THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Vehicle Details

If the devil is in the details, so are the best pictures … at least when you are talking about vehicles.

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Old trucks. Rusty with age and honor.

It's a fire engine!

It’s a fire engine!

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But wait! What about … a shiny antique car? Oh, here’s one!

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And motorcycles … a few of them maybe?

Motorcycles count too, don't they?

Motorcycles count too, don’t they?

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LIVING IN GRIDLOCK

Most of us don’t think about traffic. We just deal with it. It’s part of life. Whether it’s trying to find a parking space or sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a holiday weekend, traffic is everywhere.

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I don’t usually think about traffic these days because we don’t have much. This is the country. A traffic jam is a tractor and two cars at an intersection. Road repairs. An annoying slow driver. A bridge washes out.

Until we moved here, though, traffic was the single biggest issue controlling our lives. Road work in Boston made it impossible to get from one side of the city to another. Gridlock during holidays effectively closed the city.

When we lived in downtown Boston, one Friday in December, Garry asked me to pick him up at work. He had packages to carry.

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I left the parking lot, drove a block, and stopped. Nothing was moving. An hour later, I still hadn’t moved. I u-turned and went home. It was pre-cell phones, so I called the guard at the front desk at Channel 7, asked him to tell Garry I couldn’t get there.

The next day it was in the papers and on TV — Boston was gridlocked. It was the Friday before Christmas. Everyone had decided to go shopping. No one went anywhere.

A year later, we moved to Roxbury, just outside the city center. It was less congested. You could park for free on the street.

Along came the Big Dig, aka the Central Artery-Tunnel Project. It was a monstrous project involving rerouting and redesigning almost every road in, out, around, and through Boston. It changed the main artery (Route 93) —  an ugly stretch of permanently clogged elevated highway — into a permanently clogged tunnel.

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It didn’t solve the traffic problems, but it made traffic invisible. On the plus side, it straightened out some of the city’s worst intersections and made getting to and from the airport easier.

The Big Dig was the most expensive highway project in history. Plagued by cost overruns, scheduling disasters, water leakage, collapses, design flaws, poor workmanship, nepotism, corruption, payoffs, substandard materials, criminal arrests for some offenders (but not enough) and 4 deaths, the project was scheduled for completion in 1998 and was supposed to cost $2.8 billion. It was officially finished in December 2007 and cost $14.6 billion.

The Boston Globe estimates when all is said and done, including interest, fines, and lawsuits, the project will cost more than $22 billion and won’t be paid off until 2038. Maybe not even then.

The Big Dig drove us out of Boston. One day, I had to go shopping. The supermarket was a mile away. It took me 2 hours to get there and another hour and a half to get home.

“Garry,” I said that evening, “Let’s get out of here!” And we did.

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We fled. Traffic was controlling our lives. We couldn’t go to a restaurant or a movie. We couldn’t shop, park, or get to work. People trying to visit us couldn’t find our condo because the exit to our neighborhood was often closed. Out-of-town visitors roamed helplessly through the streets of Dorchester looking in vain for a street sign or marker. Sometimes we couldn’t find our way home.

I spent years of my life in traffic. The time I spent at work plus 2 to 4 hours of commuting, my life was dominated by traffic. By the time we slouched into retirement, we were wrecks.

Do I have a solution? No. But I know that commuting and the constant traffic wore us out. One day, we snapped. We couldn’t do it anymore.

Funny thing about traffic. You may not notice it when you live with it every day, but if suddenly, it isn’t a major factor in your life, it’s a whole, new world. A far better world.

REDS

Daily Prompt: Isn’t Your Face Red

by michelle w. on February 5, 2014
Photographers, artists, poets: show us RED.

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Show me red you say? Here is red, in flower, cars, trucks and the leaves of autumn. Barns and carousels, cranberries and peppers. Red, redder and oh so red! Scarlet and deeper shades, but ultimately all RED.

Other entries:

  1. The Cell Phone at Crystal Lake (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
  2. Red Christmas | muffinscout
  3. Ignored | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  4. Song of the fallen | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  5. An Angel’s envy | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  6. DP Daily Prompt: Isn’t Your Face Red | Sabethville
  7. Daily Prompt: Isn’t Your Face Red | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  8. Meeting the requirements. | Greg Urbano
  9. Good-Bye Mr. Olsen | Under the Monkey Tree
  10. Red | The Land Slide Photography
  11. Daily Prompt: Isn’t your face red | My Dog Ate a Lightbulb
  12. Daily Prompt – RED – |
  13. Dog gets fearful around dog run, human embarrassed | We Live In A Flat
  14. In Cuba: The Lady in Accented Red Reads My Fortune « psychologistmimi
  15. Daily Prompt: Isn’t Your Face Red | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  16. Embarrassment/ Daily Prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  17. DAILY PROMPT: ISN’T YOUR FACE RED | Francine In Retirement
  18. Superembarrasing! | Edward Hotspur
  19. Daily Prompt: Isn’t Your Face Red? | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  20. Blushing Scarlet | Alienorajt

IMPERIAL CHRYSLER

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We have what I believe is the world’s most interesting car dealership. On Route 16 in nearby Mendon, it began as one dealership. Chrysler. Two more have since been added. There’s also the Miss Mendon diner, a restored Worcester dining car. A coffee shop, gas station, outdoor grill , snack bar and gift shop. And much more.

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And art. Pop art. Life-size figures of Elvis, The Blues Brothers. Old gasoline pumps and other car-related stuff. David Ortiz’ torn jersey from the 2013 World Series. A car wash (the only good one in the valley) and a variety of stores and at least one doctor’s office.

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It hosts the largest car show in New England … and you can also buy a car while you are there. Or a truck. Personally, I want a truck. We could take everything we own everywhere we go. We would never not have enough trunk space and little buzzy cars would stop bullying us.

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