting shot down while raining shock and awe make you a war hero? How is Poppy a war hero for bailing on his two best friends? So he had balls flying at his age. He chickened out. And whatever brass he showed doesn’t rub off on W and the enhanced flight suit.

    What seems to be the problem with letting it go to delegates and seating all of them? Back in the day when I used to be a regular on the Kicking Ass democrat blog, I listened to Obama speak at the ‘04 convention. I thought he was special. He’s not Bobby. Just another politician that leans toward decency and intelligence. Hasn’t a clue about policy the way Hillary does, and when he wins, he’d better listen to her on health care and NAFTA.

    The NAFTA debate is fascinating. Are American voters so gd stupid they don’t know about the side agreements? That W abrogated immediately? Monumental debases. Conservativeslayt this all off on Clinton. They do understand it was a fait accompli, based on fast=track authority.. How can anybody be this stupid.

    War on Terr (look, that’s how the asshole pronounces it, not my fault). John Kerry figured this all out years ag0. It’s the banking. Republicans hate him more for this than being a bonafide hero in Southeast Asia. He exposed Reagan and Ollie North. Every single one of those assholes should still be in jail, including R Raygun in absentia..Kerry’s a hero. If we are no longer graced with Teddy (and, if you aren‘t some knee-jerk conservative, we were graced with Ted ), well, it’s Kerry. Actual war hero.

    The United Snakes, oops, States, faces monumental economic problems. Chief, by a mile, because conservative aholes haven’t considered long-range ramifications, is health care. These people claim to be Christian. What would Jesus say about health care? Is there some sort of question? Would He say its for rich people? What should Allah say?

    I believe in the idea of liberation theology. Jesus meant to pass itaround. Maybe that’s radical Catholicism. Ibbicents died, frequently raped by US PRproxies. Tell you what, nuns weren’t

    If he were still alive, I’d say you’d have to incarcerate
    in Guanantanamo.even thoughgh he wanted everyone saved.. Shiva? Destrroyer of Worlds? Not a Christian. They did theit best and robbed him of his security clearance. Of his life. And hanged the Rosenbergs.

    Nuns were Catholics, so despite the fact there was Catholicism before Martin Luther got constipated, we can do away with Catholicism.

  9. Kirk said on May 30, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    “Enormity” is often misused to mean “enormousness.” I’m sure it was written unconsciously and passed through an unconscious copy desk.

  10. MarkH said on May 30, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Hey, Joe K. —

    Well, it’s finally happened; a commercial jet ran off the runway in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. For those of you who may not know, here’s one of my favorite YouTube videos of a landing there:

    Tegucigalpa, Honduras …

    Three dead there today, as a Grupo Taca jet, maybe an Airbus, overshot on a wet runway. I hope that link works; I’m on my mobile device due to firewalls at work.

  11. MarkH said on May 30, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Hey, Joe K. —

    Well, it’s finally happened; a commercial jet ran off the runway in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. For those of you who may not be familiar with this airport,here’s one of my favorite YouTube videos of a landing there:

    Tegucigalpa, Honduras …

    Three dead there today, as a Grupo Taca jet, maybe an Airbus, overshot on a wet runway. I hope that link works; I’m on my mobile device due to firewalls at work.

  12. caliban said on May 30, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    According to Fox News, the Scott McClellan book was ghost written, possibly by George Soros.

    This is why the anti-Hillary vituperation from self appointed ‘progressives’, who are more liberal than thou, is disturbing. Pat Oliphant is, OMG, mainstream media. Does he buy into the Vince Foster fantasy? Does he believe the Clinton’s are hillbillies and his intellectuall inferiors? (Fat chance cartoon-boy.) Is he suggesting seriously that Barack is in mortal danger from a Clinton assassination attempt? It’s just about as reasonable to figure some progressive martyr needs to take peremptory action. Bull goose loony, but, maybe like Nurse Ratchford they think buzzing and fuzzing would do the trick. I mean, after all, a woman President?

    I guess it’s within legal purveyance for any political party to shitcan actual voters and delegates, especially when your 50 state strategy didn’t account for letting Republicans set primary calendars, and the Chairman was so misused by the Terry McAuliffe politburo. But suggesting the Clintons are some inbred, morally reprehensible trailer trash and voters fron two immense states with serious electoral votes don’t count is irresponsible and fuels the ego of a little man that made a total ass of himself on a world stage. Did it ever dawn on anyone that Obama recused because he was going to get his ass kicked in Michigan? Sure did in Florida.

