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’64 Dodge Van

October 12, 2010 12:39 pm | POSTED BY admin

’64 Dodge Van

It was a robin-egg blue 1964 Dodge van with four inches of foam under gold shag carpet. There were blackout curtains on the two tiny windows, wooden bumpers, Cat Stevens on the eight-track and Boones Farm in a bota bag. In those days, I wore gold wire rims, had more than ample hair, a Fu Manchu moustache and, when I wasn’t barefoot, buckskin moccasins that laced nearly to the knee. (If you know me I imagine you’re having trouble developing this picture!)
The engine compartment was between the two front seats which made it easy for a girlfriend to slip to the back or for me to fix a cranky heat riser while barreling down the Golden State at seventy-plus. My girlfriend would raise the lid on the engine compartment, hand me a hammer that I kept stowed under her seat for just such occasions, and I would whack that sucker into submission, all without taking my long, skinny foot off the gas. It’s a wonder we survive our youth!
That little van took me to the beach. It took me a million times through Topanga Canyon. It took me to the high desert, to Hollywood, Sespe Creek, Venice Beach, and to nearly every Denny’s in the LA basin when they needed a breakfast cook on short notice.
That little blue van took me everywhere and anywhere before gently depositing me in the present.
Dr. Lane Longfellow said, “You are what you were when.”
In simpler language, you can’t escape who you are. And who you are sits on the foundation of all, not some, of your past experience. My moustache is shorter as is my hair. My John Lennon wire rims gave way to Lasik. But the dorky kid (who bought the last Nehru jacket sold retail) is still me. That I have to explain to my grandchildren that the Eagles are singing about the futility of war only serves to point out that the generation my generation is trying to manage is very different; different because they have been shaped by an explosion of technology and a twin tower explosion of hate.
They will be who they are now.
Thinking Point: What in your corporate culture is worthy of being preserved? What experiences could you arrange that would pass along the best attributes of your corporate culture?

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