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.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

1971 Volvo 164 & The State of Maine

As you can tell from recent posts, it is getting harder and harder to get 'live' shots of old iron out on the roads, here in the State of Maine. By mid-November most of the good stuff, from Kittery to Fort Kent, has been put up in barns for the winter. But I met this 1971 Volvo while I was walking the backstreets of Bath this morning. The car is a completely original, one-owner machine. And, yes, it was going into winter hibernation this afternoon.
BTW, I've just had my Volvo 850 Wagon renovated at Alan's Auto in Portland, a local legend. An interesting experience. Not inexpensive, mind you, but interesting. They seemed unusually committed to doing excellent work on Volvos. More later.
You hear it less often than in the past, but some people (Mainers, mostly) still use "State of Maine"
 instead of just "Maine" in ordinary speech, and even more commonly, in prose. For example, our weatherman will sometimes say "up here in the State of Maine". The training ship for Maine Military Academy is The State of Maine. (Maybe because calling any ship the Maine  summons ghosts of Havana harbor and  the Spanish-American War, as in "Remember The Maine!")
But Vermonters (for example) don't speak of the "State of Vermont" whereas "State of Maine" is still a very common phrase. I suspect it goes back to Maine's unhappy history as a 'province' of Massachusetts. After statehood in 1820 (admitted to the Union as a Free state, part of the Missouri Compromise) impatient Mainers were probably eager and proud to speak of State of--and not Province of, or District of--Maine. 

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