Within a few days of each other, I ran into two different vehicles that overwhelmed my memory, creating a rush of intense appreciation for them. Which was a strange, new sensation, as vehicles of any kind usually mean nothing to me.
Almost cried when I was alongside this St. Louis County Public Library book mobile tooling down North Lindbergh. it’s been years since I’ve seen one, and decades since being inside one.
As a grade schooler, my Mother used the library as a free babysitter. She’d drop me off at least once a week and come back an hour later to pick me up. During that time, she shopped and ran errands in peace and productivity while I scoured the shelves and checked out stacks of books.
Once every 3 or 4 weeks, the Book Mobile would come to the apartment complex where we lived in Black Jack, MO. The Book Gods shined down upon me, as the Mobile parked directly in front of our building for 2 hours. This was the equivalent of a junkie getting a free hit or two; I could return and get more books autonomously! There were even a few times where I’d check out a book, run upstairs to the apartment to read it, and have it finished in time to run back down to the Mobile to return it and get another book to replace it.
Why am I shocked that there are still Book Mobiles? Why do they seem so old fashioned, all of a sudden? There’s an obvious old age joke to be made here, but is it more than that? Do they seem old fashioned to any of you?
Idling in a grocery store parking lot was this vintage Trailways bus. My first thought upon spotting it was a record I checked out from the library filled with TV and radio bloopers. One of my favorites blunders was a live radio ad for Trailways, wherein the announcer jubilantly says, “This New Year’s Eve, take Trailways, and leave the drinking to us!”
Aren’t the lines of this thing gorgeous? Now I understand why they made metal toy versions of them, and why the grade school boys were always snapping over who got to play with it next. It just looks cool.
And in that parking lot, I saw 4 different men leave their cars to walk up to the bus and stare admiringly at it while chatting with the bus driver, who was just as jazzed as they were. It was like watching their inner 8-year olds peeking out for a minute or two, and it was a great thing to see.