Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve

73F and 96%, I love this winter weather except we’ve had rain every day of Joe’s visit and he leaves tomorrow morning, which on yesterday’s line of thought stirs the unhappy side of my brain. Maybe I can change that by thinking about cars. Anyway, my chair’s right against the 7H window currently being spattered by rain, air conditioning isn’t running at the moment, but is keeping the apartment dry and cool, ceiling fan is turning a slight breeze, my right foot is cold because I took one step out onto the porch and got the sock wet, and so the sense of being cold because it's winter even though it certainly is not, has a blanket draped over my shoulder. Truth, it’s a long stole that a friend knitted for me that I’ve worn now and then in Lent, but it feels good around my neck this final morning of the year in which I turned eighty. 

What happened to those last forty years, where did time go. In fact, forty years biblically means a long time, so I’ve lived twice a long time, two long times. When you get here you’ll see that from inside looking out, everything looks the same at eighty as it did when you were seventeen and it was a very good year, twenty-seven, thirty-seven, except that your friends and relatives have grown old and half of them are dead.

Do I have a target life span? Yes, but not telling.

Second cup of hot being sipped, and everywhere I sit there’s a small stash of dark chocolate, with forest mint by this chair, rationed square melting nicely on the tongue. 

Sabbath, I’m trying to teach myself about sabbath time, high time, eh, so this week I’ve been trying to do as little as possible, and the rain is helping. Also, condo-living instead of a house is a tremendous help, no weeds to pull or roof to check. Yesterday I watched a lecture about C.S. Lewis, lecture five, today I may watch another, lecture six in an online series. Noon I’m hosting four generations, if they come, to lunch at one of our St. Andrews cafes, I think Captain’s Table because none of the others serve mullet. When I was a boy, mullet - - nevermind, never gardenia mind.

Notwithstanding my short horizon, I’d rather be a boy in the 1930s through the 1940s and into the 1950s than plowing into the twenty-first century any day. In fact, if I were starting over and choosing, I’d be Alfred born in 1899 but skip that final voyage of the Annie & Jennie and never have left St. Andrews Bay.

Yesterday in the waste of time that was my sabbath Wednesday so no waste at all, I found an extensive website on Cadillac with infinite details year by year from 1903 on for a hundred years. Last night I dozed off reading (do you know the wheelbase of the 1903 Cadillac Model A?).

Picked up again for an hour or two this morning. The 1903 Cadillac had a one-cylinder horizontal engine, under the driver’s seat, and a curved-dash front end. I already knew all this, though didn’t realize it was set horizontally, but of course it was, it had to be. There were two models, the one seater below

and that touring car with front and back seats. Price about $850 base, $950 for the touring. For 1904 they continued the Model A 

and added the Model B, which looks to me like they didn’t change the car much except to attach to the front a box with the engine in it. 

Base prices about the same, but extra for lights, windshield, top with side curtains.   

For a while Cadillac offered the advantage of a rear exit so the car could be backed up to the curb and riders exit without stepping into the muddy road. 

When I got up this morning, I was thinking to write about the Collect and Bible readings for the upcoming Sunday, but wobbled off down this road. WTH, it’s my sabbath and I can do whatever I DWP.

At the moment, my favorite old car interests are Buick, Cadillac close second, and Chevrolet. Though yesterday I came across a great treasure of Ford brochures from 1927 through 1936. My friend and fellow KA pledge Brad at UFla brought a 1939 Mercury convertible to school and had it there from our freshmen through senior years. Brad dropped out after the first semester senior year; but he used to talk wistfully of the ’36 Ford he had in high school, much better than the Merc and wished he'd never traded. 

Remembering that, and looking at the pictures, I remembered that the family of Bill Guy who lived next door to us when we were growing up, had a tan 1936 Ford sedan

before they bought the new maroon ’40 Ford Deluxe tudor (upper left below): 

which they had until after WW2 when Mr. Danley gave Mr. Guy a new 1946 Ford fordor sedan and the Forty Ford vanished. 

For your day of salvation, remember that the 1940 Ford Standard looked more like the 1939 Ford. Notice the difference:

Danley Furniture headquarters was in Opp, Alabama and Bill Guy (Sr.) managed Danley Furniture on Harrison Avenue all my growing up years. Mr. Guy was Mr. Danley’s favorite, they went to Chicago every year to the furniture market. June 1957 when Linda and i married, Mr. Guy gave us a four place setting set of Melmac in four colors, which we enjoyed using many years. Now and then when I go out to see Bill and Norman, I stop by the Guy place for a visit. Mr. (W.A.) Guy, Mary B. Guy, who died in 1949 at age 39 and I remember that evening well, and Bill (W.B.), who was a year younger than I am. With Bill, Jr. (though he wasn’t Jr., he was WB not WA) comes the story of the red 1949 Ford convertible that had been his mother’s car. I’ll tell that yet one more time again, another day. 

See what happens? This is not my fault.

Sock has dried, so the right foot is no longer cold.

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