June 7, 2009

Assisting the Downfall

Hats. One way to get exercise is to walk the swap meet. May 09.

Himself: Found two Tommy Bahama shirts at an estate sale at 5 bucks each. Bought two wrong sized polos at JCPennays yesterday. Back they go today. Still needs to get one new pair of pants for job hunting.

Herself: Found a first edition hardbound Sunset Cookbook at an estate sale yesterday for a buck. A coming home. Mine burned when the Garrison house burned. Gave my paperback version to Marie. Saw the most amazing show of Ansel Adams work at the MOPA in the Park.

Reading: Finished number 5 in the Dresden series.

Balance: Sitting and reading in the warm Balboa Park sun yesterday.

Oh, we are having a busy day tomorrow,” he told me.

“With what,” I wondered. Grumpy to get another estimate, yes. The first bid at $1,100 dollars was way over our heads, and it amused us that the body shop owner wouldn’t talk to us after giving us that too high estimate. At a dealer tomorrow. Yes, they will still be in business says a friend who works there. That’s good. The one that sold Grumpy, in the middle of the Mission Valley car circle….they will vanish.

There in Mission Valley, the deeply cut riverbed that runs through the center of our city, other dealers are either rapidly changing signs, or they are going out of business. No more Chevy dealer. No Lincoln/Mercury’s either. The Dodge dealer, John Hine, is not only having a close out on Dodges, but final sales on its Pontiac division. John Hine Pontiac was always there in my memory.

A little further toward the sea is Marvin K. Brown. They once sold just Caddies. Then they added Buick and later Hummers, Saab, Oldsmobile, and Suzuki’s to their roster. Their frontage used to proclaim all the brands…boldly. Yesterday the stucco colors differed where holes had been filled. Now it just says, Marvin K. Brown. I noticed signage gaps at Midway Jeep. They too have lost brands.

The big guns vanish. Not only are corporations vanishing, but the individuals that made the business great and the families that ran our local car dealerships are fading away. No Bob Baker anything. He died this year. G remembers one of his Ford dealerships in the Valley forever. His was a most successful dealer, of all brands, but not any longer. A used tire shop sits now where his Fords used to gleam. Most dealerships are conglomerates now. They too are in trouble.

Oh, of course I’d love to be riding in a new sports car again or a shiny new SUV. Instead, I am contributing to the downfall of the American automotive industry. I’m nursing my fifteen year old, bottom of the line, Chevy work truck through a small body repair. I’m helping to wax my five year old, Japanese student sedan so it too will dodge the built in planned obsolescence. To make matters worse, both my vehicles are paid for.

I was shocked at the changes I saw in Mission Valley yesterday. I shouldn’t have been as the changes are happening here at home too.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, yes. Changes. I was with my mother in Mission Valley when she bought her White Camry (after the other one was stolen while she was at church.) She is dead now, and my granddaughter totaled the Camry while I was in England.

    Perhaps some good will come of these changes in the auto industry. One can hope, still.


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