Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

The toughest week of all on clergy (far more on the senior pastor/rector than on retired priest associates like me, but nevertheless), Holy Week is over for another year. 

Easter Week, which begins now, is customarily a week for short hours and days off for clergy and for church staffs. Enjoy your Easter morning and eating candy and chocolate eggs from the basket the Easter bunny brought. Come to church, 8:00 or 10:30, but we have no Sunday School class today, Easter Day. There is brunch between services though, so come enjoy. Linda is bringing an egg and ham casserole that looks beyond scrumptious.

Far my part, a friend sent me a piece about a historic Rolls Royce, which set the Easter bunny to cackling and laying colored eggs in my mind for several days while I participated in Holy Week agony; but pop here it bursts to the surface this morning like a breaching whale.

Rolls Royce had an American plant and built cars in Springfield, Massachusetts from 1920 to 1931, turning out 2,944 cars in that decade. One, the 1928 roadster above and below

(a roadster is/was a convertible with only the front seat like a bottom of the line business coupe, no back seat, and generally even after power tops were put on regular convertibles, the roadster still had a manually operated top for up and down. The only regular roadster that I recall being introduced and sold in my later life was the 1949 Dodge Wayfarer roadster, which I’ll see if I can come up with a pic to put on here -- yep, the red one below is a roadster, the car below it is a 1949 Dodge Coronet convertible, front and back seats like a club coupe, roll-down back window for the back seat passengers, and power-operated convertible top, top of the line model 

1949 Dodge Coronet convertible:

but I stray from my chosen path) -- was given to a young man by his father in 1928, and he drove and maintained it all his life, for 78 years, until he died at age 102 in 2005. 

He bequeathed his Rolls Royce and a million dollars to the Springfield museum so they could fix up space to display his car and keep it spiffy. 

The article Norm sent me was about that car and that man. Where did it take me? All the RR cars pictured here were made in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Online to Springfield, wup, that's a Stevens-Duryea:

and the museum, 

and a little exploration to discover that the Stevens-Duryea automobile, which I had almost forgotten, also has Springfield history; 

and that in fact, according to the report, the first gasoline car in America was a Stevens-Duryea that the inventors drove on the streets of Springfield in 1893. 

Several friends have told me that they read my blog every day except when it’s about cars. This one isn't about cars, it's about me.

No theologian or Bible scholar, my favorite +Time posts are the car posts, to write, and look at the pictures, and think back on. So this is my own Easter basket of multicolored Rolls Royce cars that were made in Springfield, and of several Stevens-Duryea automobiles, which were manufactured from 1901 to 1915 and then from 1919 to 1927.

Best you remember Stevens-Duryea, because St. Peter has two or three pics of them that you must identify in the test you have to pass to get beyond the lever that drops you straight to Hell. And you sure as Heaven better be able to recognize a Rolls-Royce. 

The red 1903 Stevens-Duryea above only appears to be a 2-seater; but the front opened up to accommodate two more passengers. The car had brakes, but no seat belts, so the front seat might be considered more of a launch pad:

Happy Easter.


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