Oh, happy, happy day.

We went to the Fairgrounds. The weather was perfect. Not much was open, but the place was jammed for a special event: Back to the 50s, the annual classic-car show. I hadn't been in years. Wife's sister and her husband drove up from Chi this weekend, and while wife and sister went to the Home Show, Tim and I went to the car show. What a cliche! Daughter went as well, just for the fun of seeing the old cars. You don't have to know anything about them. It's the aesthetics. The colors. The styling, the sense you can intuit so much from what they built and what they drove.

On the way in, flanked and preceded and followed by the Minnesota Classic Car Enthusiast demographic, a guy rolled up on a fat tail bike, obligatory old lady on the back, his stereo playing "Low Rider," and my brother-in-law just grinned: he loved it. He's a hospital administrator, so he doesn't get out in the actual world much. Or so I ribbed him.

But this is the actual world. Or was. Or what it liked to think it was.

It's the futurism of the ornamentation I love.

Nowadays the futurism isn't in the styling, but the software and the interface.

I loved this detail: retractable antennae, I think.

If WW2 had gone on through 1953, we'd have flown these over Berlin:

The music was 50s. Louis Prima, Everly Brothers, Elvis, Jerry Lee. All the guys sitting in their folding chairs in the shade, smoking cigars, watching people admire their handiwork - none of them were driving these cars in the 50s. Everyone's inhabiting the relics of the previous era. The farther they get from it, the more mythical it gets. But it was a gorgeous clement June afternoon, Duane Eddy was blaring, every car was perfect, you could catch the scent of hot dogs and mini-donuts, but best of all . . . the rich, intoxicating exhaust. We used to hate it when all the cars barfed it out the back. Now it's rare, and I think the aroma is wonderful.

The nurse realizes how the pretense of this contest, the mere assertion of difficulty, has played itself out completely.

At the moment, I'm not sure who the cartoonist is. Or was.



Serial time!


The recap:

You know, Carston.

Wait a minute, who?

Oh, right. The super new motor the Stark gang is trying to steal.

They loved their secret radio signals in the serial days.

She needs special gummint-agenct training to operate this high-tech system:

What's Dick up to these days?

Mike who? Ahh, never mind.


That was convenient! Good thing a rock didn’t bounce in and hit Tracy in the head and kill him.

The Stark boys get away in Tracy’s car, unaware he’s got . . . TWO WAY RADIO! Tracy overhears the boys talk about their next meeting with Zarkoff, the Scrap Iron dealer who’s really an international foreign agent and “dangerous alien.” Tracy figures he’s moving out the stolen government motors to The East, because in 1938 it’s better to be hard on Japan than Germany. Foreign film markets and all that.


Aren’t they cute?

They go to the factory and interrupt the Starks in progress, as always seems to happen. I mean, always.

Yes, Pa Stark, once again, for the seventh time, something has gone wrong.

The longest and most fruitless gun battle follows; one of the Stark boys heads up to the roof to shoot down at the G-Men, and Tracy follows.

Say, what was this about a Tower of Death, anyway?


That will suffice! Now, as ever, the Matchbooks.





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