    OK, this is from the Freepers, but even blithering idiots stumble on the truth occasionally, like anosmic hogs stumble onto truffles sometimes. Best Paper in the Country, that would be the Boston Globe, nailed his mogul-jumping, sore-coccyx ass to the wall on this one. Snatched from his grasp when it was so close it might have been a Quarter-Pounder about to slide down the cheese-hole..

    I know Barack’s the nominee. I think the extended battle is salubrious. McCain’s abandonment of vets is so heinous it’s hard to imagine anybody but that solid 30% buying a word he’s said. But, you know, these are American voters, and, eith this bunch, stupidity knows no bounds. When did getting shot down while raining shock and awe make you a war hero? How is Poppy a war hero for bailing on his two best friends? So he had balls flying at his age. He chickened out. And whatever brass he showed doesn’t rub off on W and the enhanced flight suit.

    What seems to be the problem with letting it go to delegates and seating all of them? Back in the day when I used to be a regular on the Kicking Ass democrat blog, I listened to Obama speak at the ‘04 convention. I thought he was special. He’s not Bobby. Just another politician that leans toward decency and intelligence. Hasn’t a clue about policy the way Hillary does, and when he wins, he’d better listen to her on health care and NAFTA.

    The NAFTA debate is fascinating. Are American voters so gd stupid they don’t know about the side agreements? That W abrogated immediately? Monumental debases. Conservativeslayt this all off on Clinton. They do understand it was a fait accompli, based on fast=track authority.. How can anybody be this stupid.

    War on Terr (look, that’s how the asshole pronounces it, not my fault). John Kerry figured this all out years ag0. It’s the banking. Republicans hate him more for this than being a bonafide hero in Southeast Asia. He exposed Reagan and Ollie North. Every single one of those assholes should still be in jail, including R Raygun in absentia..Kerry’s a hero. If we are no longer graced with Teddy (and, if you aren‘t some knee-jerk conservative, we were graced with Ted ), well, it’s Kerry. Actual war hero.

    The United Snakes, oops, States, faces monumental economic problems. Chief, by a mile, because conservative aholes haven’t considered long-range ramifications, is health care. These people claim to be Christian. What would Jesus say about health care? Is there some sort of question? Would He say its for rich people? What should Allah say?

    I believe in the idea of liberation theology. Jesus meant to pass itaround. Maybe that’s radical Catholicism. Ibbicents died, frequently raped by US PRproxies. Tell you what, nuns weren’t

    If he were still alive, I’d say you’d have to incarcerate
    in Guanantanamo.even thoughgh he wanted everyone saved.. Shiva? Destrroyer of Worlds? Not a Christian. They did theit best and robbed him of his security clearance. Of his life. And hanged the Rosenbergs.

    Nuns were Catholics, so despite the fact there was Catholicism before Martin Luther got constipated, we can do about Catholicism. No fucking clue. Give it a break. You havene’t a clue.

  13. basset said on May 30, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I had the GM equivalent of a Falcon, a ’63 Chevy II… bought it from the estate of an old man who drove it back & forth between Indiana and Florida, there was an unused Florida tag for it under the seat and still in the license-branch envelope. Mud brown (“metallic fawn,” GM called it), rubber mats on the floor, three on the tree and it would go where jeeps feared to tread. My dad hit a deer with it while I was off at IU. Few weeks later he hit another one, and that was all for the Chevy.

    What you want to take care of your yard squirrels, depending on your shooting skills and how close the squirrels and your neighbors are, is a 20-gauge with light shot, say about a number 6, a good-quality and reasonably accurate air rifle, or a .22 rifle with subsonic target ammunition. I have two of the three right here, a safe shooting area off my back deck, and squirrel season’s open through next Saturday.

    Caliban… your act has grown tiresome. Go away, or at least sober up.

  14. brian stouder said on May 30, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Our neighbors across the street, 40 years ago, always bought new Chrysler Imperials for the man of the house (which, to me, were always an odd combination of ugly and angry looking) and Ford Fairlanes (for the wife) The little Fairlane always struck me as the meek, good natured sidekick, as it sat near it’s master on the driveway, the all-powerful Imperial.

