One Last Ride, Just now

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There is an episode of the original 1960s Star Trek Series that captures the feeling of driving the Black Ghost – one of the final and probably the ultimate expressions of the kinds of cars being forced off the market (and soon, probably, off the road) by people who use “carbon” the way the same people used the “virus” to instill fear and its corollary, obedience.

In the episode – Return to Tomorrow – the crew of the Enterprise discovers the disembodied consciousness of a man (what had been a man) name Sargon, along with his wife, contained within a sphere. These disembodied consciousnesses had spent thousands of years in a state of pure thought, unable to feel anything. They could only remember – those memories growing more distant with the passage of all those centuries.

The landing party arrives. Captain Kirk and a female member of the landing party agree to allow Sargon and his wife to temporarily occupy their bodies.

“I’d forgotten what it felt like, even to breathe again,” Sargon’s wife says – as she sees the world again. She looks for her husband, Sargon. “Here, in this body,” he says – smiling at her, a thing his consciousness could only remember doing.

“It has been so long. So very long,” she says.

This is how I felt taking the Ghost out one final time. I do not want to forget how it felt. How it sounded. How it looked. It is all etched in memory now – for that is all it will be, soon. The years and decades will pass. I will try to keep the memories alive, as Sargon and his wife tried.

And perhaps a day will come, years and decades from now, when I will be fortunate enough to relive those memories in a now that may never arrive.

But even if that turns out to be the case – even if that hoped-for distant “now” never comes –  those memories will survive for as long as I do.

For I will never forget them.

. . .

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  1. Awesome episode!
    Scotty, upon hearing of Sargon’s plan to trade essences with the crew…
    “They’re going to WHAT?”
    Kirk: “A simple transfer, their minds and ours.”
    McCoy, “Quite simple, happens every day…”

  2. Maybe this is part of the plan. Just forget having fun citizen. Fill your days with angst and your down time with numbness.

    Allow us to control you and think for you.

  3. Wow, Eric. What an amazingly visceral post. Although delivered as a Star Trek reference, your thoughts and feelings for this car and experience seemed almost Shakespearean.

  4. I can definitely sympathize. Two years ago I had to bite the bullet and sell my Miata, because I could no longer drive a manual transmission due to rheumatoid arthritis in my right shoulder, and of course at age 69 my reaction time and cognitive ability are gradually dwindling too. I guess I could apply for POTUS.
    But I won’t forget, unless I become as dementia addled as the current POTUS.
    Driving Miatas was the most enjoyable experience I ever had, with my clothes on.

  5. ‘I will never forget them.’ — eric

    As a teenager, I read a science fiction story in a magazine about a post-ICE ban America.

    For decades, the protagonist had hidden his contraband muscle car in a barn. Finally, he’d had enough. One night he fired it up, drove it out, and roared through the gears (‘snick, snick’) in the cool air, as police sirens wailed and helicopters with searchlights approached to take him down.

    Maybe it was called “Last Ride.” It seemed improbable at the time, even though Commiefornia (ominously) already had set up CARB on August 30, 1967. I remembered the story as a dark fantasy.

    Who would’ve thought it would all come true, as the innocuous hippie vans of the Summer of Love retroactively are characterized as carbon-spewing death machines, and their occupants as murderers of Gaia?

    And then a guy says
    “Out of the car, longhair”
    Louie, you’re coming with me
    The local police

    — Loggins and Messina, Your Mama Don’t Dance

    • You might be thinking of this:


      For “Red Barchetta,” Peart was inspired by Richard S. Foster’s short story “A Nice Morning Drive,” which had appeared in Road & Track magazine in 1973. The song seemed like science fiction in 1981, but it has since proved prescient, as the American political Left now announces its intention to ban fossil fuels and gasoline-powered cars, a move that would outlaw hundreds of millions of passenger vehicles in the United States alone and push us toward becoming passive riders in robot-driven electric cars.

      The story “A Nice Morning Drive” is in this link:

      Funny enough, Neil Peary wrote a road story book of his own in 2002 titled “Ghost Rider”.

      • I believe it was also that issue that the PS was a drawing depicting a car’s exhaust being cleaner than the surrounding air.

        This was when R&T writers and editors had some balls.

  6. And in 2063, when nothing happens, will people look back with regret? Or will they accept that their lives are fundementally much worse than their forebears but at least they live? Will they, as many do now, curse their ancestors for leaving them a worse existance?

    Today’s millennial generation curses their parents and grandparents for existing. They feel it is fundementally unfair that houses and necessities are so expensive and that in the name of equity should be liberated from the owners. All the while ignoring the massive intergenerational shoulders on which they’re standing.

    When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. – 1 Corinthians 13.

    One childish thing I put behind me was jealous thought. Another was blaming others for my failures. It’s very telling that the biggest whiners are also encouraging men to cut off their balls.

  7. Eric,

    Didn’t see this mentioned anywhere but the original “Black Ghost” – a 1970 Challenger RT/SE sold recently for just under a million dollars. This car has a rather interesting story – and I had the opportunity to see it in person and meet the original owner’s son who was showing the car in Amelia Island, Florida.

    In that article there is this very very sad line about the car being sold:

    “Many, including Greg himself, thought he would keep the Black Ghost forever. “The main reason is it’s a chance to help my family, to give them opportunities they may not have otherwise,” he told Hagerty. “And the timing is right, as it seems like we’re transitioning out of gas cars.”

    He is a very nice man and definitely a family first kind of fella, but it sucks how the EV mandate is pushing all the soul and life out of our culture of freedom of travel and automobiles. Either way there is a mini documentary for it online that’s worth watching.

    • There’s that word again, “transitioning”. It could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. (One hump or two?)


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