Friday, November 13, 2009

Fun in my home town....

My apologies to loyal readers... I've been in a pretty big slump lately, as you can tell by the lack of recent posts here. Sometimes the creative juices just don't flow, but I'm trying to get my gumption back. I came out of a similar slump about a year ago, so if I did it before I figure I can do it again!

I've been helping out my mother lately, who just had a knee replacement, and Wednesday she asked me to drop off some food for donation at a church near her. There were two fun bonuses to this trip, aside from simply helping her out. First, I spotted this car in the parking lot:

Now, I'm not really a car nut, but I have to admit, I've seen few enough of these that it was kinda fun to spot this one. What is it? Well, the more astute among you will recognize it, but here's another hint:

Give up? Well, here's the final clue, a close-up of the famous (or infamous) "Zero" grille, complete with the model name:

Yep, it's a Ford Edsel! One of the great automotive failures of all time! I'm no authority, but as I understand it, the car was introduced with much fanfare, and was supposed to be a world-beater, with many advanced features, but it was a huge flop in the marketplace. I've heard a number of reasons, most of which elude me right now, but the two that immediately spring to mind are the name (Edsel was Henry Ford's son's name, and not very catchy as a car model name) and the odd looking grille, which met with a lot of negative reactions. Add to that some quality control issues and you have a car whose name is synonymous with failure.

The other fun part of visiting this church was that I directed a production of The Fantasticks for another charitable cause, way back in 1983, while I was between semesters in college. Aside from a high school one-act, this was my one and only attempt at directing a play, and a musical at that! I make no claim to great art, but all in all I think we managed to put on a decent production at the community theatre level, and the audiences seemed to enjoy it. Most of all I have some good memories from that summer, in part because the show became an opportunity for my brother and I to get to know each other as adults. He and I are nine years apart, and growing up didn't really spend a lot of time together. But he'd just moved back from the West Coast, and I needed a bass player for the small orchestra for the show... and he plays bass, among other things! We had a lot of fun working together, and it went along way toward bringing us closer. And we raised money for a good cause to boot!

Ironically, nowadays the Edsel is highly collectible. It was rather odd to see this one sitting in a church parking lot, slowly rotting away to all appearances. It has a sign on the side for what might be a retirement home or nursing home, which seems kind of peculiar.


Anonymous said...

"I'd like to swim in a clear blue stream where the water is icy cold..."

This was the FIRST live theater -- and a musical to boot -- my parents ever took me and my sister to see. I was ten. We were transported by a simple set, few costumes and wonderful songs, and hooked on live theater for life.

Tim said...

Or for my friends in Portland...

"Soon it's gonna rain, I can feel it. Soon it's gonna rain, I can tell..."

It's a great show with great songs, and so simple yet amazing. The one and only musical I have ever performed in (high school) or directed (as mentioned).