    Neighbors further down bought new Buick Le Sabres about every other year for dad, and new VW bugs for mom (I seem to recall that the back of the VW said “Automatic stickshift” – or some such; mom still had to shift, but I don’t think the car had a clutch); the neighbors across the street from them also got a new Le Sabre about as often, but mom drove a ’57 Bel Air; a very sturdy car (they got divorced, in later years). I always associated Buicks with Falstaff beer and good natured men.

    Further down, a family with older sons was all-Oldsmobile; dad drove an 88 (that must have been a block long) – the grill on those always looked like it had a sarcastic grin; mom and their two sons each drove nearly new Cutlasses – which I thought were flat-out beautiful. Another neighbor’s arrangement was that dad drove a large light blue Chevy station wagon – must have been a ’65; and his fairly hot wife – who (thinking back) was blingy even by early ’70’s standards, drove a very sexy red Ford Galaxy covertible! It was the talk of the neighborhood when they got it

  15. Dexter said on May 31, 2008 at 12:18 am

    brian stouder, the Imperials were the kings of the road. My dad was a Studebaker man for a while, had a Lark and a Champion…the Lark stalled out on my teenage first driving test…I was mortified! Dad got it fixed and it was the longest two weeks of my life , waiting, waiting….I have owned 110 cars in the past 40-some years…a Volvo, many VWs, many Fords and Chryslers and GM products, even an International Travelall, the first SUV. Fave? My 1968 Kharmann Ghia…many tied for worst!

  16. Dexter said on May 31, 2008 at 1:27 am

    My Falcon Squire Wagon was very similar to this one, which is a lot like the one in the story.

  17. caliban said on May 31, 2008 at 1:39 am

    I’d say this was Indy’s best moment. Roy Batty was an enemy that put Nazis to shame. A perfect human being. Roy could say “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. ” And he meant it

    My shooting skills are excellent. I do not chose to shoot anything but targets. Shooting anything that lumbers, or runs faster or jumps higher than Champ Bailey, or stands upright in your sights to protect its young, well that just doesn’t seem sporting. Give them guns, you manly assholes.. They might learn to shoot at you morons. And for God’s sake, let them aim back and shoot you in your lame fat asses. Lame fat asses that wouldn’t survive, much less feel manly without guns. Sorry sacks of shit.

    Let’s plug wolves from several hundred yards with high powered rifles and dead on sights. And tell ourselves we’re real men. Viagra’s not good enough? Jerks.

  18. caliban said on May 31, 2008 at 4:13 am

    I wouldn’t be too quick,editorially, to jump on reflexive pronouns. They’re used correctly so infrequentlly. Myself, I.. oh what the hell. As long as Kobe talks about Kobe like he was watching it instead of draining the three, we’re all buried in ungrammatical English. If everybody had taken Latin, this might not be so vexing. There is certainly something something to be said for languge itself, and itself’s various parts. Mostly, you can just dele the self part. It’s ill-advised adverbs and adjectives used as adverbs that really piss me off. But myself lets it ride, noamigh sayin? Ourselves are going over to 278 to pick up roadkill, ’cause Clinton’s their ownselves might be coming for supper. We’re rednecks no matter how much schoolin’ we get, and we don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground. We do know that if you use a reflexive pronoun as the subject of a sentence referring to yourSELF, you sound like you took English at University of Michigan. Or Florida. Cutoffs remain the same. Or, you’re a Republican. Cutoffs remain the same.

  19. caliban said on May 31, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Why would anybody drive to Dearborn? Thousands of miles, nothing to show. Airport assembly line used to be there, where they turned out B-25s like clockwork. But it’s some sad remnant of what America used to be about. Workers making living wages with serious health care and rock-solid pensions. Now it’s museum town, and golden parachutes for inept CEOs.

  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 31, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Why would anybody drive to Dearborn? Falafel and hummus; that’s two reasons.

    (Y’know, it occurs to me that having studied “Finnegans Wake” in college and grad school, Caliban’s posts may make more sense to me than they actually do . . . riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore and bend of bay, back by a commodious vicus of circulation to Howth Castle and Environs.)

  21. coozledad said on May 31, 2008 at 8:44 am

    My Grandma had a green ’56 Nash Rambler. She drove it relentlessly into things until the mid-sixties, until they got her a featureless Chevy-something (maybe a ’66 Malibu?). As a kid, I though it was the most hideous car ever built. Now look at it:http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/506/1956_Nash_Rambler.jpg

  22. basset said on May 31, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Kaisers and, I believe, Willys cars were built in Argentina long after the lines closed down here… into the mid-Sixties for the Willys sedans if I remember right.

