Monday, March 15, 2010


This morning, as I was returning to Chez Elisson after a wine-acquisition expedition, I saw an unusual sight: a 1962 Chevy Impala, tooling down the road in front of me.

The car was cherry, both in condition and color. It was being driven by a portly, white-haired gentleman who appeared to be about seventy years of age... and who seemed to be enjoying himself. And why not? It was a beautiful morning, and he was piloting a beautiful ride. A vintage ride, for sure - fully 48 years old. [And back when it was new, pretty much the only 48-year-old vehicle in existence was the Ford Model T.]

The 1962 Impala is not all that different from the 1961 Impala, a vehicle that Eli (hizzownself) purchased back in January of that long-ago year. It was the first new family car since the two-tone Dodge he had bought in 1954, when I was still a squatty little toddler... and so it was a Very Exciting Thing. It was a metallic beige color - “Champagne,” I’m pretty sure they called it, with the hyperbole typical of the automotive industry both then and now - and it had plenty of flashy chrome, inside and out.

It’s bizarre. I still remember the license tag number on that car: 1561-SB. In those days, New York plates were good for two years, so eventually those tags were replaced by another set bearing the number 9N-6661.

And there, Esteemed Readers, you have an illustration of the power of the Human Mind. For I can remember ridiculous ephemera such as the license tag numbers on cars my family owned fifty years ago... and yet if you asked me what the number is on the Elissonmobile - the car I drive every day, the very car that sits in my garage, even as I write this - I could not tell you to save my life.

No comments: