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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1964 Pontiac Catalina convertible. Blue Hill, Maine

Basha Burwell caught the Catalina rolling through Blue Hill on the day before Thanksgiving. Our friend Adam, the Food Shark, has a '64 Bonneville in Marfa, Texas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

1938 Dodge 1 1/2 ton truck

from Alex Emond: 'I caught this barnacle encrusted sculpture in Kincaid , Saskatchewan . It appears to have patina on its patina . I doubt very much if it will ever feel the wind in its hair again but it looks good to me just the way it is...'

Monday, November 28, 2016

Auto Biographies--Michael Moore

(Below is from Michael Moore. I was looking at my copy of Auto Biographies over Thanksgiving weekend. Really an extraordinary artwork. Very autoliterate!)

"Auto Biographies and Every House I Ever Lived In”

A 128 page book of 89 "Auto Biographies" plus 22 drawings of "Every House I Ever Lived in from Memory" has been published under my Wall Spring Press imprint in a first printing of 750 signed and numbered copies. 

Together these two series comprise an idiosyncratic, illustrated account of my life in cars, houses, and, increasingly, life experiences [for those interested enough to decipher the text] up to the present day. On the other hand, taking text as texture, there are close to three hundred little line drawings floating among the scrawled letters that should be pleasure enough. 

Wall Spring Press is offering this oversize perfect-bound book [which is, though smaller than the original pen and ink drawings, generously sized at 15x12"] for $50.00 plus $3.82[CA tax} + $8.00 s&h. 

A deluxe edition with a signed, numbered and titled epson enhanced matte print facsimile of one of the original drawings [14.5 x 8.5 " for Auto Bios; Houses 13x11"] is available for $130.00 plus $9.92[CA tax] + $15.00 s&h while supplies last [the prints are a limited edition of two].  

Anyone interested in this project should contact me directly as soon as possible as supplies are limited.  

Many Thanks,
Michael Moore 

Early accolades for Michael Moore's "Auto biographies and Every House I Ever Lived In"
"I picked up the book... and from the first pondering - wow spectacular! congratulations! the whole thing is perfect." Mary W. - Novato, CA

"Been reading the book ... How many have survived a self made journey of that complexity intact and can recollect it at all, let alone at that level of detail? Very few. There's simply not enough years and underfunded grit to actually live it AND make real art about it for all but a determined few as opposed to the just talk that most of the poser-heroes do. BRAVO!" - Seth T., Portland, Oregon

"It's gorgeous and overwhelming. It's going to take a long time to digest. I'm so glad to have it." - Stephen H., Bronx NY

USA 2016: Things To Be Thankful For, Things To Protect (Part 1)

Friend Memorial Library, Brooklin, Maine.
Public libraries, literacy, books, critical thinking, education, & free access. Not to mention wonderful architecture that has been around for 104 years.
This is a new Autoliterate series USA 2016: Things To Be Thankful For/Things To Protect  Contributors welcome, please send jpeg photos and notes.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lobster boat, Blue Hill Bay

Looking across Blue Hill Bay to Mount Desert Island. Day after Thanksgiving. Blowing maybe 5 knots NE. Could be wrong but it looks to me like an Arno Day boat, so built right here in Brooklin....

Saturday, November 26, 2016

1953 Mercury

Matt Dallet saw the Merc in Salisbury, Connecticut. No snow yet in Maine. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

'48 Ford 5-window coupe

from Michael Moore in the East Bay: ’48 Ford five window coupe, East E Street Benicia, Sunday morning

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve, Naskeag Harbor, Maine.

Thinking about thanks...Maine is still Maine, Hancock County is true-Blue, the Constitution is still the Constitution, and there was a wonderful sky out at Naskeag Point this afternoon. Days are short this time of year in Downeast Maine, and it's usually blowing...there were whitecaps on Blue Hill Bay today, normal for the time of year. 15-20 knots, often NW. Sometimes a lot more. People are still out lobstering, though it starts getting rough on gear, boats and bodies this time of year.
                The two little granite ledge islands are (l) Mahoney's I., and (r) Smuttynose I.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Haut Jeep