  23. brian stouder said on May 31, 2008 at 9:09 am

    I have owned 110 cars in the past 40-some years

    Let’s see, I’ve owned (or called mine) a’65 Dodge Polara (it was 13 years old when I got it); a ’71 Olds Cutlass – wrecked it 6 weeks later on the way home from school; a’72 Pinto – a big step down from the Cutlass! (it got hit while parked on the street in front of the house); a ’72 Cutlass (had a 455 Rocket under the hood – musta got 8 mph) an ’81 Dodge Aires K-Car (still the only car I ever bought new, and it was a stick); an ’82 Chevy Chevette (got very nice gas mileage); an ’84 Olds Firenza (no comment); a ’91 Olds 88 (bought it from work) – a dependable sedan that was the only car I ever had that got stolen; and a ’98 Olds 88 (another from-work car).

    Somewhere along the way, I remember shopping for a car and coming home in a Fury (old joke) – a buddy sold me his ’68 Fury, which I junked shortly thereafter – making HIM furious ’cause I left “his” speakers in the car!!

    By way of saying, if I could ever have been moved to make a driving pilgrimmage to a car manufacturer’s factory, it would either have been in that ’65 Dodge Polara (the car never failed to start up, ever, up to the day the wrecker came to get it. It’s transmission finally gave up the ghost) or the ’71 Cutlass (granted, that one died while we were still in the car-honeymoon phase, so it could do no wrong)

  24. Joe K said on May 31, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Heard about the jet, your forward did not work. My first car was a 1966 Mercury comet, straight six, three on the tree, white with red interior. caliban, get your facts straight, the aircraft plant was in Ypsilanti not Dearborn, and they built b-24 not b-25 there. I fly into willow run airport nightly. The bomber plant is still there. now owned by GM. One day last summer their was a b-24 doing touch and goes. How often do you get to see a ww-2 airplane flying in front of the building it was built in 60yrs later. Gave me chills
    Pilot
    Joe K

  25. MarkH said on May 31, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Joe K. —

    Let’s try this again, now that I’m home and firewall-free. Here’s how that landing in Tegucigalpa is supposed to go. I love the background adminission: “…don’t be afraid..”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHmrcCfdZFM

    Cars I’ve had: ’66 VW Karmann Ghia (I totally agree, Dexter)
    ’66 Corvair (also top of my list), ’67 Alfa GTV (all-time favorite); ’74 Mercury Capri, V6, very underrated; ’78 Ford Fiesta; ’81 VW Jetta; then a succession of trucks. Our family was always GM, with a few exceptions for Fords, notably a ’67 Country Squire with a 390 V8. Gramps was a Studebaker man all the way.

  26. Jolene said on May 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Nance, if you happen to drop in, I’d be interested in hearing what the local scuttlebutt is re the Democratic Rules and Bylaws meeting today. Or, more generally, what sort of talk has there been about the DNC’s “punishment” of Michigan? Is it an important local issue, or is the real importance only for the two presidential candidates?

  27. Jeff said on May 31, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Best two vehicles i ever owned — ’72 Ford Country Sedan, and a maroon white-top ’73 Chevy Impala, that i got at 68,000 and almost made to 200,000. They were both like owning a pick-up truck, but with better gas mileage and a bit more security.

    The Country Sedan page is a bit short, but you can have more retro-memory-fun at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Country_Squire and just trim and type “Sedan” over “Squire” for the details.

    My 2000 Impala is fine, and still gets 23 in town, 30-35 on the road with lots of trunk space, and they all fit a guy who’s 5 foot 17 inches tall, but the ’73 was just a smooth running apartment building on wheels — as the song says, “i got me a car, it seats about twenty; so c’mon, and bring your juke box money . . .”

  28. whitebeard said on May 31, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I would have to say that my favorite car might be the next one I drive, but I loved my original Mini, an Austin 850 that got about 50 mpg. The Cadillac CTS-V was an impressive offering from a staid old company that Cadillac actually raced. The old and New Beetles brought back a lot of good memories, especially the old Beetle that would start floating when the underpass flooded.
    I put tire chains on my 1954 Buick Super convertible, red and white of course, and drove through winter storms like a tank and would haul a small boat out to camp in back after I took out the seat cushion in the summer.
    I have driven more than a thousand cars for a week at a time over the years and I am always constantly surprised at what the automotive engineers and designers can do that is sheer perfection and then completely miss the boat sometimes.
    By the way, Nancy, thank you for the Argentina-Dearborn
    trip story; I have asked Ford to send me a jpg so I can submit it to the newspaper I freelance for.

