Thursday, April 02, 2009

I Fancy Romance


How very unfortunate, it is, that we have neglected the common use of the word “fancy.” For, My Dear Reader, it bespeaks a depth of meaning not known to other, more superficial, terms. The Oxford Thesaurus offers these … 1. “1 wish for, want, desire; long for, yearn for, crave, have a yearning/craving for, hanker after, hunger for, thirst for, sigh for, pine for, dream of, covet.” 2. “Be attracted to, find attractive, be captivated by, be infatuated with, be taken with, desire, admire; lust after, burn for; informal have taken a shine to, have a crush on, have the hots for, be wild/mad/crazy about, have a thing about, have a pash on, have a soft spot for, be soft on, have eyes for, carry a torch for, go for, lech after/over.” There now! (Do you think that I've belaboured that enough?) [smile] ‘Leaves little room for doubt … no?

So, Dear Friend, when I tell you that I “fancied” that 1932 Pierce Arrow EDL (Enclosed Drive Limousine), you can know, beyond doubt, that what I am expressing is Something that is of substance. Something that is of the nature of, what we might usually consider to be,
romantic. And that is very close to getting us there. For, don’t you see, I have had this lingering Fancy for, nigh on to, forty-three years now … since 1966, when I was a strapping twenty-year-old Installer/Repairman for the Telephone Company, and She was a thirty-four-year-old Automotive Goddess. Yes! I fancied an “Older Woman.”


I have absolutely no recollection of why I was dispatched to the home of that regal Lady of quiet Southern charm and dignified Presence. I know not what inclined her to invite me out to the barn that had stood on that lakeside orange grove site for many a decade. But I DO remember, with distinct clarity, the impact of seeing that elegant Vision upon entering the barn. I was breathless! She bespoke a Romance that was the imagery of an age of Romance. If there had only been, just, her radiator cap alone … it would have been enough. Sure! It performed a utilitarian function. But, my-oh-my! The figure of that Archer pointing the way into an adventure ahead, was mesmerizing! It bespoke an entirely different Time of fantasies, dreams, hopeful idealisms, and fanciful pursuits. No cold, impersonal, corporate logo this! Oh no! We are talking Art here. Then my Hostess opened the back door!


I am captivated by the musty aroma, of long-enclosed woolen fabric, even as I form these words. In the heavy, Florida-humidity-laden, air, I was enveloped in a cloud of dry, musty, splendor. I still see that fold-down footrest, that my Guide demonstrated, for my edification. The rich fabrics and tailored upholsteries. We are not talking about those garish, slick, shiny interiors of rolling chambers, for gaudy showiness, as known in today's faux-limousines. Oh no! We are quietly speaking of intimate, cozy, and entirely-private nests of comfortable encapsulation. Here … see for yourself …


Nearly thirty years later, I was chatting, with one of our senior State Senators, and we spoke of his home, and neighbors. “I once did, some sort of, telephone service work, for your Neighbor.” I told him. And I described the Lady, her property, barn, and The Chariot. The Senator did recall the Neighbor Lady, her barn, her Son (who was enlisted in the Navy at the time of my visit) … but knew nothing of the Pierce Arrow, nor, of course, of the Lady’s plan to keep the Limousine in pristine condition, for her Son’s claiming, upon his discharge from military service. I, clearly, recalled it all. For, don’t you see, I was smitten! I ‘fancied’ that regal visage of long-lost Times and Tastes. Still do!

That … Dear Friend … is "Romance!" [smile]

20 comments:

Randy Furco said...

Very nice car.

John-Michael said...

I thank you Randy, for sharing Her beauty with me.

namaste ...

citizen of the world said...

That's quite a car.

When I hear fancy being used in that sense (as opposed to "Ooh, very fancy!") it is usually in a lighter way. "Fancy a glass of tea?" Not so much longing, but a casual desire.

John-Michael said...

The more 'usual' use of this lovely word, I find, is in the context of someone's "fleeting fancy." Hence something of a somewhat trivial consequence. Thusly, I felt compelled to offer that overwhelming mass of reference from The Oxford.

I am glad that You, too, find Her to be "quite a car," Dear Citizen Friend.

