Lee Jamison

cars - Lee  Jamison

Out to Pasture, 2017

Painting oil on canvas  
24 x 36 in

Location: Jimmy's Auto Sales, near the intersection of Tx. Hwy. 19 and FM 1893

On a solo trip north to Mission Tejas State Park, I stopped at another place with a collection of junk cars. These all seem to speak to me, reminding me of cars family members had when I was a kid. The aged cars of today are disturbingly near to me nowadays, unlike the antiques of thirty years ago. On my firstborn's first birthday we attended an antique car rally stage stop at the grounds of Sam Houston Memorial Museum. There were Model Ts and old electrics and even a Stanley Steamer, but the antiques were comfortably distant- 1937 and earlier. At this junk stop there were cars from the middle 1970s, younger than the first, second, third, and fourth cars I could remember my parents buying. But the one that struck me most deeply wasn't that young.

At a far end of the lot was a Mercury Comet 4-door. Even as a kid I liked the way Comets looked. They're difficult to date because the sheet metal never changed on them from '60 through '63, but this one appears to have been a 1960 model from the trim. Inside was a baby's car seat like the kind I remember my now fifty-five year-old baby brother being set in in the early '60s. As someone who has felt a responsible parent's despairing pain when a car full of kids gives up the ghost by the roadside, I couldn't help but project the story of someone with an infant and suddenly no vehicle. I was projecting a monument to a fifty-plus-year-old pain. My heart went out to someone whose children's children are long since grown.

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