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Saturday, March 25, 2017

I Cannot Believe I Am Writing About...Cars

In a million years you would never, ever guess where I spent time last weekend. I was in Cleveland at the IX Center at The Piston Power Show, looking at...cars. Nothing but cars, cars, and more cars. There were so many cars there that I thought for sure I would throw up.

Or die.

Did you know that it is Entirely Possible to walk around and around and around and around and around for hours and hours and keep looking at cars, cars, and more cars and still not see all the cars in a show?

Because it is. It absolutely is.

And lots and lots of people--other people--do it. I did it just this once because This:



That's my son's car (before display setup), which I tell him looks like a big saddle shoe. Sam bought a gutted, destroyed old Honda Del Sol and rebuilt and modified it into a little race car. The Piston Power Show was his first big show, and I wanted to go and support him. He won a Second Place Trophy in his division. Not bad for his very first car project.

Despite my obvious pride in my son's accomplishments, his little car was still not the best or cutest car that I have seen lately. No, Dearest Readers, and it was Not Even Close. Not when this is Out There:



I. Know. And I saw it In Person! At the grocery store!

I could not wait to get into the store to zip around the aisles and see if I could determine who the driver of this Fantastic Vehicle might be. Would there be an actual clown in the store, grabbing bags of balloons or candy or an illicit pack of cigarettes? Or would there be a middle-aged woman dressed in Bohemian garb, scarves flowing and bracelets clacking on her arms as she piled cans of dog food into her cart? Maybe there would be some way to tell--some way--who the driver of such a joyful and ostentatious vehicle was!

Alas, my powers of observation failed me.  Try as I might, I was unable to discern who among my fellow shoppers owned this Magical Mystery Car.  I left the store with no idea of its owner, but with so much Cheer In My Heart.  This is The Happiest Car On Earth.  And I bet these dogs are plenty content, too.

Why this car wasn't in the Piston Power Show, I don't know.  I would give it First Prize in the Bliss Division.

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20 comments:

  1. Your son's saddle shoe car is cute. Probably not the comment he'd like to read, but it is. How cool is it that he did so well in the competition? As for the dotty car with dogs, I'm intrigued. I hope you see it again so you can figure out who owns it.

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    1. Ally Bean--Thank you--and everyone--for the kind words about Sam's car and his accomplishment.

      He's used to hearing me say decidedly Non-Muscle Things about his cars. When he had his Mazda, which he modified a little (lowered it and put in a noisy muffler thingy), I told him it looked like a Giant Remote-Control Car. He just grins, rolls his eyes a little, and puts up with my crap.

      I hung around as long as I could that day--stalker!--in hopes that the car's/dogs' owner would arrive, but after several minutes, I had to continue on my errands. And I was not at my Usual Grocery, this one in a neighboring town. Oh, well.

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  2. I love that little polka-dotted car! That's the kind of car I always wanted, but since my commute was usually on an interstate I didn't think it would be a good option. Now my commute is from the bedroom to my office, so this could well be my next car :)

    Sam's car is pretty fabulous as well, and reminds me that I always wanted saddle shoes & never got any (probably because I never ASKED - my mother would totally have let me get some if I'd asked).

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    1. Bug--I love the look of those little SMART cars, but I know that I'd feel so vulnerable in them out on the road, even just in town. My Prius is about as small as I can handle.

      I cannot imagine any female Baby Boomer who did NOT wear saddle shoes. But then, I was an extremely sheltered Midwesterner. Perhaps those in other regions did not wear them as a rite of passage as we did.

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  3. Congratulations to your son, that's amazing! I hate saddle shoes, however, because as a child I had to wear corrective shoes, and the only style they came in was saddle shoes. Nothing like taking the choice away to make someone want something ELSE. But I like his car anyway, and it's very cool that he won 2nd place!

    The dogs and their polka dot car are adorable. I do so wish the driver were a clown in big floppy shoes, or perhaps a woman of a certain age who looks like Auntie Mame or Mrs Roper.

