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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

When you get to be my age, one of the things you give thanks for is having survived to celebrate another Thanksgiving.

My brother geezer Bill Goldstein sent me this cool 1950s “car show game.” It challenges you to identify various makes and models from the 1950s.

I scored 100%.

I dunno if that’s a bad thing or a good thing.

Hell, I was alive when all of ‘em were new. I remember as a tyke sitting on my dad’s lap as he drove, “helping him steer” his 1950 Oldsmobile 88.  I remember learning to drive on his 1955 Pontiac. (That car had the glove box in the center of the dashboard, equally accessible to driver and passenger. Why the hell didn’t THAT handy feature survive to become an auto industry standard?)  I remember my sister’s sleek 1957 Buick Roadmaster, and how it started: you turned the ignition, then punched the accelerator to fire up the engine.  It seemed quaintly out of place even then. And I remember my very own first car, a ’58 Dodge with push button transmission and, yes, humongous tail fins.

Well, I hope at least that I haven’t (yet) turned into this driver:


On Thanksgiving Day, I’ll join the sweet cookie-baking grandmother with whom I share my life in a quick trip in the geezer van Urban Assault Vehicle to eat and spend much of the day with good friends.  Friday will see us helping out at a shooting event for some wounded warriors, and over the weekend, we’ll compete in a pistol match.  It should be relaxing and fulfilling.

We wish you all a similarly happy and restorative Thanksgiving.

31 Responses to “THANKSGIVING 2012”

  1. Elm Creek Smith Says:

    Where did that old clown get my favorite shirt?


  2. Paul Edwards Says:

    Mas, you got this one nailed.
    The Golden Years (Old Age), Sucks.
    Well, my first car, actually the family car, was a 1937 Oldsmobile Limo, which we traded a old stove and refridgerater for.
    I was built of sheet medal, only slightly thinner that a Tank of that era.
    It came with a straight 8, flat head motor, which got about 8 mpg, which wasn’t bad, cause gas only cost $0.20 cents a gallon, and oil was about $0.25 cents a quart.
    The interior was plush with two extra little folding jump seats in the rear, and each front fender had a well, with a metal cover for a 16″ spare wheel too.
    I learned to drive in that car, which was a lot like trying to control the aforementioned Tank (It weighed a ton, and had a stick shift, No Power brakes or steering either).
    It only lasted a short time, before the rear end locked up, just after we traded it for a 1941 Chevy sedan (You added saw dust to quiet a noisy rear end).
    After that there was a long ling of old Fords (Fix or Repair Daily or Found on Road Dead), from 1934 flat head 21 stud V-8s, through 1939 Mercury Convertibles, to 1941 Ford sedans with the 24 stud flat head 59a blocks.
    Now, as an Old Geezer too, 77 Years young, I drive a comfortable 2005 Buick LeSabre, 3800 V-6, which gets 25 to 30 + mpg, and you only have change the oil and filter every 6,00 miles.
    Since GM (Now 70% made in China by Chi-Coms) no longer makes these fine vehicles, I hope this on will last til I “Cross the Great Divide”, since I don’t much like most of the Asian front wheel drive skate boards most car makers offer today.
    Happy Thanks Giving to you, Mas and to all the other readers of your Blog, both conservatives and misguided liberals.

  3. Doc Martin Says:

    Old age?

    Is that why all the toys of my childhood now cost $100 and only be found in antique stores?

    I always wanted my grandfathers 47 Ford pickup, but it was sold for a song at the farm auction.

    When my son said he wanted grand dads (my dads) pickup when it was for sale about eight years ago, I grabbed it. Now in only five more years, my son will be driving it.

    Happy Thanksgiving Day Mas.

  4. Linda Pendleton Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving my friend. Hope Ya’ll have a wonderful day.

    Give my best to “The Gang” 🙂

  5. Paul Edwards Says:

    Mas, I took the old car test too, but I only got 46 our 48 right.

    Must have screwed up on some of the early Mo-pars?

  6. Long Island Mike Says:

    Anyone remember the back deck of a 48 Dodge? A kid could get up on it and sleep away an entire family trip. Downside was the scratchy wool cover. LOL

    And have a thankful Thanksgiving!

  7. Bill Hoppe Says:

    I agree with “Just Happy to have survived” notion. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  8. dave larue Says:

    car test was cool. seen a couple i owned and several i would like to own.connie and i send our best to you and gail ..happy thanksgiving be safe

  9. Jeff in WI Says:

    I’m not quite as advanced in years as some of you geezers (50) but I do remember laying on the rear window deck of my folks cars for hours on end (seatbelts…what the hell are they?). Personally, my first car was a…wait for it… AMC Pacer! God, what an ugly car. Car #2 however, was an awesome 1978 Honda Accord!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Gail Mas (and the rest of the Proarms gang).

  10. dave larue Says:

    car test was cool. seen a couple i owned and several i would like to own.connie and i send our best to you and gail ..happy thanksgiving be safe

  11. Mike Sweeney Says:

    Hey Mas,

    My first car was a 1964 Comet. Bought it from my oldest brother for $90 and promptly shelled out $100 more for a deluxe 8-track player that mounted on the hump covering the drive shaft. Good memories.

    Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for. Our son is coming home. We are bringing my wife’s mom over and I’ll be up early to drive an hour north to fetch that older brother home for a nice meal together.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mas.


  12. Pat Cimo Says:

    GETTING to Old Age … A Hell of a lot BETTER than the Alternative!

