This has been another week of mixed blessings. The cancer of prejudice has been manifesting in our community with the expected results. I will save that discussion for later in this post.
First I want to discuss adventure and things automotive. This book, Peking to Paris, is impossible to put down. The photography is so stunning and text so descriptive you can taste the sandy grit in your teeth, feel the cold wind in your face, and the excitement of racing across the Gobi Desert in an automobile built more than century ago.
I have posted links to Amazon.com for this book as well as for several other titles that will be of interest towards the bottom of the blog.This book sparked a wide array of thoughts in regards to vintage automobiles, how they are perceived, how they are used, and the passions stirred by them.
At one end of the spectrum we have street rodders who carry on the tradition of personalizing vehicles begun when the first car rolled from the factory. Sadly, today every car customized brings us one step closer to zero in regards to original cars. I borrowed this line from a friend who is passionate to the point of being obsessive about originality.At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who restore a car beyond originality and never drive them. These trailer queens present the illusion, to those unfamiliar with vintage cars, that for a car to be driven and enjoyed it must be modified.
In recent years there has been a growing trend towards older vehicles being used for the intended purpose, namely being driven. This book, as with the upcoming Great American Race, takes that concept to the absolute extreme.In my world there is a happy medium, namely cars that are not altered to such a degree they cannot be returned to originality but yet present the best of both worlds where necessary to make them practical transportation. As an example axle changes to ensure modern speed is acceptable, cutting the top is not.Now, an explanation for the other photos on this post. These were taken in the historic district of Kingman along Route 66.
They show what can be done to preserve older buildings until a useful purpose is found and how the perception of what Route was can be a profitable foundation for a business.
Mr. D’z Diner is a recreation of sorts. This was a diner, The Kimo Cafe, with a Shell station next door for more than forty years. The current owners converted the fuel island into dining space, converted the garage into a gift shop, added a colorful well themed sign, and landscaped with original 1930s street lamps from Los Angeles. Adding a root beer of their own concoction in heavy, frosted glass mugs and simple, traditional fare completes the illusion.
The taxi stand was a taxi stand. For many years it stood empty with broken windows. Then a local business owner conceived the idea you see here. The building is still empty but it is no longer an eyesore.
The old water tower is in need of serious repair but faces an unknown future. The owner seems to be keeping the property in an arrested state of decay but to date has shown no inclination in restoration of the tower or adjacent house.
Now, a quick rant from the soap box. Prejudice, on a societal level, is a cancer. On an individual level it is a crutch to justify all manner of inadequacies, fears, and frustrations.
Details are really not important. Suffice to say a very kind, very gentle young man has learned that it can be very dangerous to be of Mexican ancestry when a society needs a scapegoat and forgets to see individuals as such instead of a faceless member of a group.
Please do not misunderstand. I am wholly incensed about the wave of illegal immigration. It has devastated whole communities in Mexico, it has caused an incredible divide in this country, is blatantly unfair to those who immigrated in a legal manner, is dehumanizing, and is even deadly.
I am very concerned about the threat and danger to this nation that illegal immigration represents. I am, however, more frightened about the ramifications of a nation stampeded into seeing a group or nationality of people as the source and root of all their problems.
Perhaps the time has come to restore the concept of rule of law to this nation. Perhaps the time has come to hold those responsible for this international tragedy responsible, after all it is an election year.