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    1. J@jj.com--My mother was big into saddle shoes for us girls when we were little. I always wanted black patent Mary Janes, which reminded me of tap shoes. Then, I wanted RED SHOES, preferably Ruby Slippers like Dorothy's. Both were an Impossibility, of course, forever. Probably what caused my shoe obsession later in life, and my constant affinity for red shoes of all kinds. But now, I do want some saddle shoes. Hmmm.

      Your point about taking Choice away is made!

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  4. I love the polka dot car because it does make you smile and feel good about the world. But I'd love to drive your son's car. That is a really classy car and it does remind me of a saddle shoe from my youth, now that you mention it. (Fun remembers, thanks for that.) Getting second place at a show like that is nothing to sneeze at.

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    1. Jean R.--Hello, and welcome to the Dept.! If you drive any of Sam's cars, be prepared for NOISE. He is a traditionalist, and he likes a loud, racing, revving engine. That thing has a high horsepower to the wheels and is LOUD. Even Zydrunas, his huge dog (featured in my sidebar) won't ride in it. But if you're a Car Gal, it may be just your style.

      As you say, second place at a national show is a Big Deal, and we were justifiably proud. Sam was happy, but will now shoot for First.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you here often!

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  5. Julie and I are twins, I had to wear the exact same corrective shoe! I wonder why it seems now that no one I know has to wear corrective shoes any longer.

    We are a Honda family, and I have always thought the del Sols were so cute. I like the rims he chose. Does he drive these around, or are they strictly for shows? Does he get more money for them if he wins a prize at a show? I would imagine, right? Congrats to him!

    The polka dot car is super cheerful. At first I thought the dots were vinyl stickers, but they actually look like paint. I bet you could get some stickers for your car, look!

    https://www.carstickers.com/proddetail.php?prod=5967

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  6. Gina--Hey...you know, you're right. I have a boatload of nieces, nephews, and grands of same, and not one of them has had to wear corrective shoes. And there used to be a Stride Rite store in every mall. Haven't seen one of those in ages. Both my sons started out in the traditional Christopher Robin saddle shoe walkers. And they looked ADORABLE. Now, most kids start out in Nikes. Or Weeboks. (And all due credit to that last one--totally clever name. Good job by their marketing people.)

    Sam will drive his car around in good weather (this is the first year it will be driveable), although its low-slung carriage makes that difficult. Practicality was not a Big Consideration.

    Yes, the Happy Car's polka dots are a paint job. Talk about a Full Commitment To Joy. Another reason to love that car. (As if I needed it.) And I have to tell you, I went to the site you provided and looked at the car vinyls. I would have entertained the notion if they were in a more transparent medium. I would want a more subtle look, but still covet Hot Pink Polka Dots on my jet black Prius.

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  7. Congratulations to your son. So great that he came in 2nd. And congratulations to you for hanging out at the show. I probaby would have gone to see his car and then left - lol.

    The dotty car is cute, but I would hate to drive one or be a passenger. Always freaks me out when I see one on a busy road.

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    1. Vera--I would have liked to do that, but I was with Rick, who wanted to Look Around. Sigh.

      I'm with you on the SMART cars. They look so vulnerable and like a Crash Magnet. Even around town, I'd be nervous.

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  8. Regarding the corrective shoes that Gina and I wore, I have read that what they were supposed to correct isn't really a problem and most kids grow out of it on their own. For whatever that's worth, but it may explain why you don't see them anymore.

    I'm still knock kneed, which I think is what I wore them for. So if for many kids they grow out of it, and others they dn't help, then why the expense? I look back and feel badly for my mom, a single mother who worked as a private school teacher (Montessori), which didn't pay enough, so she also had a job as a waitress...neither job had health insurance. And me, with braces, glasses, and corrective shoes. And I hated my glasses and threw them behind my friend's fridge.

