Past The Tube Redux

Past The Tube Redux

This is a re-feature from ten years ago… to the day I believe. And it’s funny – I’ve had these same feeling boiling up a lot lately. People don’t change… And I gotta lot of work to do.


I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to communicate what it is about old cars that just makes me feel right. Not for anyone else, but for myself. I’ve written about the feeling before and I’ve tried to air my thoughts, but with limited success. I’ve read other people’s words looking for answers. I’ve watched video, both new and old, doing the same. Nothing has ever really told the story for me.

You hear people say that it’s really all about the people and not to so much the cars. There are moments for me when that line is true, but I’m hesitant to admit – it’s not about the people for me. I’ve never been a people person and well… for the most part, I’m a hermit. I enjoy just being with myself.

Of course, there is the other side where it is ALL about the cars. The fellas that dedicate their lives to building them immediately come to mind. They have to have the passion in them to do what they do every single day. But sometimes, it all just gets in the way. Credit, exposure, legacies, and competitiveness often turn things away from the wholesome reasoning that attracted me in the first place.

And then there is the herd effect. Way fewer than will fess up, will know what I’m talking about. This used to be our little thing and now we are sharing it with a much larger part of the world. Things grew. People got excited. People do what people do – they scratched and clawed to be a part of it all. And here they are, sharing our elbow space. There are times when I look at a magazine rack that I just want to shake my head and walk away. Then there are times when I look around and see what has been built by so many and it’s hard not to admit that these are the “good ole days” – we just don’t know it yet.

It all reminds me of a lesson that a surfer pal once taught me. He would sit on his board, rock with the swell, and just watch the droves of people fighting over waves and attention. Rider after rider would catch a wave, do his thing, and then bail once the tube was gone. My pal has always had it figured out… He has never bailed on a wave. His passion is surfing. He rides every wave to the very end, turns around, and then does it all again without so much as noticing or caring if anyone is watching.

That feeling he has when he rides a wave beyond the tube and into and over the small stuff is the feeling I’ve been trying to put into words for so long. Yesterday, I took a ride in a hot rod all by myself in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t have anywhere to go or anything to get done. It was just a drive. And it was perfect. I’m certain that I drove well past the tube.

I also came to a conclusion. This year, I’m going to do a lot more shit just for fun. I’m sure I’ll still hit a big show here and there, but for the most part I want to spend more time just driving past the tube, you know?

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