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.

Friday, July 31, 2020

1968 Chevrolet C20 Longhorn

 from the poet Eva H.D., in Toronto. "Delaware Ave. The street on which I wrote Rotten Perfect Mouth. She’s a little punched up, as you can see. But I love this era. The awkward teenage phase, forever.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

1974 Dodge Polara a Montreal police car. On y va. Aidan O'Neill found it; photographer unknown. We have posted an earlier generation of Montreal Police cars: a pack of 1964 Ford Customs.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Ford F100 Explorer

from Alex Emond: Here's a good looking Ford, ready to tow a boat, maybe up to Lake Diefenbaker, or Lac Pelletier . This is Swift Curren, Saskatchewan and this truck seems pretty much original I could be off by a year or two but my guess is 1969. Cheers , Alex
AL: If you try F100 in our search widget you'll get a bunch more trucks, like this '68 in West Texas.

Monday, July 27, 2020

1973 Buick LeSabre

BB caught the car. Big road warriors, getting toward the end of their run in oil-shock year.

Sign reading “Gas shortage! Sales limited to 10 gallons of gas per customer” posted at a filling station during the energy crisis
Gas Shortage Sign in Connecticut During Energy Crisis (Photo: Owen Franken/Corbis Historical/Getty Images)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Rick McCloskey, Van Nuys Blvd.

It was all about bare feet in the city in summer of '72. We were organic.
 You may have caught some of Rick McCloskey's photos of the Van Nuys cruising scene of the early 1970s on Aultoliterate. You can buy McCloskey's book here.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Thursday, July 23, 2020

'57 Chevrolet 3100

from Greg Phillips: "A peach of a truck. I tried to capture some of the design features that made this a great truck. How many can you find? All are long gone now resulting in the modern truck, in most cases, being no more than a street legal shopping cart. Last dispatch for a while from Florida's Forgotton Coast. This gem was in Eastpoint, FL, on Apalachicola Bay; your typical Florida fishing village with a Covid-19 problem."
AL: if you try 3100 in our search widget you'll see a bunch more Task Force-era trucks, including this 1958.  Searching for Apache turns up several more, like this one--where else--Saskatchewan.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

1961 Buick Skylark

After the vast and hulking Belchfires of the late 1950s, by the early 1960s all Detroit were bringing out their "compacts" . Maybe the Falcon was the most successful. The nifty little Skylark was Buick's version. Pontiac has a Tempest, Olds a Cutlass. Who wouldn't want to drive a car like this on a summah day in Maine?  California plates, but it's another Maine summah car.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

(Textile town, part 3) Houses, Not Mills: Saco, Maine

Saco is just across the (Saco) river from the old textile town of Biddeford, Maine which we've been posting recently. Though the towns are adjacent they have distinctly different appearances. Saco was probably the older settlement, and it remained the place where managers and professions lived in large "New England" houses of various styles and eras, while factory hands were lodged in a variety of buildings across the river. Population in Biddeford was denser, the style of houses leaned more to the "three-decker" and other multi-family types of buildings; and Biddeford remained a "French" and working class town, with its parochial as well as public schools. Saco had (has) Thornton Academy, a private school which predates the public school system in Maine and functions as a public (tuition-free) school for Saco.
Since Maine factory towns were often on rivers, and rivers often were the boundaries of New England townships, this allowed a convenient(for the richer town) type of segregation in the 19th century when the mills started to develop and draw in large foreign-born populations of workers.