Peters reminisces about a better time, now forever lost.
When We Didn’t Drive Devices
It has been more than 20 years since the day after which Americans got used to being handled like felonious cattle at airports. Stand here, don’t go there. Off with your shoes. Open your purse. Spread your legs. Those born after that day have no memory of what it was like to just get on a plane – sometimes, at the last minute – and fly to your destination without having to do more than show a boarding pass to the stewardess – as opposed to the “flight attendant” – at the gate.
Well, a day may come when people no longer remember what it was like to drive a car – as opposed to a device.
A car was a machine, first of all. It had a thing called an engine – and these were often radically different, car to car. But all of them were the same in that they burned liquid energy stored in a tank.
One of the really neat things about this liquid energy was its portability and stability. You transferred about 15-20 gallons of this liquid – they called it “gasoline” and “diesel” – into the car’s tank, which only took a few minutes to do and the car was ready to drive for hundreds of miles.
Unlike the way things are now, you didn’t have to wait all the time in order to get going. So you could just go – pretty much anywhere and whenever you felt like it. Almost like flying was, a long time ago – when it was possible to catch a flight, the saying went, on the spur of the moment and without having to show up at the airport an hour or two before the scheduled departure time and wait for the flight.
Because you could just go – by car, in those days – you never had to plan. Life had a spontaneity you may never fully appreciate. If you just felt like driving somewhere, you could – no matter how much gas or diesel you didn’t have in the tank. Even if there was almost none. We were able to do this because there were gas stations – where diesel was also usually available – all over and almost always within range. It was only a small hassle if you ran out of gas on the way to the station because it was possible to carry a small can or plastic jug of liquid fuel from the station to wherever you left the car and pour it into the tank and then drive to the station, where the tank could be filled in about five minutes or even less.
And a lot more cheaply than at today’s exorbitant Biden prices, too. Some truly drool-inspiring photos included with this one as well, folks, so check it out.