There is no getting around it. We Americans love our autos. In California you are what you drive, or so it seemed to me when I first moved there. I still drive a 1998 Honda Civic that has over 175,000 miles showing on the odometer. I really don’t care to drive something fancy. I like the reliability of Honda, thank you very much. But when I first moved to Southern California in 2000, one of my friends said that I should consider driving something much cooler and sexier than a Honda Civic. She really meant it. So you see, friends, driving means a lot to us in America. We would just as soon drive around the corner as walk. And since we spend so much time in our cars, we like to look good driving.
A late 1990s model compact car won’t earn any head-turning quotient points.
Here’s an interesting article to read about the American love affair with the automobile from CBS Sunday Morning. I did not realize that FDR deserves more credit than President Dwight Eisenhower when it comes to our interstate system. FDR had the vision and Eisenhower put it all in place by the mid-1950s. We’ve never looked back since, that is, unless we are looking back in our rear view mirrors on the open road.
I’ve driven across the southern United States at least twenty times in the last twelve years. When I first moved to California in February 2000, I drove from New Hampshire. No big deal. I stopped at mom and dad’s place in Birmingham, Alabama after picking up Interstate 20 in South Carolina. Interstate 20 connects directly to Interstate 10 in western Texas and you take it all the way to California. The other route is Interstate 40, the freeway that follows the old Route 66. If you ever go to America and have the time, take the open road. You’ll meet a lot of people, see a lot of land, and enjoy some great sunsets.
What’s the biggest problem with the American love for the automobile?