Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where's my car?.....Oh...I sold it in 1964?

I'm not a car man, but there are exceptions.

1939 Chevy.....Really!!!

My wife and I went to a car show a few weeks ago.  My original purpose was to find a 1959 Austin Healy Sprite.   I had a special place in my heart for that model car.

You see ... I did not have a drivers license when I purchased the little sports car.  I figured that the only way I would ever get my license was to buy a vehicle I would enjoy driving.

It wasn't long before I had my Connecticut drivers license and I was cruising the back roads of Fairfield County with the wind blowing through my flattop haircut as I drove by Helen Keller's house and honked my horn and waved. I was single and not dating. Helen was single and I knew she wasn't seeing anyone.  Life was good.

Winter arrived and with it came frozen slider windows.  1959 Sprites did not have doorhandles on the outside of the car.  I couldn't get into my car unless I took the convertible top off. Not suggested during a freezing rain.
The lost Austin Healy  Sprite. (bugeyes)
Note: No door handles

I had to sell it.  I bought a VW bug but I still have fond memories of driving the back roads and honking at Helen. (beep!...beep!)

My car show experience made me realize that they don't make cars like that any more.
Back then, cars were sturdy and beautiful.  They had character and personality. The most popular  cars seem to be from the 1950's.   The Chrysler products had huge vertical fins and push button shifting on the steering wheel. Ford had horizontal fins, Chevy had vertical fins and later switched to horizonal fins on some models.

All the cars of this era had a rather spacious back seat. It could hold three people vertically with comfort.  It could hold two people, preferably male and a female quite nicely from the horizontal posture.
Songs were sung about these Cars and they were hit songs. remember "Beep, Beep?" How about "409" by the Beach Boys? "I get around? Little Deuce Coupe?"

There were numerous 1955 and 1957 Chevies.  The Fords of that era seemed to be very popular also.  I saw several Ford Skyliners.  These were retractable hardtop convertibles.

Ford Skyliner w/continental kit

Old Caddy
I didn't find my car, but I found some memories.  The amazing thing about the experience was that I could name off types of cars that I recognized. I was spewing facts like I was the editor of "Motor Trend magazine." I still know a 55 Chevy when I see one.

Remember the movie "American Graffiti"?  That was my life.  I thought my life was very much like the movie.  I could have played Ron Howard's part or even Richard Dreyfuss's part, possibly even Harrison Ford's role.
My wife kinda agrees with me.  She says I could have played "Terry the Toad" Field who was played by that great American actor, Charles Martin Smith. A sample of his fine work here.  My wife says I could play that role with my eyes closed. She says I was born for this part.

Now all the cars look like clones of each other.  I am not sure what kind of smelly big car we drove home in.
Huh....What?...... The little French Lady told me it was a city bus.

Alrighty then!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Death of Colt Brandisher?

Writers block solved

It has been a while since I wrote anything about my fictional character, Colt Brandisher
For those people who tuned in late, he is a problem solving, creative minded, skirt chasing, Clint Eastwood type detective who has managed to get himself into a rather large predicament.  A bullet was hurdling at Colt's head at a rather fast speed when I last checked in with him. 
He has such a small brain that a bullet would not kill him, but the ricocheting inside the skull would do him in.

Actually Colt is more like Stuart Woods favorite, occasionally slow witted detective, Stone Barrington.
Stone Barrington is the type of detective that walks in dog poop and tries to figure out where the smell is coming from.  He always figures it out after about an hour.  He always solves the problem.  
Colt isn't nearly as clever.  People have told him that he has shitty shoes.  He thinks they are talking about the shoe style. 
I asked for Stuart Woods' help. I emailed him to describe my dilemma.  
He answered, " You got yourself into this, get yourself out."

I came to the decision that Colt must die.  It is the only solution. Thanks, Stuart.
Colt Brandisher will be replaced by his gay twin brother, Rock Brandisher, named in honor of Rock Hudson. (a man's man....both figuratively and literally.)
This will give me a lot of writing fodder.  I can describe the death of Colt Brandisher and develop my new character, Rock.

Rock Brandisher, gay detective.  
How can I incorporate all I know about gay people into my new character?
  • Rock's apartment is decorated in mauve and puce.
  • He listens only to Bette Midler and Judy Garland music.
  • His favorite comedian is Kathy Griffin.
  • He enjoys reading Truman Capote's books.
  • His favorite playwright is Tennessee Williams.
  • He hates women.
  • He votes for Obama.
  • His favorite talk show host is Rachel Maddow.
  • He has a closet full of women's clothing.  He likes to cross dress.
  • He likes to go to the park next to the elementary school and eats his lunch.  He always carries a pocket full of candy with him.
  • He hangs out at gay bars only.
  • He knows he is going to burn in hell so he is very promiscuous.
  • He knows his problem can be fixed but will not get treatment.
The little French lady is looking over my shoulder.  I hear a loud gasp and an utterance that sounded very much like "WTF?"

"What?" I queried.

Wife: "You don't know much about gay people, do you?"
Me: "Just what I learned from Rick Santorum, the Westboro Baptist Church and the boys in 5th grade."
Wife: "Do you know you're very close to a Nazi?"
Me: "You're a Nazi?"
Wife: "No, no, fool!..I mean you are portraying gay people with myths and false stereotypes which is very close to being a Nazi or... a Republican candidate for president."
Me: "And your point is?....."
Wife: "Didn't you grow up with any gay people in your school?"
Me: "No, There were no gay people in my school. A few switched teams later on in life but no one was gay in my school. Students were not allowed to be gay.  It was their choice to switch later on.  I think they are mentally ill or it doubled their chance of getting a date on Saturday night. Only the teachers were allowed to be gay at my school."
Wife:"How many students switched teams later? Bucko!"
Me: Oh...let me see.  There was Sherman, Clarise, Ricky, Wendell, Rod, Tony,...Tony?...O...M...G...!!  I put my arm around Tony in football huddle once and I patted him on the ass after he scored a winning touchdown. Holy hat! I am one of them.  I didn't know that.  I just outed myself.  I never kissed Tony, I swear. Well, maybe a little peck on the cheek. No tongue involvement.  Oh, wait, I didn't do that. Forget that!"
Wife: "Hold on, dimple cheeks. You're not gay. I have it from a pretty reliable source. Your little French!.....Ummm.....Tony?...What?"
Me: Really? Wow! That was close.  I thought I had just switched teams.
Wife: "People don't really switch teams. They just don't accept it at first.  They want to be like everybody else. Tell me more about this Tony thing."
Me: "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Hold everything. What are you telling me? Am I supposed to believe Rick Santorum, Republican candidate for President, The Pope, a candidate for sainthood, Mitt Romney, who thinks being gay is a choice and it can be fixed by prayer and a lobotomy"
Wife: "Me!!!! All that stuff you wrote about your character, Rock, is crap. Who's Tony?" 

My wife knows a lot of stuff. I will trust her on this one.  She keeps asking about Tony. What's up with that? 

So I am back to the drawing board.  Maybe Colt will live.  Perhaps he will have a gay twin brother.  I am so confused. Perhaps a female version of Colt.  I could call her Rockette.  No, that's not working. Writer's block again? Yeah.
Well, at least I'm not gay.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. "Right, Tony?"