When I first saw the picture of that two-toned 1957 Ford hardtop convertible with its sleek lines and graceful fins, I thought it had to be the most beautiful car my eyes had ever beheld. The problem was that my Dad had no use for Fords. He was a dyed in the wool Chevy man true blue through and through. Because he held that make in such low esteem, I figured that I was obliged, as a dutiful son, to say bad things about the Ford every chance I got. Yet, I just couldn’t help but admire the beauty of that automobile.
My Dad’s father owned one of the first Model T’s in the little town of Colonia Juarez. I remember my Dad telling me stories of the frequent flat tires and the multiple repairs that had to be made while out in the middle of nowhere. While driving his Dad’s borrowed Ford on his honeymoon, he hit a cow. Perhaps that is why he didn’t like Fords. At any rate, I think he would have liked the following poem:
"The Ford is my auto, I shall not want another. It maketh me to lie down beneath it. It sorroweth my soul. It leadeth me into the path of ridicule for its name’s sake. Yea, though I ride through the valleys, I am towed up the hills. I fear much evil.
"My rod and my engine discomfort me. I anoint my tires with patches in the presence of mine enemies. Surely, if this thing follows me all the days of my life, I shall dwell in the nut house forever!" (Anonymous)
I remember as a young college student, I believed that Gillette blue blades were the cat’s meow of shaving. Then one day when I returned to my apartment, I found a little bag hanging on the doorknob containing two Schick stainless steel double-edged razor blades. I was sold the first time I used one. It was the smoothest and closest shave I had ever achieved up to that time. And the stainless steel blades lasted a whole lot longer than the blue blades. Had I not been given the free samples, I might never have tried them.
I recall the story of the man who was asked by a reporter which political party he intended to support. The man declared, "My grandfather was a Democrat, my father was a Democrat and I’m a Democrat!" The reporter then asked, "Suppose your father was a jackass then what would you be?" The quick response was, "Then I would be a Republican!"
I think as humans we tend to do that sort of thing a lot. Because of the traditions of our fathers or simply because of familiarity, we get comfortable with something and want to stick with it come heck or high water. Now, don’t get me wrong—that’s not all bad. But such a mindset can hinder our experiencing new and, perhaps, better things.
I have a friend who won’t eat sour cream because it wasn’t something he knew as a boy at home. I think he considers sour cream to be a rich man’s condiment. Now, I’m definitely not a rich man but I like that dollop of sour cream on green enchiladas. I think my friend would, too, except that I can’t get him to try it.
There are those who will not listen to nor tolerate another’s religious beliefs. Why? I don’t know. I have always been interested in the religious motivations of others I certainly don’t run from sharing my religious beliefs with others who want to know about them. It is written that many are kept from the truth simply because they know not where to find it.
Automobiles, politics, food, razor blades, religion. I suppose each of us gets comfortable with that with which we are most familiar. But let’s be careful that our biases don’t keep us from experiencing many of life’s good and pleasant things while we are able. Let’s not sell ourselves short in order to keep on shaving with the same old blue blades.
By the way, after not seeing my parents for a time, I paid them a visit. I was astonished to find my father happily driving a big, bright red Ford Galaxy.