Another 7:30 a.m. start, (which never seems hard in happy Arizona with fresh mornings and constant sunshine), to volunteer for the Westward Ho, day two. Initially to help photograph the arrival and placement of all one hundred plus classics, the map for which look more mosaic than management. A higgledy-piggledy array of oddly positioned cars and groups. But there turned out method-in-the-maddness as the end resulted in an interesting medley of colors and shapes and shines.
Once positioned thence ensued a flurry of dusting, dabbing, fluffing, fussing and painstaking polishing. A mile of Niles. Niles Crane that is. Firmly fastidious, motor-mysophobics with not a soupcon of dust nor dirt left unnoticed nor unremoved. There seems no greater love or madness than man and his machine. I thought back through my auto-relationships. My first love, the “Bug“, a FIAT 500D whose headlights I could not look into once sold and betrayed. “Tonya (Geo) Tracker” born in the New Jersey ice storms of 94 and named after a certain ice skater whose boyfriend was also handy with a tire iron. Then the infamous Saturn VUE, “Miss Vivienne VUE” or the “Late Miss Vivienne” after the interminable wait to be the first with color blue, named after the Julia Roberts character in Pretty Women as she was always referred to by the Regent Beverly Wiltshire’s maître d‘.
I also wondered if this fascination with auto-old was also about holding back our own time, preserving childhood memories and keeping those long gone drivers and owners alive and constant. If the cars last, then perhaps we will too. If the cars looks young, perhaps we will be young too. The ‘askmen’ article about what your car says about you, who drives what; essentially, ‘Your car is who you are’ should really be “Your car is who you think you are”.
A day that included a picnic, boxed lunch under Biltmore Umbrellas and a Gala Awards Banquet and silent auction in the Biltmore Gold Room. “Best of Show“, “Best Wagon“, “Best 80’s” etc. A day also twinged with sadness as our unofficial mascot, the lilac Ford Galaxie of our Kingman ‘Wagon Train’ was put up for sale and sold immediately. Her new home in cold Canada.