Are You A Classic?
by Larry Miller
A short time back I drove into a restaurant parking lot. Along the front of the building was a row of dull white, tan and grey cars that all blended together. That is, except for one. It was a red '57 Chevy convertible. It was a beautiful driver... not a trailer queen like we see at a lot of car shows. The car still had a purpose in life beyond that of a museum curiosity.
This 57 year old beauty stood out in stark contrast to the sameness of the newer models. The Lexus and Cadillac owners would most likely take exception to the fact that this classic made their status symbols look pretty much like the Fords and Dodges in the row. If there was a Beamer, I didn't notice.
This got me to thinking. In spite of the propaganda that permeates our airwaves, our media, and our educational system and government that are all working to guide us into the conformist “paradise” of Orwell's 1984. When the rag top rolled off the assembly line in 1957, one could tell a Ford from a Chevy from a Plymouth from a block away. Today, sometimes you have to look for the nameplate to tell who made today's vehicles. The older car came from a time when, despite the aforementioned lies of the state, there really was both a desire and the ability to be unique.
Some would say this classic is more of a relic of time they would just as soon erase from our history and memory. Of course, they say the same about those of us who have been around long enough to remember seeing '57 Chevys on the showroom floor. They believe we are just as outdated as the two speed PowerGlide transmission of that era.
There are some of the younger generation who have survived cookie cutter educational system and the popular culture that tells them dependence on their betters is to be preferred to the risky freedom that produced unique automobiles and personal opportunities. In some ways, they are throwbacks to a time when we recognized the the value of the individual rather than simply seeing them as a member of a group to be catered to... or ignored... or financially raped.
These young people are the modern “classics”. They need to be encouraged and helped in any way we can. The older “classics” need to stick around with our knowledge that our country is on the wrong path. We may retire from work, but not from life or love of country.
The other side understands this, but many of us on the light side just don't comprehend. There has even been a subtle appearance of agism in recent weeks. The rantings of the Clippers owner have been attributed to the fact that he is an old man who grew up in a different era, and little more could be expected of a superannuated white guy. Then Bill O'Reilly, who has a reputation in some circles of having a common sense, no spin approach to life, opined that Cliven Bundy's thoughts came from an old, uneducated mind. This elitist thinking was too self satisfied to consider that the comments were more a criticism of the welfare state than of its victims.
Wisdom is not always appreciated and does not always come with age, but concepts of right and wrong must not be ignored. We, especially those of us with a little gray around the temples, have a choice. We can settle for a role in the gray, tan and beige world of silence and dependence, or we can stand up, and stand out in the conformist world laid out for us by those who would control us. The choice is ours, will we be a “classic” or take our place on the trash heap of history?