I wonder, despite modern advances, if yesteryear wasn’t more vibrant. Granted, we can do everything today with a device that fits nicely into our pocket: read e-mails, manage schedules, check the forecast, watch movies, request an Uber, and a plethora of other things to make life “easier.”
We literally have the entire world on a handheld device. Yet, I still remember our first family cordless phone. My father thought it a gas he could stand at the end of the driveway and still “hear Grandma loud and clear.”
Recently, somebody informed me I can make a deposit into my bank account by taking a photo of a check, then uploading it from my phone via an app.
“Carl, you’re wasting time going to the bank,” they said.
Trailers For Sale . . .
In another recent conversation, a friend and I were talking about music and how much that has changed. Interesting enough, driving home that evening, I was listening to Roger Miller’s King of the Road from 1964. The song details a free spirited, floor sweeping, cigarette deprived individual who knows the family of every train operator. I arrived home, checked my mail, and saw my copy of Airstream: America’s World Traveler had arrived.
I flipped open the first few pages, discovering a bold heading: King of the Road.
“That’s something,” I thought.
The Curious Clipper
Airstream is America’s oldest and most notable manufacturer of travel trailers, with an unmistakable sliver complexion. The trademark design is as functional as stylish. The Airstream Clipper in 1936, for example, featured a lightweight aluminum body that handled the wind gracefully, improved fuel mileage, and made towing easier overall.
Inside, a Pan Am luxury liner feel was accented by sunlight friendly windows. Wherever one could dream to travel, the Clipper eagerly obliged. The most curious and carefree adventures were made quite regal by Airstream.
The Clipper accommodated four, carried its own water, had electric lights, and cost $1,200.
Patrick R. Foster is a widely known and respected automotive writer and historian. He is an authority on AMC and its various sub-brands. Foster has written a number of books on AMC, as well as Jeep and Studebaker.
Airstream: America’s World Traveler is some of his finest work. The photography is stunning too, with images provided by Airstream.
King Of The Road
These days, we can discover more of the world without ever leaving home. If we do leave home, we don’t have to wait to have photos developed or risk lost jamming time rewinding the cassette tape. We can capture memories with the infamous selfie stick and download the music they “don’t make like they used to.”
And while such ability is both practical, even enjoyable, there is nothing like savoring the memory free from distraction. No social media notifications, no text message buzz, no selfies. The best photos are in our hearts anyway, were they are developed in a resolution not even the most advanced smartphone camera can match.
Just over the horizon awaits the world, and with an intrepid spirit and a trailer hitch, we can have it. When venturing through Airstream: America’s World Traveler, that feeling is, just like the Airstream legacy, impossible to ignore.
*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.
Airstream: America’s World Traveler is available through Amazon and Motorbooks.