 Basha Burwell spotted the Jeep Station Wagon on an expedition to Aisle a' Ho in August, where out-of-date plates rule.We've posted from there before, including a portfolio from the photographer Winky Lewis.  The French explorer (and founder of Quebec) Samuel de Champlain named Isle au Haut on one of his sounding expeditions up and down our coast. He must have hit a lot of rocks. Champlain also named the Isle of Mont-Desert, where Acadia National Park is--(except for a small slice of the National Park that's on Isle au Haut). Fischer's book on Champlain is pretty good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A pair of 1958 Chevrolet Apache trucks.

from Alex Emond: "Just by coincidence I ran across these '58 Chevy Apache Fleetside trucks just a few days apart. The unrestored truck was in Bassano, Alberta. Then the amazing, spoiled-rotten version was in Swift Current Saskatchewan. It appears to have new everything but kept the original look, so maybe best of both worlds. Either way , these are both stellar from a very good year for trucks.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Urban Camino: another angle

The photographer, Stephen Hendrickson, is developing an obsession with this car, parked on a street in Long Island City.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

1968 Ford Bronco

1968 half-cab Bronco for sale in San Diego. Looks pretty nimble. Restored. Not cheap. Details at B-A-T.  Ford took the concept from there I-H Scout and ran with it.

1958 Buick Century

Alex Emond caught the car in Cadillac (Saskatchewan).

Saturday, November 19, 2016

1947 International 1 1/2 ton grainer

from Alex Emond. Retired grainer. Cadillac, Saskatchewan. And that's a 1958 Buick Century lurking in the background.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Canadian Houses: The Annex, Toronto & Irish Houses: Cyprus Avenue, Belfast.

I like exploring residential streets in big cities looking for what I imagine to be the 'vernacular' architecture. Autoliterate borrows/adapts the phrase from John Brinckerhoff Jackson's wonderful & insightful Discovering the Vernacular Landscape. It's about looking at the spaces we live in and upon. Basic Autoliterate investigatory technique is to a) choose a street more or less at random--(well, usually the street has some initial appeal, often because it has trees and is near the center of town)--and 2)walk or bike along it, photographing buildings that are no way remarkable or unique within the context of that neighourhood. So, looking for the ordinary, more or less. The vernacular of the neighbor(u)hood.
Autoliterate did this in Las Vegas, New Mexico a few months back.
Biddeford, Maine.
Montreal, of course.
And has done a lot of looking in Colorado Springs, including the Old North End
Hutchinson, Kansas a couple years back,
Here in Cambridge.
And lots more in Maine: Sedgwick, Brunswick, Portland, etc. Now--Toronto.
I usually think of The Annex neighbo(u)hood in relation to the University of Toronto, nearby. (It's odd that while U of T is probably the greatest Canadian university, it is quite unknown here in New England, where people, particularly parents with soon-to-be-college-age children, are very much aware of McGill and to a lesser extent Queen's U. as schools to aim for. U of T means University of Texas, Austin to most).
The Annex used to mean houses for U of T faculty, & rooming houses for graduate students. Because it in the center of the city The Annex has become over the last few decades quite fashionable and probably too expensive for most academics, though the typical Annex house, to my Montreal/Boston eye, tends to be rather grim than grand.
Still it's an interesting and characterful neighborhood...and, now, crazy expensive.
19th-early 20th c. built Toronto, in streetscape and in spirit, reminds me of Belfast more than any other city in North America. There always was a steady stream of migration from Protestant Ireland to Upper Canada, as it was, and then Ontario. Church of Ireland farmers from formerly Protestant areas in Tipperary & Kilkenny in the 19th century; and then a major stream of emigrants from The North, that continues to this day. I think there's still a Parade in Toronto in July, though these never had the sectarian ferocity they still muster up in Belfast. Yeats' "great hatred, little room" didn't quite apply to Canada; there was always more space. The Grand ((Orange)) Lodge of British North America was founded at Brockville, Upper Canada in 1830. The Annex houses posted here, most of them on Madison Avenue, resemble houses in South Belfast; for example, this terrace (below) in
Cyprus Avenue. I guess it's the brick and the Victorian sharpness (narrowness?)
Cyprus Avenue Belfast (above). Back to Madison Avenue, Toronto (below)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

En passant: the 1965 Rambler American

Stephen Hendrickson caught the Rambler on the New York Thruway. Ramblers weren't speedsters but it looks like maybe someone has put some zoom into the car.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016