I spend considerable time driving from place to place for Drive and its sister publication Drive Performance. Usually, I'm alone in the car and with my thoughts. I frequently jot down some of the thoughts and lists that I've contemplated; on any given trip, these might contain:
- Observations from the road -- road signs, billboards, bumper stickers, farm buildings, and things that amuse me (Find an example of such ramblings in a Drive Performance Editor's Track Journal entry here.)
- Thoughts about work -- this list of ideas, along with a beverage once I've settled for the night, often leads to story lines and future planning for the Subaru magazines and/or websites
- Lists of songs -- examples include Top 10 Rock 'n' Roll Songs Ever, Songs About Ghosts and the Paranormal, Funny Songs that Bring Tears to my Eyes from Laughing so Hard, Formative Songs from my Youth, Best Rock Guitar Songs, Long Rock Songs, and so forth
- Irony (which has more to do with life, I suppose, than driving) -- an example would be the realization that two Midwestern cities where I spent considerable time as a younger person are connected by U.S. Highway 24
- Perspective -- trying to get a handle on some of the elements of life and the experiences I've had
Yes, they can be loud and annoying when played in other peoples' cars, especially in the middle of the night in a small neighborhood when you have the bedroom windows open for some fresh air. However, I have found that having a subwoofer with the sound level of the vehicle's audio system adjusted for my tastes has become a necessity!
For the trip, I drove the Drive Performance WRX -- a project car that Drive Performance magazine has for two years. One of the Genuine Subaru Accessories that we've installed in the car is a 100-watt subwoofer that we wrote about in Summer 2011 Drive; read the article here.
My tastes in music fall into a wide range. There's something that I enjoy in just about every genre. No matter what the music, I now have grown to expect the full bass notes to be there, surrounding me. At this point in driving with the subwoofer in the WRX, I have found that it goes unnoticed until I switch to my own car (which doesn't have one) and it isn't there.
The bass notes comfort me like a pillow in which the other notes are couched. The subwoofer fills in the background, adding to the sharpness of the other sounds. It makes a musical painting complete.
Cars from the 1950s and 1960s
I debated calling this sub-section "Old Cars," but determined that what's old to me would be antique to some and new to others. Everything's relative.
On the drive, I saw an Edsel at approximately the same time that I passed a billboard advertising the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana. I wasn't sure what kind of car the Edsel was from the back, although Edsel was among the top three guesses. Side and front views dispelled any doubt.
Thinking about the Studebaker models along with viewing the Edsel from three sides, I considered which of the family cars I've owned in the past I'd rather be driving than the one I own now. Would I trade my current car for anything from the 1950s?
There are no older vehicles that I'd rather have now. My family's current vehicles sit on the pavement with better stability, more safety features by far, better lighting, and far more economical drivetrains than ever.
It's nice to reminisce, but let's leave those vehicles in that time, not this one.
An Accident of History
When you drive Interstate 76 out of Philadelphia toward the middle of Pennsylvania, you'll notice signs directing you to two sites important to U.S. history -- Valley Forge and Gettysburg. It's ironic that a place in this country's history that so solidified its future freedom in the 1700s would be so close to another that represents the divisiveness between the states a century later.
-- Ric Hawthorne