Tag Archives: cars

The love affair with automobiles

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Experts agree that almost everyone born in the US between 1950 and 1960 was conceived in the back seat of a Ford, General Motors, or Chrysler automobile.  The overwhelming majority of the comparative few exceptions were mainly Studebakers because of the convenience of the suicide-style back doors opening forward to allow more horizontal legroom.   The highest percentages go to the 1949 Ford Club Coupe, the 1954 Chevrolet Sedan, and the 1956 Ford Crown Victoria.

But I’ve digressed.  My point is, almost nobody was conceived in a pickup or passenger car with a floor shift or bucket seats.  And nobody, not one pregnancy resulted from sexual congress in a hotrod.  Which is the reason parents allowed youngsters of the day to build and drive them.  A young man with a hotrod had little time or need to devote himself to the pursuit of female company.

Naturally the music industry approved this means of birth control and tried to the best of its ability to stimulate interest in and sing the virtues of coffins on wheels, speed, running from the law and other non-sexual avenues of endeavor for young men.

Red Foley’s, ‘Hotrod Race‘ was the first of these:

After a tasteful passage of time this was answered by Charlie Ryan’s, ‘Hotrod Lincoln‘, claiming to be the person driving the Model A who passed Foley and the car he’d been racing against in ‘Hotrod Race’.

George Hamilton IV, in “If You Don’t Know” attempted to combine an interest in girls and hot cars by driving a ’54 souped up Ford Deluxe with high compression heads and overdrive, which succeeded for speed but had mixed results with females.

The Beach Boys were a bit late off the starting line with “Little Deuce Coupe” in 1964 because the sexual revolution had come along allowing babies to be conceived elsewhere than the back seats of automobiles.  However, I mention it here to demonstrate the lingering nature of fads, once begun.  Long after hotrods were no longer needed to protect the virtue of young men in the US, the sound of a burned out muffler still caused a faster heartbeat.

Robert Mitchum followed the formula in Ballad of Thunder Road, combining fast cars and running from the cops with filling up the spare space in the automobile with mountain whiskey instead of females.  The song led to many a high-speed chase around the cities of America providing thrills to both police, and teenagers.  And frequently ambulance and hearse drivers.

When the Nash Rambler hit the market nobody mistook it for a cool aphrodisiac setting for launching future generations.  The car was considered ugly, though it appealed so a certain type.  But since it wasn’t for the one thing, it must be for the other.  At least in the minds of the music industry:

Although I doubt many children begin their long journey toward birth in modern automobiles now, there are a lot of similarities to the hotrod part of the 1950s love affair.  People love being seen in Hum Vees and dooley trucks.  Everyone wants a SUV.  And a person still sees the occasional racy sports car.

Mostly today the guys don’t roll up their pants cuffs, though, and some do find themselves attracted to women.

Old Jules

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Named a car Killed in Action? KIA? Hell, I suppose.

Hi readers.  From the Civil War until today KIA has meant Killed in Action.  Never meant anything else that I’m aware of.  Everyone knew what it meant.

So when I began noticing little medallions on cars with KIA on them a few years back I assumed it was some after-factory patriotic thing that didn’t make any more sense than all these damned Chinese-made ribbons demanding people support our troops, eat our veggies, and go to church Sundays.

Well, guess what.  It’s the name of a real, actual automobile manufactured in Korea.  A good one, I’m told.  Though its sales were probably slow off the starting line.  Who the hell wants a car with Killed in Action medallions all over it.

Jeanne’s car search has led her in the direction of KIAs because they have lousy resale value.  Those and Hyundai.  Both Korean.  I heartily approve because I’d hate to give any support at all to Japan, whether it’s the car industry used resales, or anything else.

And Koreans are good folks, even if you can’t understand their inscrutable senses of humor.  Naming a car Killed in Action, for instance.

Old Jules

A national referendum – “Giddyup 409, or a war somewhere?”

Hi readers.  The cats and I were thinking about how, if we didn’t have representative democracy we could deal with priorities directly by national referendum what with 21st Century communications.  Decide important matters directly based on what Slippery Sal the Waterfront Gal, Professor Hoodwink, Carlos the hamburger flipper and Daddy Warbucks all want for the best of everyone.

