Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Stop and Shoot the Cadillacs

I just received my copy of Danny’s new book and, of course, immediately began reading it. As I read I recalled an experience from my youth that seemed quite relevant .

Years ago while I was a young lad in the Navy, I used to travel home to visit my parents from time to time. I would usually drive even though it was quite a distance – about 1400 miles across the southern states on interstate highways 10 and 40. I would head west from my duty station in whatever car I owned at the time and drive straight through to my parents’ home in Albuquerque. This trip usually took about 23 – 24 hours (I was young, what can I say?). I was quite interested in photography at the time and had picked up a copy of Zoom magazine before one particular trip. I was perusing this issue during my visit and came across an article with photos of the infamous Cadillacs, forged between 1949 and 1963, half buried in a pasture in Texas (check out Cadillac Ranch for the rest of the story). I showed the photos to my Dad and mentioned that I would like to see them one day. He chuckled and told me that I drive right past them every time I come out for a visit. It seems that they are in a pasture right beside I-40 just outside of Amarillo. I was, needless to say, astounded that I had not noticed them before. I kept a sharp eye out for them on my way back and drove a bit slower as well. Sure enough there they were – 10 Cadillacs buried nose down in a row in the pasture on the south side of I-40. Since there wasn’t a fence or a ditch between I-40 and the frontage road I pulled right off without waiting for the next exit. I took my own pictures of these icons and vowed to pay more attention to the world as I passed through. I do pretty well now and then but as often as not I find myself concentrating on the destination and not really noticing the passing scenery.

One of the photos I took of the Cadillacs of Cadillac Ranch.


Felicity said...

That is a great photo! I wonder what else you might have missed :) ?

cosmos said...

WOW! What a great story. Not only is Cadillac Ranch a tribute to America's auto industry heritage...but to the American culture and freedom of expression. In the mid 70's, I drove myself in a fully loaded (with personal belongings and a cat)from Ohio to California. I had to stop in Albuquerque to lighten the load by sending some of my "stuff" on ahead by bus, when my 76 honda civic body was scraping the rear tires! I wish I had seen the C-Ranch...but I suppose I was distracted by the scraping tire noise. I'll have to drive by there with a can of paint one day. Thanks for sharing!