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Motion Pictures American Graffiti - A Different Perspective

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CAHotRodBoy, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 326


    I just watched AG again for the 100th and sometime time. I was 17 years old and a certified hot rod junkie when it came out in '73. Then and for many years after, the movie represented what I wanted to be (Milner of course) and the times I knew I would be enjoying playing and cruising hot rods. I am fortunate enough to have had those dreams come true and still to this day, get to experience driving hot rods.
    For some reason this time watching it, I had a different perspective, that of a bit of melancholy. As I am getting older I realize that those halcyon days of my youth with my whole life ahead of me and the world for my taking are long behind me now. Maybe because my best bud who was also a life long car guy passed a couple years ago. Maybe because of how the world is changing and our hobby is slowly dying off. Maybe because we keep losing hot rod icons. I don't know. All I know is that I can't drag the hot rod out and hit Main Street cruising for chicks, BS'ing with my buddies, maybe picking up a street race and staying up all night anymore.
    I'm comfortably retired and in a pretty good place in my life now but boy, do I miss those carefree days when everything was simpler and people weren't so angry and in such a hurry all the time. Technology can be a wonderful thing with many great benefits but it sure has messed us up as a society. I guess I'll just have to drive my old cars on the empty back roads with some oldies playing on the radio and dream of my long past American Graffiti days.
    billybones, CobraJoe, Gammz and 66 others like this.
  2. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,291


    Sounds like we're exactly the same age. I couldn't have summed it up any better.
    BigO, nochop, akoutlaw and 5 others like this.
  3. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,274


  4. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,712


    I'm a lot older than you and don't feel that way at all. I think it's too early for you to give up.
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  5. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 566


    Sigh...I've been feeling the EXACT same way for a while now. Very well written...thanks for taking the time to put it into words.
    BigO, bchctybob, samurai mike and 5 others like this.
  6. akoutlaw
    Joined: May 13, 2010
    Posts: 786


    I would say that there a bunch of us out there that miss the good old days & realize we will never experience them in that way again.:( The world was so much simpler then & I would love to go back to that time.
    BigO, badgascoupe, bchctybob and 9 others like this.
  7. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,826

    from Berry, AL

    There comes a time in a man's life when he finally realizes his mortality, and that he will not live forever. And when that time comes, the past looks ever more bigger and better than it was, while the future looks way too small. It happens to all of us, at different times. The good thing is we have our memories, and are still here to make more of them. Many didn't have the chance to last as long as we have....take advantage of every day, because tomorrow may never come.
  8. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 432


    In 1967, when I was 17, I bought a 55 bird. It was the only 2 seat car I could afford insurance on. It went away, but in 1999, I bought another one. I did the interior, but I didn't replace the rear view mirror, despite the silvering failing, and some corrosion on the chrome. A high school buddy asked me "why don't you replace the mirror?"

    "When I look in that mirror, my hair isn't grey anymore." Life goes on, that's my look back.
  9. 500caddy
    Joined: Feb 8, 2019
    Posts: 65


    2 lane blacktop , American graffiti and Lobo , you and me and a dog named boo where did it go

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    akoutlaw, loudbang and hotrodjack33 like this.
  10. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,534


    I was 17 in 1968 , while I feel the same way, I’m not giving up! I am selling some things, I have many, as I am realizing I’m not going to complete or even start on some of my projects! As a youngun my “ my eyes are bigger than my stomach” as my Mom used to say! So I cashing in on some to fund others, kinda fun selling something for 10/20 times what you paid for it! Live every day, it may be your last!

