Saturday, August 22, 2009

Faded Symbol

On my way into work this morning, I passed by a symbol. Something that people would purchase to announce to the world that they had "made it". By driving such a vehicle, it would be clear to the others in the neighborhood, the country club, the office, that this person was successful and had taste and prestige. They enjoyed the finer things that life could provide. The car that I passed by was a Lincoln Town Car circa 1980. Back in the day, this paradigm of luxury had a sticker price of about $25,000. I'm quite sure that when people drove by this signature vehicle, they took a second look, maybe even pictured themselves behind the wheel, or perhaps better still, sitting in the back seat dressed in their finest, while a uniformed coachmen took them to the premiere or the gala or the opening night. However, one day's symbol of refinement and style and panache, can be another day's tasteless oddity and eyesore. The 1980 Town Car looks today like a huge metal box with jarring, sharp angles and hard lines. The exterior seems plain and coarse. It speaks nothing of life's luxuries. Nothing of refinement. A symbol has been pulled down from its once lofty position. Reduced to a beat up rust bucket grinding out its last workhorse miles before its inevitable condemnation to the junk yard or the back of the shed. An inglorious and dishonorable ending for a symbol that once led us to dream and to salivate and to live vicariously in others, if only for a brief moment.