  29. Dexter said on May 31, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Jeff…I owned 4 of those Country Squires…GREAT wagons for loading up 8 or nine friends and blasting off for a White Sox game.
    Once I had ten people in my ’66 VW bus for a Chicago trip and the electrical system broke down and the battery slowly drained…time we got back to NE Indiana, only a twinkle of light was projecting from the headlights. I simply traded it for a ’68 bus . .
    Yes, I had 3 Dodge Polaras, too…great cars every one…the 1967 Polara with the 383 engine would go 122 mph at least, accelerated like a rocket, and got 20 mpg going 65 mph.

  30. caliban said on May 31, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    ’54 Buick,eh? a Boat, a tank. We had a ’59 Checker and my dad thought nobody could possibly get hurt in that car. Some drunken Southfield yahoo ran a red light coming from a bar on 11 Mile and split my little brother’s head wide open. I ran to the bar and called the cops and an ambulance, and ran to Mark and did boy scout training–applied direct pressure with my brand new suede jacket. All survived, but it was a memorable night.

    They took us to Botsford Hospital, an Osteopathic Hospital. I told the ambulance drivers to take us to Beaumont. Physician’s child, and I knew my dad would be pissed off about the osteopath business. They insisted on x-raying his leg when it was obvious his head had been whacked.

    My dad took us out of there, and I sat in the backseat and tried to get Mark to talk to me. He drifted in and out of consciousness, and I thought he’d died, and I’d already had a little brother die of leukemia, and, for a fact, I would have given my life, on the spot. He didn’t die. Grew up to be a champion long distance swimmer and an expert on Stratfordian Shakespeare, and the best man I know.

    Funny how things work out. He despises Hillary. I can’t figure out why anybody does unless they buy some Karl Rove bullshit. I think she knows what she’s talking about and Obama’s going to end up listening to her.

    How do you know your dad is a hero? Well, he’s your dad, so of course he is. When he hounds you about vital signs while driving like a maniac, rings true, and I’ve never been more scared in my life.

    Made it to Beaumont, got major league surgery, you can barely see the scar. But I saw the blood and his skull.

  31. caliban said on May 31, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Everybody with a brain know the difference, unless they’re Bushco, between enormity and enormousness. Are you nauseous or nauseated? Or just inducing nausea? The lies these assholes have spread are enormous. They constitute an enormity. Hitler without the brains. Just greed. But Cheney had other interests.

  32. caliban said on May 31, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    So he didn’t choose to serve.

    Way I look at this, my friend Randall Gillis died so Cheney could get rich off his bones.

  33. caliban said on May 31, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Randy didn’t choose to. Cheney chos not to and he’s spent his rebolting life trying to make John Kerry look bad. If you were about to be killed, which guy would you rather have show up tp save your ass. Cheney, you’re a war profiteer. John Kerry is a hero, even if you ‘orgressives’ don’t want to admit it. Saved guys lives. What the hell is wrong with you? Hodean? Bullshit.

  34. Catherine said on May 31, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Dexter and Mark, you’re making me drool/weep. I desperately wanted a (used) Karmann Ghia for my first car. Instead, I let my dad talk me into… wait for it… a ’76 Chevette. That was the last time I really listened to him about anything.

  35. LA Mary said on May 31, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I had a 68 Ghia for a short time. An idiot ran a light and hit the front side. I wasn’t hurt but the Ghia was totaled. I think I had for two months. Cool little car.

  36. Dexter said on May 31, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    yep. We seem to be in agreement here at N-World that the Karmann Ghias were fine cars. I used to love to seek out roads with 90 degree angle curves and take the curves at high speeds. The Ghia just sat on the road and never gave way…little noticeable sway…great, fun car. I love Formula One racing and I sort of know how it feels!
    Elsewhere…
    I am nine miles high…my Red Wings just beat the Penguins for a 3-1 series lead!

  37. Dexter said on June 1, 2008 at 12:02 am

    …oh…our Aunt Dorothy drove a Dodge Dart….

