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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 15, 1976)
thursday, january 15, 1376
Auto age too late, alas. . .
By Jim Williams
It seems reasonable that the first column of the new
year should deal with something momentous. And this
particular year offers a ready-made topic for every writer
stumped for an angle. You guessed it-The Bicentennial!
Only trouble is, Americans didn't get around to
building a car until 1893.
This means by the time its one-hundredth birthday
arrives, if our do-gooder government prevails, there may
not be any kind of personal transportation more exciting
than Earth Shoes.
We'd better enjoy it while we've got it, even though
all we can celebrate this year is the Semicentennial of the
first Mercedes-Benz and the lait Model T. It's probably
just as well the Auto Age did not start any sooner, but it
would have made great news copy. For example :
"Chase Ends In Arrest-Boston silversmith Paul Revere
has been charged with driving while intoxicated, resisting
arrest, and public naughty language as a result of a high
speed chase through Middlesex last night. Massachusetts
State Patrolman Morris Minor said he first saw Revere
racing his engine and shouting at a car of high school
girls at a stoplight near the Old North Church. . ."
"Riot At Dockside-Dissident motorists disguised a3
Bay City Rollers groupies boarded the British merchant
ship Keep to the Left in Boston Harbor yesterday and
threw overboard 5,000 copies of "Autocar Magazine."
According to reports, they were protesting the new Royal
edict requiring gasoline to be referred to as "petrol. . ."
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Naturally, if the Colonists had cars they could have
enjoyed other modern conveniences, just as sure as C. W.
McCaU makes little gold records. For example :
. .breaker, breaker, this is Beer Gut an' we got us
some Redcoats takin' pictures at the ol' Concord Bridge.
Y'ali better back her down."
"Sure do appreciate that, good buddy. Have a good
truckin' trip an' give me liberty or give me death. This
here's Wretched Excess sayin 10-4. . ."
' The mind boggles (if yours is a mind that boggles
easily) at the thought of it all. Washington taking a wrong
turn on the Jersey Turnpike and attacking Point Pleasant
Beach, Burgoyne trapped in a rush-hour Manhattan snarl
or Samuel "Big Daddy" Adams and Tom "The Snake"
Paine running 'em at New York National.
But could posterity have stood for George and Martha
shacked up at Valley Forge in a Volkswagen van with a
"Mister Natural" mural on one side and the stencilled
words "Keep on Truckin' " on the other?
The Pit Stop "Ugly Car Contest" was a bust. The only
entry received was very funny, but the car was not the
writer's own and he wanted to stay anonymous. For good
reason; the vehicle was appalling, and if it were mine I'd
fix the rat who finked on me.
It seems that either nobody could stand the ignominy
of having his car publicly ridiculed, or most readers keep
their equipment in good shape. I promise to think up a
less potentially embarrassing activity next time.
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