Thursday, May 3, 2012

Larry and the Emerald Eagle

OK...I'm a sucker for a good story. I found Larry and his "Emerald Eagle," as he calls him, parked and taking in life. What's this got to do with cars? Well, Larry lives out his life 365 days a year in his faux wood grained Dodge minivan, not unlike the early 30s American dust bowl refugees lived in their rides searching for a better place.

It seems Larry was a city bus driver in Tempe, Arizona and Tempe did not allow advertising on their buses. Well Larry's sense of humor lead him to play tape recorded Disneyland jungle ride messages to riders climbing aboard. It seems an educated ASU professor riding the bus decided that was advertising for Disneyland and did not comply with city rules. Larry now drives his aptly named "Christmas" car bearing "Merry Christmas" painted in every language he can collect. He calls it, "Festivus For The Rest of Us." As I clicked away and asked questions, it became evident that not many take the time to talk with him. He jabbered on endlessly, sharing his treasures that he has glued, wired and hung.

One of my questions, "Do you get hassled by the law?" "Not really," he said, "Just a fixit ticket now and then." He does it because it's a happy thing, and to lite up the faces of onlookers, which makes him happy. I became acutely aware talking to him, that he was no dummy.

It truly is a "Festivus For The Rest of Us," and it brought a smile to my face. As I walked away, I said, "I wish you the best...Larry and your Emerald Eagle!"

Images © "Along For The Ride"

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