Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cars, Cars, More Cars and a List

Sunrise was at 5:41, sunset will be at 8:50 pm.  It's cool this morning, and the day should only get to 78 degrees.  We'll see about that.  Sometimes the weather here is notoriously difficult to chase down.  It is clear, though, with big blue skies and a nice little breeze. 

I've not usually been a HUGE  fan of cars; I like the ones I drive, I loved my little blue Chevy Nova, but I am a fan of design and there's something about a car you can live in, like a spare, movable sitting room, that makes me swoon.  Dennis' family and I went to the LeMay Auto Museum in Tacoma on a sweltering Saturday afternoon and spent a wonderful three hours walking along the most ab-fab automobiles ever made.
There were so many exquisite little details on all these cars, cars that ran the gamut from a motor on 4 wheels, a seat and a steering wheel, to limousines that fit entire families, outfitted with radios, talking tubes, clocks, and ASHTRAYS!  Remember ashtrays?  Look how very forward thinking this headpiece is on the front of this car.  It's a little rocket.
There was so much Bakelite, in so many gorgeous colors, clear, opaque, bound by chrome, on the ends of gear shifts, radio faces, ashtrays, exquisite jewels in all that metal.

This is the trunk end of the above car.  I love the echo of above's rocket in the rear lights. There is a metal step near the spare tire in the same rocket shape (and don't you wish the spare tires we carry in our cars now were just as stylish?) to help get into the rumble seat.  The leather seat is the color of pumpkin soup.  Don't you just love the curved, bow shape of the bumper?
The whole shape of this car is gorgeous.  The running board wooden and the front lights are attached to the forward wheel areas.

The hood has a handle on the side next to the lamp, and the door hinges are massive!

Can you imagine how difficult it would be to change the tires?  That whole bottom edge has to be removed.  There is a moon roof and I absolutely love the shape of the windows.  There are no straight lines anywhere!

There's not much I can tell you about the turquoise one except that it's a Ford.  Look at that grill!  I don't know if it did, but wouldn't it be something if it glowed a fiery red as it roared down the road towards you?  The engine was huge and I love the shape of the hood, It would be pretty open as well as closed.  Two seats only, this is a rocket of a car.

It was a real event to spend this time at the museum.  The first car I ever remembered was my mom's Kaiser. No one I know has heard of the Kaiser but there was one on exhibit, right near the front of the first floor. A monster of a car that had a back window big enough for my little brother to sleep in.  And, yes, he did.  The glove compartment transported my fishbowl, with fish and water, to our new home on the Oregon coast when we moved from Eugene.  It was a big enough car to carry three kids, a dog, all our stuff, and our mom.  All my Monkees records made it intact.

Anyway.  If you have an open afternoon, take a drive to Tacoma and spend some time at the LeMay Museum.  There is a wonderful deck that looks out over Tacoma's downtown and waterways and that lovely suspension bridge, and a little cafe if you need a snack.  There are a couple of driving games and a racetrack, too, for those who have the need for speed.

This museum trip would be well accompanied by a box of books with a "Cars and Trucks and Things that Go" theme.  All cars need a book box and this would be a fairly easy one to compile.  The following list is in alphabetical order because all the books are good ones and I wouldn't want any of them to think I liked one over the other (and hey, Moms, look at how many of these are written by women!):

Adventures of Taxi Dog, by Debra and Sam Barracca (LOTS of things to look for in the pictures.)
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, by Richard Scarry
Frank and Ernest on the Road, by Alexandra Day (this is out of print, try your library for it.  F&E take a temporary job driving a truck and must learn Trucker's Language.  A large glossary is included.)
Freight Train, by Donald Crews (I especially like the board book format with the slide apart pages.)
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, by Sherry Duskey Rinker
I Stink!, by Kate and Jim McMullan
If I Built a Car, by Chris Van Deusen
Little Blue Truck, by Alice Schertle
Little Fire Engine, by Lois Lenski
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton
Night Driving, by John Coy
Otis, by Loren Long
Road Builders, by B G Hennessy
School Bus, by Donald Crews
Truck Book, by Henry McNaught
Trucks, Trucks, Trucks, by Peter Sis
Wheels on the Bus, by Paul Zelinsky
Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?, by Brianna Caplan Sayles

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