June 21, 2012

Custom Grills & Revolutionary Quills

Last Saturday morning, just as the sun was beginning to rise on what would turn out to be a magnificent day, I did an online search for something different to do. Any kind of local festival or performance in the park would have sufficed. After scrolling through the calendar of events, I came up with AutoMat Customizing and Restoration's 56th Anniversary Car Show. While I have never had the urge to be the owner of a muscle car myself (I once had a Corvette offered to me for free, but I passed on it), I do enjoy the sight of fancy fenders, so I packed a brown bag lunch and headed out to the site in Hicksville, Long Island. When I arrived on the scene, I found hundreds of people browsing around among the rows and rows of impressive automobiles -- antiques, customs and classics, sports cars, monster trucks, all kinds. There were numerous eye-catching paint jobs done in some very hot colors. Hoods stood open to show souped-up engines. Spotless chrome glistened in the morning sun. The PA system added to the malt shop setting as it piped loud 50's Rock and Roll songs into the air. It was a cool atmosphere and I definitely liked it. I saw several vehicles that became my instant favorites.

After eating lunch at the car show, it was only a 15-minute drive to Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay. I had gotten a pamphlet about the museum while visiting Sagamore Hill over the winter and I had been wanting to pay it a visit ever since. The house (dating back to 1738) boasts two distinct design styles -- the front half is a Revolutionary War homestead; the rear and upper level a Victorian Manor. To stroll through its rooms is definitely a romp into the distant past. There are many furnishings and textiles from the period, though probably the best artifact that the museum has on hand would be a letter from George Washington. I was amazed to see the signature of America's first president in front of me. As is the case with pretty much every piece of very old correspondence that I've ever seen, Mr. Washington had beautiful penmanship. Every sentence is etched with dignity and care. By appearance alone, these words exuded an air of importance. It's sad how the art of handwriting has all but completely faded in recent years. Seeing such fine hand and graceful language scribed on this yellowed piece of parchment really pointed out to me the lazy crudeness of today's cyber lingo. I myself have been guilty of using the occasional "LOL" or the colon/close parenthesis smiley face in texts and emails. Well, no more. From now on, I'm going to make the effort to always show the same respect for language that George Washington possessed over two-hundred years ago. I'm very serious, so if I should happen to slip on this at any time, please point it out to me. Thank you. Cheers!!!

"Have nothing to do
with the fruitless deeds of darkness,
but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention
what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light
becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
This is why it is said: 'Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead,  
and Christ will shine on you.'"

Ephesians 5:11-14