    Have a Blessed ‘Giving-Thanks’ Day.

  13. Malcolm Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Mr. Ayoob.
    We are very Thankful for all the information you have supplied, and are still, to all of us.

  14. Tom606 Says:

    Why don’t liberal vegans eat turkey? Because they’re not cannibals!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all good Americans. We have less to be thankful for last year and probably more to be thankful for than next year thanks to our malevolent Dear Leader and his evil America destroying agenda.

    Eat lots of turkey, but don’t get one the way these scumbags tried to do.

    If I was the pet turkey’s owner, I would take proper care of these rats if they came on my property again, especially if they’re armed. Their bodies would make a nice Thanksgiving dinner for them Florida gators.

    Mas, do you have any hungry pet alligators who wants a free meal?

  15. Bill Hohman Says:

    Warm wishes of happiness to all on this Thanksgiving day. Be safe out there in your travels.


  16. Rick O'shea Says:

    Cool link! I enjoyed taking the ‘test.’ Have a great Thanksgiving…

  17. Tom Walls Says:

    Getting older beats the snot out of the alternative.
    From me and the the RHD , to you and the EP, Happy (and restful) Thanksgiving.

  18. Jack Finch Says:

    36 of 48… “Sigh”… That was a long time ago… Was best on Chevy’s Fords and Buicks…:-)

    Enjoy the holiday with Gail and friends…

  19. Marc-Wi Says:

    Happy thanksgiving Mas and Gail. Looks like you have a fine weekend planed. Thanks for the video, I needed a chuckle.

  20. LarryArnold Says:

    A couple years ago my daughter got her car totaled by someone running a light, and she ended up driving an old Thunderbird for several months. Four weeks after the accident she made a trip home, and showed me the car. It was in old-but-servicable condition, except she couldn’t figure out how to turn off the high beams.

    When I showed her the floor switch she said, “What the heck is it doing down there?”

  21. RichNH Says:

    Love the old man! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    The earliest car I remember was a woodie, station wagon with real wood sides. Definitely back in the early to mid 50’s.

  22. Willie C Says:

    May you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving. And to all the good folks here as well , may you all be blessed this thanksgiving and don’t forget !
    Carry and never tell….

  23. Southrider Says:

    Mas – nice piece on Thanksgiving. We’ll have 1LT Ryan Timoney and the fiancee here at home in St Johns to celebrate. He was supposed to be deceased according to the jihadi that touched off a suicide vest 15 feet from him on 20 May.
    A good Thanksgiving indeed!

  24. Randy Says:

    I’ll have to admit that I started the car quiz but gave up in frustration. My first car was a Ford Falcon “62 slant 6 I think. After I wrapped it around a tree, I had to lower my sights and ended up with a “47 Chevy with the hunched back and a lot of rust. After some home grown body work and new paint I traded it off for a “47 Pontiac convertible straight 8 cylinder with no rust! Wish I still had it. The transmission was so loose, if at high speed you let up on the accelerator the transmission would pop out of gear. Some of those old cars had the starter button, about 2” in dia., mechanically linked to the starter (no solenoid). The starter button was located next to the accelerator. When starting you would turn the key and then mash down on the gas and starter at the same time. How about those vacuum wipers! Those manual transmissions; how about trying to start out from a dead stop on a steep hill. The car I have now is a Subaru with a manual tranny and they solved that problem. The car has a sensor that senses you are stopped uphill. When switching feet it will hold brake pressure long enough to get to the gas!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  25. Jack Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Mas to you and yours. Thanks for being a true champion for our cause.

  26. Tommy Sewall Says:

    Marty was lucky enough to be the first to greet our friend’s son, Lane, who just returned from a tour in Afganistan. They’re getting to have a family Thanksgiving for the first time in several years. We’re “on the farm” with our kids and grand daughter for the holiday. We’ve been enjoying the Missouri deer season and look forward to trying for a meat doe after today. Happy Thanksgiving, God bless you all, and thanks for a great country.

  27. Wilson Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  28. katie Says:

    thanks for the car game and the video. the geezer at my house enjoyed both…and recognized most of the cars. happy thanksgiving to you and yours and thanks for the columns you write.

  29. sheepdog80 Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless!

  30. revjen45 Says:

    I love the old cars! We are in the process of having our ’49 Suburban Carryall returned to roadworthy condition. The work will cost as much as a new one, but it has been part of the family since 1972, and last moved under its own power in ’78. We have towed it every time we have moved since then and stored it out of the weather. It still has the original USAF ID # on the firewall and hood underside, and the flagstaff holder on the back of the body. Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise it will be our Gran Turisimo Shooting Brake next year.

    Wishing you and yours all the best.

  31. Old Fezzywig Says:


    I just had to reply to your remarks about manual transmissions, and starting up a hill. After almost hitting a car behind me because I tried to do the fancy footwork like you, I ALWAYS use the hand brake while on the slightest of inclines. In fact, while sitting at a stop light, my foot gets tired pressing the brake, so I just shift into “Neutral” and apply the hand brake then as well.

    I know that you know all this, but there may be other young readers who can’t drive a stick, and I don’t want them to follow your bad habits. 🙂

    “Old Fezzywig” was Ebeneezer Scrooge’s first boss, in “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I like him, because he liked to have a good time, not be a workaholic like Scrooge. But I’m 49, so I’m old, but just a little.

    I’m thankful that even though we see bad times ahead, we can still enjoy good times for now. We are still blessed, and we have had warnings and time to prepare for the future.

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