    Gammz, Baron, dana barlow and 6 others like this.
  11. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,268

    from Nicasio Ca

    I don't know what's more depressing, this thread or that I'm home reading it on Saturday night.
    dan31, BigO, earleg and 25 others like this.
  12. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,359

    oldiron 440

    To get in my ride and turn the key, light the engine is a time machine for me. I sure as hell dont feel my age, it's like I'm eighteen. I'm the old fart with the nasty Ford and Plymouth that doesn't mind open secondarys. Your never to old for a happy childhood!
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
    BigO, pitman, Driver50x and 8 others like this.
  13. NWRustyJunk
    Joined: Jan 2, 2017
    Posts: 296


    I'm 40 so I didn't get to live those days like in American Graffiti, but I totally get what you're saying. The world is changing, and in ways that I really don't like or want to be part of.
    blowby, dan31, BigO and 4 others like this.
  14. It fun to day dream about how things use to be but I'm happy living now, Brenda and I watched the original HOT ROD, not the one filmed in 1979 which was a good movie and a slice of life at that time but the one filmed in 1950, the year I was born and when hot rods & hot rodders were a nuisance and under constant scrutiny by the long arm of the law.

    Today we are rarely harassed unless we are being obnoxious, times in a hot rod or custom are so much better now. HRP
  15. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 566


    That's exactly it. When we were young. we felt the future was forever...not so much now:(.

    It's just not fair !!! I've had such a great life and I'm such a wonderful guy:D, it doesn't seem right that it might end someday. It's not fair I tell ya...not fair.
    BigO, Scumdog, buford36 and 4 others like this.
  16. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,624


    Well, I too am an old guy, but I disagree my best days are behind me, they're not, and don't have to be for you either. Actually, I think they're happening right now, Do you run your life, or does life run you? When we were young, we did shit our way, damn the torpedoes, and as you age, you learn to be more cautious, but what if you weren't? I don't carry my cell phone, its a flip phone, it's for the help call if I need it, no point in calling me, I won't answer, I greet those on the street personally, still have my acerbic personality, I run my life my way. I drive my cars 8 months of the year, still argue with cops, (I pick my arguments though), not afraid to piss others off, I'm generous to those who deserve my generosity, and am considered to be a true friend.
    All the things we valued as rebellious young folk, I still have and still do, I run my life, still wink at girls of all ages, flirt with the old gals behind the counter, swear in public, have a pretty great time through the day cause in the great scheme of things, there's probably not that many days left. I value every day I wake up, wear old jeans, jean jackets, got dirty finger nails, loving life. I suggest you old farts grab the horns and hang on, the ride's not over yet. LeRoy.
  17. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,712


    A friend of mine says : "THESE are the good old days!". If you're not enjoying them, you're doing something wrong.

    All of you naysayers who are disappointed in the way your lives are going have no one to blame but yourselves.
    Gammz, Baron, Driver50x and 4 others like this.
  18. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,534


    You mean like working on a race car all day and drinking beer with friends! Having fun building a Ford that’s has and is going to outrun a bunch of Chevies! Planning on going to Bonneville this Summer with said friends! Just updated the motorhome to a newer model. One of my racecar buddies just bought the house 2 houses down from me. Just traded some junk for a two four FOMoCo FE intake, scored a 3x2 sbc set up! Life sucks!

    BigO, Sandgroper, The 39 guy and 8 others like this.
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 1,091


    I understand where you're coming from. I kinda feel the same way. The world has seasons and so does life but try to enjoy every day you're given and be happy.
    BigO, williebill, 67drake and 3 others like this.
  20. Mark Wahlster
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 36

    Mark Wahlster

    Granted us old guys can't be doing that stuff any more but be assured that stuff is still going on. Just different cars and of course younger guys. One of the kids that works at my local NAPA is a hot rodder of the new bred he has some wacked out Honda with turbos and inter-coolers and no interior etc. He lives and breathes to run his car at the track and I am sure some on the street just like we did. I'm a little sad I never got to build the car of my dreams but I do have a Willys project about to be back on the road this summer so at least I get in one good build before I check out.
  21. BoogittyShoe
    Joined: Feb 18, 2020
    Posts: 235


