I wrote those lines in a song a long time ago. They were recalled to me by an e-mail I got in response to my column, “Cars,” from my Uncle Charles, my late father’s twin brother:
“I also remember your Dad and me coming to Mpls to pick up a 1948 Ford 2-dr for your granddad Sabo that a relative who worked for a Ford dealership near Henn and Lake was able to get when cars still came on a waiting list.”
“Henn and Lake” means the intersection of Hennepin and Lake Boulevards in Minneapolis (“Mpls”). The relative may have been my grandfather’s brother Orlund. And Charles unconsciously named the model of the car they got, which was called a “Tudor.”
To me, my grandfather’s car was always old, always dusty, always worn. Its color, one of ten available, was “Colony Blue,” an almost navy blue not much suited to shine through the prairie grit of South Dakota. But Charles’s note reminded me that it had once been new, shiny, and full of the promise of a spanking clean product, especially remarkable for coming at the end of a long darkness of deprivation during World War II, when all heavy manufacturing had been devoted to the fight. The last new cars had been made in 1942.p> A 1944 FORD ADVERTISEMENT CAPTURES the longing, the resignation, and the gloom of the wartime period. The long ad copy, below a busy, dark woodcut of a wintry horse and buggy scene, depicted a very early Ford, an experimental model that came even before the Model T, open, steered with a tiller, and recalled the stir “Mr. Ford” had made with that astounding new machine. “Swifter than a racehorse it flew over the icy streets!” the ad was headlined, quoting a newspaper report of the time. The copy recalled Ford’s triumphs in the years since, ending on a determined note about Ford production news being “restricted” because devoted to “mass production of aircraft and other tools of victory.” And then it said: br> /p>
But there will come a day when Ford news again will feature civilian models. You may be sure they will reflect all the ingenuity and precision engineering traditional with Ford. Yes, the Ford cars of the future may even challenge the descriptive powers of that forgotten reporter who, at the turn of the century, rolled along the streets of Detroit “swifter than a race horse.” …br> The ad is shown here
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online