  1. Would you rather have $1 per gallon gasoline and go back to driving Rocket 88s and Giddyup 409s, or have a war somewhere?
  2. Would you rather have a job, or have everything imported from China?
  3. Would you rather deal with a multi-national bank, or have your financial affairs with a state or local credit union?
  4. Would you rather have a War on Drugs and more prisoners in the slammers than anywhere else in the world, or would you prefer to let people make some lousy decisions in their personal lives?
  5. Do you feel more threatened by the Mafia, foreign terrorists, or Homeland Security?
  6. Would you rather force US parmaceutical companies to sell prescription drugs at the same price they’re sold in Mexico and Canada, ot let them rape you and whatever kind of insurance you have?

That sort of thing.

I’m not suggesting it’s right, what regular people would want from the government, but it’s sort of a cultural given that it’s what we’ve always been led to believe this democracy thing is all about. 

If the most people in the country want, say, to put severe restrictions on pharmaceutical companies and force them to price medications at the same rate they’re available in Canada or Mexico, heck, someone ought to ask them.   After all, it’s a government of the people, by the people and for the people we’ve been told. 

And if the most people want to move the seat of government to Omaha, Nebraska, someone ought to find out it’s what they want and do it.

But of course it ain’t going to happen.  Because whatever we might have been led to believe, this thing in Washington DC we call a democracy isn’t anything remotely similar to a democracy unless the definition of the word democracy gets some twisting and turning, wringing out.

Nothing wrong with lying about it and saying it is, but recognizing our own lies to ourselves might help us deal with what we actually do have instead of democracy.  Might allow us to just laugh it all off, as it richly deserves.

 I have a feeling if there’d been any national referendums beginning sometime around 1950 until now this country would look a lot different than it does now.  Might actually look better in some ways, though we’d have a lot more Rocket 88s going down the highways.

Old Jules

John F. Kennedy and Barbie go to Boston – 1962 – The rest of the story

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I promised the other day that I’d relate one more precious memory of John and Jackie Kennedy’s Boston adventure. 

A better way – Getting new royalty when the President croaks

So here it is.

All those men lined up along Boylston Street, including Julio, Tonyand I were still mesmerized by the thoughts of whether Jackie Kennedy would be an inspired bed partner.  The street between the police cordons was vacant for a moment, when suddenly the sound of a bell clanging brought our attention back.

Hell bent down empty Boylston came a vehicle pulling an open trailer.  A guy was on the back of the trailer ringing a huge bell mounted there, big bell.  Church bell sized, rather than locomotive sized.  On the side of the trailer was a huge sign, “KRUSHCHEV SAYS, ‘WE WILL BURY YOU!”

They zipped past us, hung a hard left around Boston Plaza, and swung in behind the emptying motorcade in front of the Plaza Hotel.  Still ringing that damned bell.  [Likely the granddaddy of the patriots of today, I’m thinking by hindsight.]

Friends and readers, this whole thing was not in keeping with the high standards Boston wanted in their welcoming Ken and Barbie to town.  Every cop on Boylston forgot about that yellow tape and ran across Boston Plaza, pulling their billy clubs out as they ran.  Wasn’t any time at all before that trailer was surrounded by Boston’s finest and all an observer could see was the backs of cops and a forest of billy clubs rising and falling.

They weren’t aiming for that bell, either.  Didn’t hear it clang one single time after the first club rose and fell.

But you’ve got to admit the guy had imagination and class.  A freaking liberty bell!  You surely don’t see that anymore.  All these teapartying occupiers just go around telling one another inane BS about what they think about guns and abortion and Wall Street.

If that guy with the liberty bell lived through the next five minutes after the cops got him, he might be still alive.  He could teach these modern jerks a thing or two about how to deliver messages to the Kens and Barbies.

Having some Secret Service or Homeland Security thug put a rifle bullet through your face before the cops arrived with mace and 20,000 volt non-lethal zappers to finish you off ought not deter anyone from a little display of class and imagination.

Old Jules