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]
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