A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Store…

Like most of you I’ve been sheltering at home during the COVID-19 emergency, wearing a face mask in public and practicing social distancing. There are no car shows this spring and even the Pebble Beach Concours Week this August and other festivities are casualties of the virus.

Pandemic precaution or masked bandit?

It’s been more than 100 years since a pandemic of this scale has hit the world and most living Americans have no memory of that. The Spanish flu swept across the globe in 1917 and killed as many as 50 million people, including 675,000 Americans. The U.S. population was only about 103 million back then so social distancing was probably easier. Nevertheless, then, as now, people had basic needs including heading to the store for necessary items. Many probably lived close enough to walk there and others lived on farms or were tending home vegetable gardens.

Fast forward to 2020 with our 330 million people and 40 million Californians. Despite delivery services and great advances in our society, most of us do not grow our own food as many did 100 years ago. I’ve cleaned the house, washed the cars, rebuilt the patio furniture, tended the garden and 1,000 other “I’ll do it when I get around to it” projects, just like you. I’ve even taken the ’64 Lincoln out for exercise, doing my part to reduce the oil glut.

All of this builds an appetite. So a periodic trip to the market is a necessity. Recently, I donned my mask, jumped in the car and headed to the store. With most of us idled at home you can imagine my surprise when I turned a corner and saw this:

I started rubbing my eyes in amazement and wondering if I was back in 1917 or close to it. Seeing these two old timers rumbling down the street while the shiny new vehicles parked at home made me grab the camera and chase after them to get a picture. Coronavirus probably won’t get me but driving and shooting at the same time definitely could be hazardous to my health.

We came to a corner and “click” again. Here’s the result.

Ford Model A truck. Was he heading to the store to load up on toilet paper?

They turned the corner and suddenly they were gone. A Tesla Model S zipped by, jolting me back into 2020. It left me wondering if maybe the antiques were just a mirage, But wait—-I have the pictures and now you do too…

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