Archive for August, 2012

Tucker Mania

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Script done for the Tucker-themed fund raiser Saturday evening.

I say “script,” but it’s really just making sure I know the order with which I want to talk about Preston Tucker, 1948, the cars’ history, competitors and its specific features.

I also have a “this is for entertainment purposes and general information only” spiel. I’m a little excited…it’s like having two rare things that you get to touch and show off for an hour, comparing and contrasting, etc. But I’m nervous, too, because I’ve gotten in some hot water for my historical hypotheses before when it comes to the Tucker. My general feeling has become: “When you have access to two of them on a single turntable, come talk to me about your gripes.”

Because this is the thing I’ve learned about the Tucker in the last decade: “I’ll never get it completely correct and I have quit trying.”

We’re raising money for two great charities (Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and LeMay Family Collections Foundation), eating good food, and enjoying some of the most amazing vehicles ever made in America.

I talked with one of Preston Tucker’s sons soon after my grandma bought the car, and he said that the only thing the movie got correct was that his father was politically screwed, “The rest was just drama.” We talked for about for a good 30 minutes…as far as I’m concerned, that was great oral history. Further, as far as I’m concerned, I have no problem saying that it was all politics. Not just because of his son’s testimony, but what I’ve read and heard otherwise…the fix was in the kill this car that went 100 mph at cruising speed and got 35-38 mpgs.

Other Tucker owners aren’t much help. But not by their own faults. All the cars are different. They’re all prototypes! They all have different histories and quirks. And maybe that’s why I’m so attracted to the car…it’s a quirk. A freak of American ingenuity in post-WWII America.

Rehearsals start tomorrow…gotta get my game face on.


Saturday, August 4th, 2012
My daughter and wife have asked me some really good questions over the last several months of why we still want to be so committed to this house, this airport and this property.
I can give them the simple answer: “Because I will die in hell before I ever move those books again.”
(Although, for the record, this is a perfectly good response, IMHO. Not the complete response, but to hell with moving. I bought this house and paid it off knowing I’d never really move again.)
A better answer is that I like it. I grew up in it and I like it. I like the airport. I like the open space. I like the fact that if I leave my neighbors alone hey leave me alone.
But mostly, I like this old house like I like my old car. It’s got screwy stuff, but you tinker and fiddle to make it work.
And I like the airplanes!
The cherry on top is knowing the history of the place. I mean the meta place…I can point to where the chicken coops were when it was a farm.
I’m going to be an ¬†old fogie that will probably die here. It’s my estate. It’s not much, but it’s my Tara. I own it completely in more ways than by title. I own it because I care about it. Totally and completely. I’m not Scarlett, but I can defend it against dandelions, skunks and fireworks.

Dear God, I’m about .400…I’d be in the Hall of Fame!

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

I’m not a religious person. Never have been, never will be.

I appreciate the academics of it, the ceremony of it, and the sanctity of it in all of its various forms. I’m just not into it. I am basically a Golden Rule guy.

But one of the things that has always fascinated me is how important the “10 Commandments” seem to be in the Old Testament, but then the bible thumpers tend to ignore them as much as anyone while they quote the New Testament.

– Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

– Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

– Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

– Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Р Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

– Thou shalt not kill.

– Neither shalt thou commit adultery.

– Neither shalt thou steal.

– Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

– Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.


It’s so interesting to me how wide-ranging the interpretation of some of these could be. I figure I’m batting somewhere in the .350 to .450 range out the 10 at bats offered. I could make a case I’m about a .600 hitter on them, but that just seems silly.

I’m just not a big believer in judging people by some gold standard that I can’t even figure out how well I meet. That’s my point.

Which is why you’ll never hear me say one thing negative about Mitt Romney’s religion. I figure, if he gets about half the guiding principals correct on Mormonism, he’s probably doing better than I am in the whole religion-thingy.

But I will say this: I just hope he has a high batting average with his beliefs.