Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Carlife Refuge, Black Rock Desert, Nevada

From Michael S Moore, our man in  the Black Rock [that's the Desert, in northern Nevada, not the Building in NYC] :
"In the seventies I was making drawings of abandoned vehicles which eventually coalesced into a couple of print projects - "Abandoned Cars", a handsomely boxed set in 1973 as well as some subsequent miscellany that never became more than individual small editions, occasionally hand-tinted.  Back then there was still an impressive amount of rusting iron scattered unobtrusively all around the desert, causing no harm, but while I was at it I had some cards, maybe even stationery, ironically [I thought] printed up for the "Cactus Patch Soup National Abandoned Carlife Refuge" [Cactus Patch Press was what we called our basement silkscreen operation when we weren't calling ourselves the "Art Bandits"].  I never considered the relics to be in any way endangered, but as historic and increasingly remote ghost town junkyards were inexplicably bulldozed and set afire in later decades it began to seem sadly prophetic.
Zenobia Dodge, Wall Spring National Abandoned Carlife Refuge, November 2012
"All this apropos of the vehicles disappearing from Pershing County, a lamentable situation discovered earlier this week; I asked the BLM about it---
[" Unfortunately, yes people are taking the vehicles for scrap metal. Steel is at an all time high, $200 ton, and some people have taken advantage of the price. Any object over 50 years old has some cultural protection afforded it under some of the federal regulations. If you notice any people taking objects off of BLM land, don't hesitate to contact me. Thanks for the inquiry.

Zach Million
Park Ranger
Black Rock Field Office"]

"So the Carlife Refuge idea may not be so ironical after all, and it now seems I am, however inadvertently, implementing it, beginning with the Ford sedan that rested upside down outside the remains of the original Parker Ranch house. When we began resuscitating Parker Ranch and Wall Spring in the mid-nineties I had it moved and enshrined in the old corral on railroad ties, which became the beginning of a physical manifestation of that long-ago premonition...
"Some years later we dragged my little flatbed trailer down the desert and snagged what remained of the WWll Dodge north of Pyramid Lake [across from Zenobia siding on the long-vanished Sand Pass - Fernley RR line] that had been on the original stationery as well as one of the first drawings [1971].

  "I recently augmented the remnant with a set of Chevrolet fenders that weren't used on my '45...
Given the current disappearances I'm considering taking the trailer over to Vernon and gathering up the few pieces that remain for the new Abandoned Carlife Refuge....just don't tell anybody.
    "The fact that renegade scrappers are erasing this history just breaks my heart." MSM

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