Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ah, serendipity, as it pertains to the Ratty Caddy and the man with the cat

Y'all who often read my blog realize how enamored I am with serendipity. Look and read for examples of why I so enjoy it.

First, here you see two license plates, side-by-side underneath where the Ratty Caddy's hood would be, if it had a hood. Can you believe that the Mississippi plate (the state of my birth) is right beside the Oregon plate (the state I now call home)? Serendipity!

Now for the second dose of serendipity. Several times since I moved to Northeast Portland in late January I've had the best luck after work, sighting a delightfully different car just after I got off the bus to walk on home. Not one time, however, was I able to get out my D50 or click on my iPhone to get a photo. Saturday that all turned around as I walked along the second east/west street filled with representatives of the Multnomah Hot Rod Council at Cars in the Park, in downtown Portland's South Park Blocks. My breath stopped for a second, a grin spread across my face, I walked away from one beautiful 1946 Ford Coupe, and headed straight for that delightfully different car I had seen heading east on NE Sandy Boulevard! I talked to the owner, the man on the right in the photo below, explaining how excited I was to see the car, how I'd hadn't yet been able to get a photo of it. He grinned and replied, "Take all the photos you want!" So I did. It's a 1964 Cadillac Custom Roadster, and he assured me that he has not lengthened it.

Rear end.

Front end.

Rear end and the passenger side of the car. The suicide door is partly open.

Close-up of the driver's side tail light. Notice the reflection of the manhole cover in the chrome. Cool.

The rumble seat.

Close-up of the passenger in the rumble seat.

One of the many humorous signs on the Ratty Caddy.

The back window.

The driver's side of the car, Notice the skirt. Notice the manhole reflected in the chrome around the brake light. Notice the curb feeler. Notice the white walls. Notice the pipes.

Notice the smile on this lady's face. Most folks looking at the Ratty Caddy smiled in much the same way. One old woman who walked by said, "That's too ugly to have on the road." And one old man said, "It's a waste of sheet metal." Thank goodness we live in the USA where we are free to voice our opinions. From Wikipedia: "In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on libel, slander, obscenity, incitement to commit a crime, etc. Restrictions on the freedom to speak is sometimes called censorship." While the owner wasn't standing there at the same time as those two old folks, he and I talked about how much he enjoys every single reaction to the Ratty Caddy and censors no one.

Inside the car. Notice the skull on the shifter--there's a button on the back of the skull which you push to start the car. I'm all for the black and orange all over the place, inside and outside.

Close-up of the skull.

This man closely eyes the front end.

Perhaps he's checking out the car's name, ground into this strip of metal. Notice the sign "Don't worry. I welded it." And the proliferation of pointed protuberances on the grill.

The windshield and part of the engine.

Close-up of the headlights on the driver's side, part of the grill with its pointed protuberances, and half the horns.

The last serendipity. When I walked back a second time to check out the Ratty Caddy again, I couldn't believe my eyes as I looked up and saw this man with the cat on his shoulder walking on the sidewalk.

Click here to see the same man with surely a friend, and their two cats. I don’t know if today’s cat is one of these cats, though. My photo’s not at a good angle to be able to tell. Everyone but the cat and the man on the phone checked out the car.

Finally, the cat looks my way!

Last of all, the owner agreed to take my photo as I sat in the driver's seat. I didn't take off my backpack, so I'm even weirder shaped than usual. Oh, well, at least I fit into the car.

I wouldn't have fit if the seat backs weren't on quite a slant.

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