I grew up in a town named McMinnville, TN. When I was a teenager, there was an incredible waste of time, money, and automobiles every Friday and Saturday night especially. We called it "riding the strip." And we LOVED it!
If you ever drove through McMinnville in the late 70's up to the early 90's, you were probably victim to a slow down getting from point a to point b because of the strip. This was where "everybody" was. They were either driving around, riding with someone else, or parked talking with others in parking lots.
There were common turn around points and part of the road was 2 lane until after I was past high school. It seemed to be much more fun then as a 2 lane road since you could literally talk to the people opposite you as you waited to move on.
On November 3, 1990, I met my wife on the strip. (My mom always warned me about the trouble I would get into on the strip!!!)
Last night, May 2, 2015, the 4th annual "Back to the Strip" ride was held. This was started by some high school classmates in 2012 and has grown to a huge successful event that benefits Meals on Wheels in Warren County today. According to the Facebook Event, there were about 2,000 people that came to the car show, or to ride, or both. Yes...I was one of them too.
This was my third year to ride. This year, however, Kristie could not make it because our daughter was on a school trip and needed to be picked up. So, I asked my dad if he was going to take his "new" car out for a spin. His answer was a pretty excited one of "yes, I am going to take a lap."
I don't know if my dad ever "cruised" the strip before, but this year, he had a car that he wanted to get out in and have a little fun.
My dad recently acquired a 1929 Durant from the family of our good friend and brother, Roger Leonard. I had not seen the car in person before last night. Dad had told me all about it, and Roger had sent pictures previously. Dad was excited...until...
He called me about 1:30 and told me that the car had died a couple of times when one of dad's workers was trying to bring it to him. He sounded disappointed on the phone. We planned to go on to dinner together anyway...Durant...or Dodge truck, either way.
So, I called dad when I got my truck all shined up and ready to go at about 5:30. "Where you at?" "I'm at the house." "Okay, I will come pick you up." "Okay, the car isn't safe to drive I don't think. It might stall out."
When I got to the house, I got to see the car finally. It is a pretty machine for sure. Dad tried to start it...no luck. He tried again....no luck. I got in the driver's side and tried to start it...no luck. I waited a few minutes and pressed the gas and starter one more time and....chuga chug chug chug....we were running!
I backed it out and we took some pictures, etc....then I proceeded to convince dad that we could do it! I knew he had been wanting to take his car out for this event especially. He finally gave in and said well, I guess we can call Carl to come get us. So, we left on our journey!
First thing we did was go get some non-ethanol gas as we weren't sure exactly what was in the tank. I played with the choke and idle a bit until I felt comfortable with the idle speed. It did stall out once after getting gas; however, that machine drove like a sweet toy otherwise once I got used to manual windows, manual air conditioning, manual 3 speed, manual brakes, manual steering, manual mirrors....its a 1929...what do you expect?
We went down the strip. Went to dad's store. Took some more pictures, Went to eat. Uh oh...we realized that it was getting dark...and the headlights aren't working just yet!
But, during our fun journey, I can't count the number of times that I heard two questions...each would always follow the other...
"What model is that?" and "Is it original?"
You see...the Durant is a piece of art in the automotive industry. It is a different kind of automobile with only a short history, much like the Studebaker, the Edsel, the Tucker, and so on.
This classic car drove very nicely to be the age that it is, it was fun to drive and ride in, and it certainly turned heads.
"What model is that?"
Why were people asking this question? Because it did not look like anything else that they had seen. It was different. It was set apart from the muscle cars, the average hot rod, even the antiques weren't quite as old as this one for the most part.
"Is it original?"
Some of the same response applies. Yes, it is original (to our knowledge as given by the Leonard family). Why was that a question as well? Because it is hard to believe that something that is of such an age that was once so powerful in it's class...could still be running and being as fruitful of a machine as it is.
Have you ever thought about Christianity in this same type of question process?
Does it ever strike you that people in the world might be looking at your actions, words, deeds, and love for one another and simply scratching their heads to ask "What model is that?" Why of course, we would want to be set apart as a Christian....wouldn't we? Just like this Durant is set apart from most other vehicles, the Christian is also called to be set apart. (John 13:34-35; 1 Pet 3:18; 1 Peter 2:9)
Are we original? Shouldn't we be? When we become a Christian (and if you have not, please consider an individual Bible study soon!), we become a new creation (Rom 6:1-6). We are "original" in that we are now a child of God, made pure and holy. We know that sometimes we can fall victim to blemish; however, the Bible also tells us that Christ's blood will continually cleanse us if we repent and ask for forgiveness - staying original to Him and not altering our spiritual lives to "soup it up" or "make it better" in our own opinions.
Yes...it is original. Christianity is the model...and it is original!
What model are you? Are you original?