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    1. J@jj--Your comment is ringing distant bells in my head, but I still might do a little casual research later. I think I remember reading about how allowing kids to go barefoot--the exact opposite treatment--was found to be the "cure" for most childhood foot "problems." I'm all for it. Jared had to wear terrible infant corrective shoes almost at birth. It was heartbreaking. I had a lot of guilt for that, being told that my small stature (short-waisted) was the reason. He was terribly crowded in there.

      Bless your sainted mother, and sainted mothers everywhere. As children, none of us can possibly understand what they go through for us. We're too hedonistic, and that's just the nature, of course. But you took wonderful care of her, J. You paid it back many times over. You know that, I hope. XO

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  9. Sam’s car is beautiful! I would love to drive it (except for the noise factor). He is very talented and I bet he does win 1st place one day.

    The Polka-Dotted car: That does look like fun, and those pups inside are melting my heart. I would worry about the size of it, too, though, and also... anything that would make me a target for cops just looking to give a ticket. Cuz... it kind of stands out, lol. Great, on the other hand, for finding your car quickly when you forget where you parked.

    I have driven a lot of jalopies in my day, but my favorite was probably my 1968 SEAT 600: the poor man’s equivalent of a VW in Spain. No longer on the road, of course. Mine was 12 years old when I bought it for about $300. Looked like this: http://tinyurl.com/kur89mr
    It had a few teeth missing in first gear, and, thanks to a drunk who was uninsured and ran into it one night, some very original red plaid upholstery which he threw in when he had my car repaired. Sounds like a nightmare, but I loved it because my previous car was a 1959 Austin 40 I bought from a British friend: right hand drive, a plastic windshield, and no front passenger seat as she had removed it in order to move from the U.K. to Spain. It was the delight (blight!) of the neighborhood.

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    1. Ortizzle--I wonder if those dogs are yappy and barky the whole time they are riding in that car. That would make it a Less Chipper Car for me.

      Your favourite car is just adorable, and with red plaid seats must have been charming. It reminds me of those old-timey war ambulances from the movies, and I can't help but think of Hemingway when I look at that picture. I know I'm hoplessly mixing my timeframes, but there you have it.

      Since cars are nothing but basic transport to me, I can't really say I had a favourite. I did love my 1996 loaded Ford Explorer a lot. It had power everything and a terrific sound system. I hated our Aries K Car, which was an unmitigated Piece Of Shit. Leaked everywhere: windshield, trunk, windows, floorboard. Ugh.

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  10. What makes you think that wasn't the dogs car? Looks to me like one of them was behind the wheel -- probably waiting for all the nosy humans to stop staring so they could back out.

    Congrats to your son -- car is sharp! Am not keen on lots of motor revving noise -- just a subtle smooth running sound for my taste.

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    1. joared--I know, right? Now I'm laughing, imagining that taller dog backing that car out of the space. How good is that image? Thank you!

      I'm not keen on much of any noise, to be truthful. After thirty years in one of Ohio's 10 Big Urbans, I got all topped up. But Sam is real big on Motor Noise--the muscle kind--and has video of his car shooting a little fire. No, thank you.

      His car is attractive, but if it was as purringly silent as my Prius, then, well, he would really have something. ;-)

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  11. The polka dots are so cute I must hide the photo from the 13 yr old, who wants one badly. But your son's car is classy and a classic and deserved a prize. Me, I have tto go to tractor shows and boat shows. There are a lot of different tractors that all look the same - menacing - to me.

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    1. Mary G--There was much discussion as to whether or not to paint the piece of trim under the doors black or white on Sam's car. I opted for black, but white won out since it helped the car maintain its signature low profile. Continuity of Design meant nothing.

      I agree one hundred percent with you as to the character of tractors and the tenor of shows featuring same. Ugh and Yawn. When we used to go to our local county fair (mainly so I could commune with local cows), children would clamor and clamber among the sizable tractor display with great interest and awe. So would their male adult attendants. I think I've made my Point.

      Now, had there been a Puppies And SMART Cars display, the crowds might have been entirely different.

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