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.


My photo
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.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Michael Moore & Three Paintings


November 26, 2021 – January 12, 2022

The Roll Up Project is pleased to present paintings by Michael S. Moore. For over six decades, Moore has painted expansive landscapes based on his travels through California, Colorado, and Nevada. His paintings sometime depict existing landscapes, but many are reflections of the scenes he has internalized.

Violet Cloud (2021) is installed in the Third Street windows. It depicts a mesa in the distance, with an immense violet-tinged cloud hanging above it. In our rain-starved state, it’s a welcome sight, practically a mirage. It conjures the smell of wet dirt and rocks, the thundering power of the deluge, and the quiet calm after the cloud has passed. This timeless landscape could represent a place from 1,000 years ago, today, or some time in the distant future. Moore’s careful attention to color and composition transforms narrow bands of color into a moody and immersive scene.

The two paintings filling the Harrison Street window, Overpaint 1979 (1979) and Overpaint 5 (1979), highlight a different moment in the artist’s oeuvre. In the late 1970s, Moore took inspiration from comic book illustrations, especially the Adventures of Tintin, which he read to his son. (See below)The Overpaintpaintings are energetic and slightly disorienting, in part because the crisp comic-style linework implies a representational scene. It is as if we are in the middle of a crash-boom-bang moment in a comic strip, and we are challenged to find the ground, the walls, or anything recognizable. Within this active environment, there are abstract lines, curves, and fragments to follow, all filled in with bright yellows and pinks tempered with soft blues, tan, gray, and greens. This series may be interpreted as an inner landscape, or an interpretation of complex emotions. It pulls together aspects of formal abstraction, action painting, and stylized illustration.

Moore’s compositions remind us of the powerful role artists play in reflecting the world around us. In the midst of another stomach-churning phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, these paintings offer viewers a moment of pure imagination, a space to look, smell, listen, and consider

217 Harrison Street and 307 3rd Street Oakland, CA 94607 Hours Door: Monday—Friday: 10:00AM–5:00PM Window: always visible

AL: And speaking of Tintin, there is the Tintin Car CollectionAnd Tintin, the animated film, starring beaucoup des voitures, according to the NYT. 

Ford Courier Wheelbarrow


Craig Manning caught the truck in LA, possibly Mar Vista, possibly while walking the dog. We like small, practical work-oriented trucks. We've posted a few such wheelbarrows. The Courier was a Ford import from Mazda, after Ford had been caught out by the popularity of the Nissan (Datsun) and Toyota small trucks...Here's a Ford Courier Chinook Camper we posted a while back. Speaking of Mazdas...

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Plain Maine

Castine, Maine. Yeah, I could write a novel in there, maybe. And today at Harvard Books I picked up a $2 copy of Sara One Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs which Willa Cather, in 1925, called one of the 3 American books guaranteed to endure. And the others were...Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. "The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) is considered Jewett's finest work, described by Henry James as her 'beautiful little quantum of achievement.' Despite James's diminutives, the novel remains a classic." You can decide for yourself by reading the book at

Saturday, December 4, 2021

1952 GMC 3800


If you needed an illustration for a dictionary definition of "truck", well here it is. Alex Emond found this unit somewhere in Saskatchewan or eastern Alberta. (Grain bins are the tell.) Truck probably has been used as a grainer.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Icon 1953 Chevrolet 3100 Thriftmaster #16

Icon's Thriftmaster #16

From Alex Emond:  Here's a truck that is absurdly perfect . The company does quite a job . Don't even think about what the price would be . You have to think like Ted Turner or Ralph Lauren . Just put it on your card ...I can't think of a single thing I would change . Maybe some fuzzy dice hanging off the mirror???  

AL: Here's an earlier Icon Thriftmaster we posted a while back.
And a Thriftmaster from Winfield, Alabama.