June 27, 2004 @ 4:47 pm by sean
Grosse Pointe Shores (along with Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park and Grosse Pointe) is the old money centre of metro-Detroit. The house I live in would probably be worth a down payment on a house out there. It is an area quite fitting for Edsel(son of Henry) and Eleanor Ford to make his estate very many years ago. It is an absolutely beautiful house on Lake St. Claire with sprawling lawns and elegant achritecture. I drove myself down there earlier today for one of the coolest events I’ve ever gone to. The Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology is the organization that is partially supported by the ‘Eyes On Design’ automotive showcase.
The theme this year was race cars. 200 of them sprawled across the lawn of the estate. Ranging from open wheeled racers, short track racers, drag racers, street racers, nascar racers past and present. Most of the vehicles there were pre-1975. Most of them probably cost as much as a house would go for in a sub-division around here. A lot of cars there had racing history in some way or another. Some are still raced in vintage clubs.
The beauty of cars is something often over looked by most people. Understandable in this age of individual vehicles produced in numbers usually around 150,000 per year. Cars aren’t individual anymore. They aren’t unique. There is nothing special about them anymore. But the beautiful shape of a Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, or a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 or a Jaguar XJ-13, or a Mercedes-Benz 300SL, or a Ford GT40, or a TVR Griffith 400 is something found in no other medium in the world.
It is just as difficult for me to explain the elegance and aesthetic appeal of a car as it is to explain a work of art. A little more difficult because I know what elements that usually make up a successful piece of art. Cars, however, can vary in so many different ways and can acheive beauty in such a variety of ways.
I’m so glad I had the opporunity to look at those cars today. The weather was absolutely splendid. The weather is something I’m still sure God is in complete control of, and I’m thankful indeed for providing such weather. Bright blue skies with huge white clouds. A little unecessarily breezey at times, but the usual breeze was enough to keep me from getting hot.
The car culture is a wonderful and unique thing. The Detroit International Auto Show – like the Chicago Auto show, LA Auto Show, any big auto show – is full of people who couldn’t care less about cars and are only tagging a long with someone who does care. And often these people show no respect to the vehicles and break them and end up in a bad mood and are disrespectful to other people. Last year the ‘Eyes On Design’ show featured concept cars, all the same ones seen at the Auto Show. The difference is that they weren’t on big pedestals too far away to be seen in any detail and to prevent people from touching/ruining the cars; instead they were parked in the grass at the GM Tech Center where one could walk up to them, look inside, and if they felt so inclined, touch them. But the people at the ‘Eyes On Design’ are respectful people, respecting the vehicles. So they wouldn’t more than grace one with their finger. If anyone knows anything about the new Chrysler M.E. 4-12 prototype, today I was within a foot and a half of it. It was less than an arm length away. No guard, just sittin’ under a tent. It had a checkered flag rope, but not enough to stop someone from touching it if they really wanted to. That prototype is worth quite a few million dollars, so a thin rope is understandable.
I can not express how wonderful the design of automobiles is. On my way home I stopped at a Dodge dealership having a Fathers Day show featuring old man and his car. It was all Mopar of course, but one can’t beat Mopar, so I wasn’t dissapointed. These cars were more brute muscle than the elegance of the mostly European cars I had seen earlier, but they still had a personality of their own.
I went with my parents to the new Buffalo Wild Wings by my house for dinner. We had great discussion on politics and how messed up the education in our country is. My mother is a teacher and has lots to say on that.
I started to watch ‘Citizen Kane’ with my parents, but then Carley called me to hang out, and I wouldn’t let a movie interfere with life, so I went to see her. We went to a park and walked and talked. It was great not only because I helped her think through some questions and issues in her life, but also because she listened to me. I explained my theoligical and philosophical views on life to her in one sitting more than I have in one sitting with any other person. And she listened, and took into consideration what I was saying. She respected my thoughts. She respected me. Even though she didn’t agree with most of it, she still allowed herself to question what she had previously thought and consider I might be right. Regardless that she decided she didn’t agree with most of what I said, she allowed me to influence her, and I allowed her to influence me. She deemed me intelligent enough for my opinion to matter. Oh how I relish interactions like that.
It’s kind of too bad that last paragraph was at the end of this, I’m not sure I’m certain most people will make it that far and that is what I think I’d like the people who do read this to hear the most. But that’s O.K. My life will be my life whether anyone reads that or not. If they do, maybe it’d be better; maybe it wouldn’t change anything. That isn’t what I need to concern myself with any longer.