  38. MarkH said on June 1, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Jeff, hard to believe anyone would post a Country Squire page on Wiki. The light blue one there is a ’67 like ours, except ours was white. But my buddy, Craig’s family, had the piece de resistance of Squires: a turqoise, fully loaded ’68, complete with a 428 in it. One the weekends that Craig could commandeer it, our crowd of eight or so became hell-on-wheels around Cincinnati. I mean, that thing positively flew.

    Yes, Dexter, that ’66 was my Porsche 356, as well (I would never think of going so far as pretending it was a 911).

  39. caliban said on June 1, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Who said what, Church Lady Olbermann notwithstanding? It might be helpful if sensible voters would acknowledge that bum-rushing caucuses is just about as undemocratic as electoral politics is capable of getting. Lee Atwater? That would be trying to make the former President out as a closet racist based on cowardly spin worthy of Atwater himself. When it all comes down, who played the race card and who flung mud? Even the Church Lady seems to get that.

    One thing is important. No more Cheney. No more government by Blackwater and Halliburton. And holy shit, trying to paint the Clintons as Militia fellow travelers ain’t the way. That’s just bogus.

    Wolves are more or less better than humans. Humans shooting wolves for sport are somewhat less than human. Prokovief had this right. Wolves do what they must, and they swallow ducks. (“What kind of bird are you if you can’t fly?” – “What kind of bird are you if you can’t swim?”).

  40. MichaelG said on June 1, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I had a ’61 or ’62 four door Falcon wagon once. The basic model, no shelf paper on the sides. Had a little six with about 12 HP and three on the tree. I’d love to have it back. Best car I had in the old days was a ’69 BMW 2002. First wife got it in the divorce. I got the ’67 Dodge convert.

    I drive a couple of dozen rental cars a year. One thing that strikes me is how competent they all are, from little Hyundai shitboxes to huge Lincoln Towncars, when compared to cars of 40 years ago

    That airport at Tegucigalpa looks terrifying. Personally, I always preferred slipping into an Xwind rather than crabbing.

  41. LA Mary said on June 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Dexter I think we might be the same person. I used to seek out banked freeway ramp turns and accelerate. That little car was like a porsche junior.

  42. Dorothy said on June 1, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Isn’t there any way at ALL that caliban can be banished? I have to agree with what Bassett said several hours ago… And if he has that much to rant about, why doesn’t he get his own blog? Sheesh…

  43. Dexter said on June 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    “…from little Hyundai shitboxes …”-MichaelG

    hmmmm….shitbox cars….I nominate a 1970 little Dodge I bought for a couple hundred bucks out of the Journal-Gazette classifieds. Some hillbillies had it for sale; Grandpa Hillbilly had to give up driving. I drove to The Fort …the house was by the river , off of Wells Street.
    The car was deplorable…filthy…but it seemed sound, and it was cheap.
    I got it home and opened the trunk…OMG !! The HORROR!!
    Gramps had been using the trunk for a soiled underwear depository! Well…I had kids, and I paid them to get a stick and remove the crusty garments to a garbage bag…they never forgave me for that!
    My wife made me sell the car immediately, too. YUCK !

  44. Dexter said on June 1, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    LA M. “…I used to seek out banked freeway ramp turns and accelerate.”

    …wanna drag? I have a real hot Pontiac minivan on the road these days!

  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 1, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    T

    M

    I

    Dex, TMI. Nothin’ like queasy after a Sunday cookout with too much greasy food, a few hours in the hot sun, playing soccer with a bunch of little kids, then popping a beer, sitting down in the living room, clicking up a few blogs and . . . TMI.

    And here i was looking forward to “The Next Food Network Star” tonight — hope this nausea passes by 10 pm.

  46. Dexter said on June 1, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    gee, MMJeff…I really toned it down, too. I’m saving what was actually in that trunk for a contest about all-time gross-outs. (think REAL disgusting scenarios…you’ll be on track.)L8R…

  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 1, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    As long as there wasn’t a bowling ball bag in the trunk, with a tag for “Guido” hanging from the handles.

  48. nancy said on June 1, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    If this was when I was working in Fort Wayne, I’m disappointed I didn’t get a call. Would have made a hell of a column.

  49. Dexter said on June 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    1979…a bit before your column , maybe? Yeah, you or Ann Colone (R.I.P) or Cliff Milnor could have fun with a topic like that. Milnor’s column ran in the JG, as I recall, going back at least to the 1960s. I don’t know how well you knew Colone, but the little people loved her. If you knew Larry Wheeler from your time on WGL, he is a friend of mine . He is an antennae specialist and was a close HAM radio buddy of Bob Sievers, but I think he was an engineer for WGL for a time, too.