    I thought y'all knew...
    It's about "reaction time". (Or reflex action) I can sit watching tv, thinking about what I could do to my car, (or yard, or kitchen sink, etc.) or I can "bust through" whatever barrier is holding me back and in one swift move bound up out of the chair and get moving. (Gets the heart pumping, blood flowing,etc.)
    If I could do it yesterday, I can do it today.
    If I can do it today, I can do it tomorrow.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  22. Funny older YouTube video just showed up on my feed. “The Cars and the making of American Graffiti”
    I still get choked up watching some of those scenes. My cruising times were more in the 80’s, but I still had a bitchin 69 Nova SS 350 4spd
    Growing up, my entire Cleveland neighborhood was filled with cool cars and various Drive-ins.
    Thank God, I had an older brother(11 years)with cool friends that would take me out with them periodically.
    Now live in Orlando and every time the wife and I go to Universal Studios, I love to walk by Mel’s Diner, despite the fact that the cars parked out front aren’t truly period correct
    May be 56, but inside I’m a teenager. Too many people have grown into old curmudgeons and lead boring lives. Twice a year we do Nostalgia events(Misfires Groundhog Gala and Florida Dragstrip Riot) and it really puts a smile on everyone’s faces.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  23. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,171

    town sedan

    As I see it the only thing wrong with getting older is when your body begins to hate the person its carry carrying around. First saw AG as an impressionable youth entering jr high and still prefer the original cut of that movie. I'm glad to have experienced cruising, or "shooting the square" as we called it, before the 2nd oil embargo put the kibosh on many fun things. It's been awhile since I've seen cars power braking in front of me at a traffic light getting ready to launch, but I've seen it. I've never seen a Prius do a burn out.

    I'm hopeful and still believe I'll get my Fairlane back on the road, as well as finishing the roadster in the garage, before not being able to drive a clutch. Times keep changing. Not always for the best, but I still believe it'll happen. Why? As stated above turning the key and hitting the gas is like sitting down in a time machine. I was one year old in '62, where were you?
    jakespeed63, Driver50x and Boneyard51 like this.
  24. paul philliup
    Joined: Oct 3, 2013
    Posts: 159

    paul philliup
    from ohio

    I was 18 and cruising in 1970 before we lost curb service burg joints . It was a car show on wheels with a few light to light race's. We still had drive in movies what great times we had. I still race at the drag strips and building my first Street hot rod to cruise I'm just not ready to sit for hours at a car show or cruise in. Build it to drive it is what I say.
  25. I understand you feelings. I am 56 and had great times cruising , street racing etc. Got into trouble with the law with my hotrod back then too. Now later in life I race at tracks, way more then I did back then. I have a way faster hot rod then back then, and its the type of car I wanted back then. I guess in a lot of ways I am in my own little world, and that is cool with me.
    dan31, Driver50x, 67drake and 3 others like this.
  26. Like my signature line says............"Funny, I thought growing old would take longer."......:(
  27. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,675

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Time stands still for no one.
  28. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,229


    All change is perceived as loss. Things have certainly changed. And perception is often reality. And reality is also very real. So... whatcha gonna do but get older and make the best of things.
  29. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,307


    You're livin' the dream, alright. Especially that part about building Fords to 'outrun a bunch of Chevies'.
    jakespeed63 and texasred like this.
  30. traffic61
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,445

    from Owasso, OK

    I remember seeing AG when I was 12 and became totally enamored with hot rods and that whole scene. I wished that I could have been old enough to have enjoyed that period of American innocence, instead of being occupied with soiling my diapers (Where were you in '62?). This movie helped to make me a hot rod junkie.And it is still one of my favorite films. And I am still drawn to that era of rodding, hence my presence here.

    As a child of the '70's, I could more readily identify with "Dazed and Confused". I can remember similar cars, settings and scenes echoing from my past. Together, these two films really speak to me. Years ago, my adult son sat with me and watched both, back to back. He thoroughly enjoyed them and wished he could have been around for some of those times. He is on me to get another old car, because he know how much I love tinkering with and driving them.

    I have realized that tomorrow soon turns into yesterday (obscure BOC reference) and that I need to get off my duff and snag one before it is too late.As I told my son, I don't want a show car, just something that I can get into and like a time machine, go back to being 18 for a little while. Not giving a shit about my mortgage, my inbox, did I take all of my meds today? or any of the other crap that bounce around the noggin on any given day. Just to hear a chirp of a tire as I shift into second at full throttle, is some of the best mental therapy that I can think of.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020

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