Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tomorrow's Past

Quantum physics aside, experience tells us that today's present is always tomorrow's past. It's simple to look around at things that aren't here anymore, shake your head, and say, 'How could they abandon that?' or 'How could they just let that deteriorate?'. The history is more complex than that which makes the value of preservation of historic buildings and artifacts more subtle than many preservationists would like to admit.

It seems that many things go through a period of 'old junk' status before they become collectible. Let's use my definition of collectible, where something becoumes collectible the moment that it's value exceeds that of it's newer, better, replacement. Think iPod. When the first Generation of iPod sells for more on eBay than the 2nd or 3rd generation, voila. My parents bought a 78 Pontiac station wagon to replace the beat up 68 Plymouth station wagon that had become the family 'beater'. By the mid 80's the Pontiac was the beater in my mind, and I was starting to think 'I wish we'd hung on to that Plymouth'.

It's the beater period where history is at risk. That's the point at which preservation can interfere and bring something back from the brink. But not everything. There's good in progress and looking forward. We can't save every beater, we wouldn't appreciate history like we do if we did.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The Big Texan sign in Amarillo
The Big Texan. I just got out and snapped a quick photo. I toy with the idea of stopping to browse, but it’s not lunchtime, I’m not hungry, and the road is calling. This is a recurring theme for me on this trip. I want to stop, but I want to press on. There’s a growing sense that I don’t have the time to do it right, so I should just do a fly-by to get the lay of the land for a future visit. More on this later I’m sure as I’m becoming increasingly anxious to get back to California. I’m beginning to question the wisdom of my spontaneous road trip across half of the US.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 2, 2009


Old 66 Super Service Station Old ‘66’ Gas station. I followed the lead of numerous adventurers ahead of me and wrote my initials in the dust on the window.
Posted by Picasa
Creative Commons License
All content by E. Russell McGregor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.