Monday, July 14, 2014


My wife released from surgery
Still feeling the anesthetic
I close the shades in the hotel room
And cut off all the lights

The air-conditioning produces white noise
I sit by her in bed
And watch her while she sleeps
This is a quite time
My time alone with only my own thoughts

I don’t mind

Why am I thinking about cars?

In 1962, a third class in the Navy, I drove a fifty-two Pontiac with the left brake line crimped off and the power steering disconnected from Argentia, Newfoundland to Washington D.C.   A friend of mine drove his family in a VW bus from Kentucky to Alaska.  A Navy buddy of mine blew his engine traveling through Maine: we had to pawn almost everything we owned to get money to rebuild the engine so he and his new wife could continue on to Kansas City.   These were driving adventures: people don’t do that today

As a young man I worked on my cars: big eights with four barrel carbs.  I rebuilt the engines, installed gauges, a floor shift, glass packed mufflers with a cut out and amplified speakers for my AM radio.   I probably drove to fast; but I was in control – the car responded only to me and my commands.  My cars were always special: an extension of who I wanted to be.

Today cars are mainly transportation; and in the case of some people a symbol of money and status.   But that personal relationship of a man and his car rarely exist nowadays.

We don’t drive our automobiles any more – we ride in them.  We turn more of our decisions over to the automobiles: a vehicle with a little computer chip that monitors all mechanical and operating functions.   We have GPS, Blue Tooth, OnStar, self deploying air bags, back up warning and camera, self parking programmed, automatic braking, blind spot warning, automatic light dimmers...  Our vehicles are capable of making their own decisions.    We click on the air conditioner and select our satellite radio station and read our text messages as we are transported with minimum effort and input to our destination. 

I have a cell phone, but it has no camera and is not capable of texting; anyway, I never turn it on unless I need to make a call.

 the Ol’Buzzard


  1. I hope your wife has a speedy and complete recovery!

  2. Good to see you posting...I was wondering where you were. I hope your wife is recuperating quickly...I am forcing myself to do more cycling. It took me a few years to accept that I needed email. I resisted cell phones in NYC. The guy I worked for wanted to buy me one so I would be available for what he deemed emergencies.No way....Now I have a cell phone, but no camera and I always have to remember how to use it. Living here in this rural place without a garage nearby has made me a better mechanic. I can order almost anything I need on line cheaply...Luckily, I have a few friends who are good mechanics and when I really need help I can count on them. I am reoilved to the fact that I will have to get another car...I have a 1995 Peugot and nothing lasts forever.

  3. btw, I will eventually write about my adventure obtaining a French Drivers license...I was informed that I had to start from scratch...after 3 years, my NYS license was not legal if I was a resident here. I'm still in shock from the experience..the test here is much harder than anything I had to pass in the USA and the classes are almost like a college level course! You really have to have a pretty good basic comprehension of what goes on under the hood of your car here to pass the test. But, even though I have fairly good conversational French skills...the course and test was entirely in French so I had another level of dyslexic cotton to stumble through...Still, once you get the license, it is good for life...I had to drive around with a magnetic A sticker on my bumper for 6 months.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."