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.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Two Toyota Tacoma

From Michael Moore, in the Bay Area. These trucks, that era, were clean machines. 


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

That Massachusetts Pinstriping Thing: e.g., a Ford F-350


We have posted on Boston truck language before. Further examples here.  Maybe not an Irish-American thing, as AL has suggested in the past. Perhaps it's really a Boston/Eastern Mass. thing. We think it's cool. Note: cultural zone of eastern Mass. has extended deep into southeast New Hampshire--Hillsborough and Rockingham counties--over last twenty-five years.  SE NH is the new Southie.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Monday, December 28, 2020

Lobsterboat, Blue Hill Bay.

She's on a mooring. Those are the mountains of Mount Desert Island (Acadia National Park) in the b.g., with Swan's Island to the right.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

1959 De Soto Firesweep Wagon

Not sure what a firesweep is. The brush I use to clean around our woodstove? There's also a DeSoto Firedome and we featured one--a '57 DeSoto Firedome wagon--a while back. This here glam-wagon--the 'Sweep---in on the block at BaT.   for significantly less than a brand-new Hyundai SUV.


Friday, December 25, 2020

Industrial objets/toys for Christmas

Saw these trucks at Motorland in Arundel, Maine a while back. They mostly seem to have price tags so I guess the are for sale. I like that Ford COE dump truck. Also the red truck, eighth down, which looks like a Chevy COE as a Saskatchewan grainer. What is it that's so appealing? Just the lay of light on these simple forms through the rainy window? The Arts & Crafts movement of the late-19th c. could not have predicted that, a century later,  industrial products would speak to us with such hammered simplicity. 


Christmas Card from Banff

Snow in Banff this Christmas. I was filling out my son's application for his first Canadian passport when Alex Emond happened to send his photo of cow elk, hanging out on the edge of Banff town. Another Banff post here.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Snowin' on Raton


I'm thinking of winter songs. Also missing West Texas, where we usually are this time of year. I think my favorite Winter Song is Townes' Snowin' on Raton. First time over Raton was in a snowstorm, driving Banff, Alberta to West Texas with Toby Clark in the above unit, towing all those canoes, heading for the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande. First time in my life I ever left winter.
I cross Raton whenever I can; something good always happens.                                                                               This was April snow up on Raton, a couple years back...

...and there are always few feral trucks roaming around Raton, N.M. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Checker Marathon, Hot.

 He drives a 1967 Checker Marathon. Women want him. Men want to be him.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Cambridge Triple-Deckers

Huron Street, Cambridge MA.
"Triple deckers sprang up in New England’s booming mill towns and industrial citiesbetween 1870 and 1910. Ambitious immigrants loved them because they offered a path to home ownership. A family could live in one apartment and collect rents from two.
"But to housing reformers, the triple decker was a fire trap and a nasty place to live. Much better, thought the reformer, were small single-family homes in the suburbs and subsidized public housing in the cities...." Three- deckers, textile mills and French Canada are a big part of the story of vernacular architecture in 19th and 20th c. New England, from Winooksi Vermont to Biddeford ME to Pawtucket RI. Here's a piece on French Canadian 8-year-old workers striking at a Maine mill. More at New England Historical Society. And here are links to other Autoliterate posts on Triple Deckahs and New England vernacular architecture:

Three- deckers, textile mills and French Canada are a big part of the story of vernacular architecture in 19th and 20th c. New England, from Winooksi Vermont to Biddeford ME to Pawtucket RI. Here's a piece on French Canadian 8-year-old workers striking at a Maine mill: 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Shoebox Ford Wagons, Holy Cruise Wharf


Didn't know there were ao many still alive. This is California, Lee Saloutos says Santa Cruz wharf.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Mack Truck

From Jonathan Welsh: When I was a kid I thought Macks were the only trucks worthy of conversation. I hadn't learned about Kenworths and Peterbilts yet. I spotted this restored classic in Sussex, New Jersey. To me, this is how a semi is supposed to look, including the no-frills interior. Easy for me to say, as I don't have to drive it for a living.                                                                                                                         AL: we've posted a serious Mack from the late Sixties You'll see a bunch more if try our search widget.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Part Fortress

Okay, AL's not a large fan of bulky, leather-clad, screen-laden slugmobiles. What caught our eye was an ad on a currency-converter website that proudly proclaimed the Lexus LX as "Part Fortress", which is more or less accurate, and says a good deal about the State of the Union these days. The fortunate cruise--warily-- in mobile fortresses, while most folk spin their wheels in the mud of this trumped economy. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

1953 Chevrolet Bel Air


Michael Moore spotted the car on I-80 between Sacramento and Auburn. We posted a '54 Bel Air in Colorado Springs a while back. Try Bel Air in our search widget: you'll see a bunch more, of various eras.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

AL's 1959 Pontiac Catalina thing

For a lot of reasons the '59 Catalina was the car where it all started for Autoliterate. But we've already posted about that. Try our search widget for 59 Pontiac and you'll see several. Today's photos are from a piece in Curbside Classics.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

1993 Chevrolet Caprice and Mercury Colony Park

Someone's doing an hommmage to last-gasp Large Cars of the Nineties. I found these two beauties--a Chevrolet Caprice and a Mercury Park Lane--next to each other on a Cambridge evening sparkling with streetlight and drizzle.