Lovingly ...

lime said...

you know, modern limos do not pique my interest in the least but that is one sweet looking ride you've shown us and yes, i do believe i'd fancy a ride in that. it's elegant without being over the top.

it has also reminded me of being very little and riding in my grandfather's old imperial. i used to like to sit on the arm rest in the back seat like it was some sort of booster so i could see out the front window.

thank you for sharing your memory which sparked my own happy one. :)

John-Michael said...

Ah yes! The Imperial. I remember that magnificent Machine very well (and still recall the list of Makes produced by Chrysler at that time [with Imperial being at the top of the heap of Plymouth, Dodge, Desoto, Chrysler, and Imperial].) [smile]

I thank You, Sweet Lime, for taking me back to gentler days, as well.

Lovingly ...

Calli said...

What a superbly ENGAGING post. Love how you express your joy, 'your bliss'...Lovely limo, as a reader you have taken us into that beauty, as the scent, the fabric, all of it envelops... That is romance! The word 'fancy' I agree is far underused. A dear British friend of mine uses it when we talk on the phone and it just makes me smile. She uses other British terms that I also enjoy, but I won't repeat ;)... They the (British) do have a way with words as do YOU my friend!

nitebyrd said...

Cars had "style" then, didn't they? Most of the time I think that "romance" is the same as a unicorn. There's a chance it might be real but I've never seen it.

John-Michael said...

I am elated with your having been "engaged" in the sharing of this memory with Me, My Very Dear Calli. To have succeeded, in taking you to that Place, that I revisited, gives me the pleasure, of multiplying my joy in going There.

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

Each thought of You, My Darling NiteByrd, sets the 'Unicorns,' of Romance, free to frolic in the Meadow of my Mind. You do have that wonderful effect on my Being. (And I love You for it!) [smile]

Lovingly ...

aims said...

The archer alone might have made me swoon!

I know someone with a Silver Ghost. He keeps it in the barn and has never shown it to me - but to my nephew yes!

Days gone by for sure. So intense are they.

Tom Atkins said...

Such rich writing. A lost art, that. A missed one.

I'll certainly be back.

willow said...

Wow, JM, I could even feel that humid Florida air! Wonderful tale. Images of Norma Desmond come to mind. There wasn't a dead chimp laying upstairs, in front of the fire, was there? ;^)

I'll pop back over when I fancy another one of your fine stories.

John-Michael said...

I can tell that You, too, are caught up in the hold of All that was of that not-so-long-ago Era represented, Darling Aims.Though the Circumstances of that Day were certainly difficult for many ... it just seems that Folk responded to their Lives with so much more grace and dignity than we know today. Perhaps that Character, more than anything else, is what I yearn for. And THAT is something that I can do my bit to reintroduce into my personal environs. (I don't know where those thoughts sprouted from ... other than the Fact that when visit with You, Dear One, I am aware of Dignity and Grace.)

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

You, Tom, have given me the Gift of a grateful smile. I thank You for your gift ... and happily anticipate our getting to know each other more fully.

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

I have, since that day, had the lingering, two-fold hope, Willow, My Dear One ... first, that my Hostess's son returned, safely, from his stint in the navy, and secondly, that he enjoys, still, the companionship of than magnificent machine.

I am so glad that such happenings remain, fresh, with me! Thank you for letting me share it with You.

Lovingly ...

Suldog said...

Ah, lovely, indeed. I have the same sorts of feelings concerning Checker Marathons, a more mundane vehicle, yet the stuff of my dreams!

John-Michael said...

SulDog, Dear Friend, You, again, bring pleasure in your wonderful tastes and perspective. I, too, have longed after the spartan simplicity of the Checker Marathon (and have even seen one with a tonneau-cover, padded, vinyl roof with a port-hole window [an attempt at 'classy-ing' it up ... smile].)

Love Ya JIm ...

(Please forgive my taking the Liberty of moving your comment from the other post, where you had inadvertently placed it. Thank you Sir. [smile])

Suza said...

Beautiful description of a beautiful "Lady." I particularly enjoy "...and entirely-private nests of comfortable encapsulation." Mmmmmm...

John-Michael said...

I thank You, Suza, My Dear, for 'joining me' in this whimsical bit of reflection.

Lovingly ...

Creative Commons License
Unless expressly stated, all original material, of whatever nature, created by J. Michael Brown (John-Michael) and included in this weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.