  50. whitebeard said on June 1, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Dorothy, Bassett, Please
    Caliban and his rants are known as free speech, protected by the law of the land, last I heard. We can, if we wish, decide to ignore and not read what he writes, but he is like a diamond in the rough, uncut, unpolished and definitely not a perfect typist. Sometimes, I am upset by what he writes and express my displeasure, but I will vigorously defend his right to post his comments, as I would hope he defends my right.

  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 1, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Re: CalibanJ, or whomever s/he is today — it ain’t free speech, it’s Nancy’s porch, so her rules rule.

    Having said that, this puts me in mind of a much discussed article passed about among clergy blogs recently — http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/faith/19408079.html?location_refer=Most%20Viewed:Faith%20+%20Values

    My position has been to work with, around, and through disruptions, but i work with homeless folks quite a bit, so i’m not as easily thrown as some, but not because i’m i nicer person. Just used to the fact that irrationality is normal behavior, and all part of the rich pageant . . . and it makes me think through my own pretensions to rationality!

  52. basset said on June 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I agree with Jeff on this one. Caliban/Michaelj/whatever name he chooses next indeed has a right to say whatever he wants, but that doesn’t mean we have to listen to it. by whitebeard’s reasoning, Caliban/whoever could walk in your front door, plop down on your couch, and start free-associating, you’d be obliged to put up with him… at least as long as he was talking.

    Thing is, we are giving him exactly what he wants – attention. Usually I just ignore trolls and eventually they go away, that’s probably the best approach here. Be a lot easier if Nance just flicked the switch on him, though.

  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 1, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    According to Travis McGee, “easier” is how you can always tell what you shouldn’t do.

    The word of the MacDonald.

    (Thanks be to John.)

  54. LA Mary said on June 2, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Dexter, I’ve got a six year old VW new beetle, which is actually pretty fun to drive, but it’s no ghia. Still a lot of fun, though. I really love it. I have to find something very cheap for older son to drive. He just graduated and will be commuting to school for the first year. The light rail at the bottom of my hilll does go right to the college though. He doesn’t really need a car. Unless his dad buys it, insures it, and pays for gas, that is.

  55. Dexter said on June 2, 2008 at 2:38 am

    Tough call, ain’t it, LA M. Of course a Volvo is a great safe car , but now with air bags and other safety issues, other determining factors can influence you and him, and Dad. Here we are , forced to decide on make and model with gasoline mileage always first, and for some , it’s scary to think of a loved one on the freeways in a Totota Yaris when SUVs are on the sides and coming up fast in the mirror. However, the Yaris went up 40% in sales recently, and SUV sales tanked. Maybe soon our freeways will resemble Italian roadways, full of Vespas and other motorbikes, and cars the size of Smart Cars.
    ( I have a short history of being in LA…post-army days, crashing at a buddy’s place in Canoga Park and vacationing and staying in Eagle Rock off Colorado Blvd. Near there was an entrance ramp to a freeway ( maybe the “Historic Arroyo Seco Parkway”?) with a stop sign at the end of the on-ramp…my sis-in-law told me that was a relic from when the freeway was built…I think all ramps had stop sign at merge points when freeways were new…right?)

  56. whitebeard said on June 2, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Dexter. I can even remember traffic lights to regulate the flow of vehicles at certain times of the day. Of course, most freeways have recommended speed limits for entrance ramps; they must be only recommended because no one pays attention. I also remember 55 mph speed limits during the oil shortage; perhaps the double nickel (55) should be reinstated because of the shortage of money to pay for our soon-to-arrive $5 gasoline and $6 diesel fuel. Set the thermostats to 55 also; you look good in blue in the northern states.

  57. LA Mary said on June 2, 2008 at 9:47 am

    You were in my neck of the woods, Dexter. Eagle Rock is next door. I’m in Mt.Washington, the hilly part of Highland Park. The freeway is still operating with 1930s ramps and rules which makes for lots of minor accidents on ramps. Eagle Rock is now hip and getting hipper, read more expensive. The biggest news in Highland Park is the Superior supermarket that opened. Huge Latino supermarket with a tortilleria right at the front door. You can get a bag of 36 hot tortillas for 99 cents.