Easter Car Show


Anne got up to use the bathroom and when she came back to bed, I asked her what time was it? She answered, “Dawn, dawn of the dead, ROAR!” Then she tried to eat my brains. Happy Easter to you too, honey. I don’t think that she was making any religious statement, no zombie Jesus crack anyway. I think her commentary had more to do with the state of lethargy that pervaded the household at that early morning hour.

Later, I went to Starbucks because we were out of coffee, I had forgotten to get some yesterday and today all of the grocery stores are closed for the Easter holiday. The unionized grocery stores are about the only keepers of this last vestige of the blue laws that once ruled Saint Louis. When we first moved to Saint Louis, over thirty years ago, almost everything was closed on Sunday. Now, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, few stores are closed on Sunday. The few holdouts are mom and pop stores that as likely as not, just don’t want to work on Sunday.

I had to park and walk a couple of blocks to get to Starbucks. As I was walking along and passing the unusually long line of parked cars, I spied one with the following bumper sticker, “Jesus didn’t ride an Elephant”. I had to Google it, to decipher its meaning. Apparently, it is political. An elephant is the symbol for the Republican Party, while the donkey is the Democratic Party’s symbol. The Bible tells us that on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Hence, Jesus didn’t ride an elephant. Read into it what you will.

The Post-Dispatch this morning featured a retrospective of Easter in Saint Louis. The most striking photo in the article was a 1948 picture of the sunrise service at the Muny. The amphitheater was full to the gills; all of its 11,000 seats were filled. They don’t do sunrise services at the Muny anymore, but they to offer dueling car shows on both the upper and lower Muny parking lots. We bicycled over there at the butt-crack on noon, a wee bit after sunrise.

On our way over to Forest Park, we cruised through a neighborhood that was inhabited by a giant six-foot rabbit, about Harvey sized. Chasing after this rodent of unusual size were three little kids, some armed with bow and arrows and one shouting, “Shoot him!” I hope that he wasn’t the real Easter Bunny.

We circled around the park and made our way to the upper Muny lot, by the least congested route. The upper lot is dedicated to classic cars and the lower lot hosts custom cars. What with our late and rather wet Spring the vehicle turnout was a little lower than in past years, but the day’s warm temperatures and bright skies made for an enjoyable afternoon. I got sunburned.

In addition to all of the interesting cars there were also some interesting people in the crowd. One young man wore a T-shirt with a picture of a T-Rex on it. The picture was captioned, “Licensed to carry small arms”. Anne overheard this conversation, “I can’t see him anywhere. There are too many old people here.” This man said this with a smile, but he was both older and grayer than us.

No Impedance to Progress

Packard Swan Hood Ornament

Electrical impedance is the measure of opposition, a circuit presents to the passage of  current under voltage.

Things have gone really well at work this week. Yesterday, when I arrived early, I was met with at-a-boys from all around the office. The team has been working hard, trying to get a deliverable out on time. After about a week of struggling on just my small facet of the larger product, I managed to go from zero to hero, literally overnight. The computer jobs that I had submitted Tuesday night had finished. They are long jobs and take hours to run on server class machines. Even though I got up early with Anne and left early for work, it still felt as if I had showed up late. By the time I arrived, my results had already been reviewed and judged a success. Thank God! I spent the rest of the day gilding the lily, making good better.

The Saint Louis Cardinals also had a good day. They beat the Washington Nationals 8-0. This puts them up 2-1 in their divisional playoff series. If they win again today, they’ll advance. The game was played during work hours. We tried to get the game on Internet radio, but the best that we could manage was Flash play-by-play. We really are working hard, really. Later, son David posted on Facebook, “Definitely worth it to skip out of work early and watch the game.” Seeing this, I called him on it and impersonated the Work Police. He wouldn’t pickup, so I left him a ‘threatening’ voicemail, from the Work Police.

After the game and after work, I read a Slate article about the Washington National’s outfielder, Bryce Harper, who wore a pair of red-tinted contact lenses in this playoff game. The article posed the question, “Do tinted contacts make any difference?” The article also concluded that they reduce glare, just like more esoteric eye black or ordinary sunglasses. A second claim, that rose-colored contacts make target objects like baseballs visually “pop” by filtering out certain wavelengths of light, is more problematic. Harper’s Wednesday hit production was rather lackluster (0-5) and his series performance is not much better (1-15), for a series batting average of 0.067. Maybe the tinted contacts do filter out certain wavelengths. Their reddish color would indicate that his contacts filter out the red wavelengths. Could this mean that he can’t really see his Red Bird opponents?

Horseless Carriages

We biked over to Forest Park to see the Easter car show. We pretty much just went straight there and back, so we only got 11 miles. It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day, perfect weather for photographing shiny chrome and brilliant paint jobs. For those not familiar with this Saint Louis tradition, there are actually two car shows, one for each of the two Muny parking lots. The upper Muny lot hosts the classic cars, while the lower lot has the custom hot-rods.

We started on the upper lot. The owners mostly sit by their car all show long. They are there to answer questions, talk to other enthusiasts and bask in the reflective glow of their automobile. One story that I heard involves the Dodge Brothers logo. If you look closely at the radiator cap the logo includes a Jewish six-pointed star. The founders of what became part of Chrysler were not Jewish, far from it. Their original logo was the intertwined D and B. They used this logo when they started as a parts supplier to Henry Ford. They would supply car parts and Ford would pay them in Ford stock. The day came when the Dodge brothers wanted to set off on their own and build their own cars. They went to Henry Ford and asked him to cash out their stock, but he refused. They had to take him to court to finally get their money. When they setup their shop they enhanced their intertwined D and B logo, to include the Jewish star. They did this purely to thumb their noses at Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite.

You can always tell a Buick, because it has either three or four holes on the front fenders. These VentiPorts were introduced in 1949 on a concept car. It had a flashing light within each hole each synchronized with a specific spark plug simulating the flames from the exhaust stack of a fighter airplane. The lights never made it into production, but the holes were on every Buick ever after.

A friend from work, Glen was there showing off his Pantera. The Pantera is an Italian sports car, built-in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The word “Pantera” is Italian for “Panther”. The Chrysler Turbine car was there and it was doing better than last year. Last year it stalled rolling off its trailer. It was running fine today. A couple of guys had bicycles that they had attached motors to. In China, this is done all of the time. I got trapped in a conversation with one of them. He was so enthusiastic that he just wouldn’t let the conversation or me go. After that it was time to head home. There will be many more pictures to show and stories to tell from this day. OBTW, Sunday was a non-driving day. 😆