Gasoline is up to four dollars a gallon! It'll be up to FIVE dollars by Christmas! In five years, we'll be looking back on these times as a golden age as we pay up to TWELVE DOLLARS A GALLON for the noxious liquid! We've all heard the wailing. Well, it can't bother me too much, because not only are my wife and I still filling up and driving all the way to the next town for a freaking vegan cheeseburger (shades of Presley), but we still squander stupid amounts of treasure on useless crap that we find in second-hand stores. Was it the exhaust fumes or the post-lunchtime torpor that caused me to decide to spend ten dollars recently on a plastic bag filled with European postcards?
"Food for the beast," I justified -- yes, this blog's gotta eat too. And as I sorted through the piles of dusty, faded paper, I wracked my brain for an appropriate criterion for which to separate out a handful large enough to be representative and yet small enough to fit into my limited blogging window. Old shit? Well, it's all old shit. Buildings? Castles? You've seen 'em. Pictures of humans dressed up funny? Maybe next week. Stuff that no longer exists? I can barely translate the inscriptions on the back; think I want to research them all?
But as I went through the stack, what began to jump out at me was not the huge lumps of wood and rock at the center of the frame, nor the quaint folk ephemera, but rather the tiny specks of vintage steel clustering in the lower thirds. Yes, it was the beautiful old cars evoking the ache this time. Back in mid-sixties Europe, they already had a feel for scarcity, and sized their vehicles accordingly. And why not? Hell, in some parts of the continent, thanks to sensible and far-sighted tax policy, gas is already pushing up towards the ten bucks a gallon ceiling. Which means the beauties in these pictures are already more of a historical oddity than our trucks and SUVs are on their way to becoming.