Something To Believe In

It’s a 1971 Buick Riviera, folks.

A mossy, rootbeer-colored version of this internal combustion behemoth sat in my driveway for months while I waited for my ex to tow it away.

The only way I could believe in it was to see it gone. Really gone. Out of my driveway.

As I have been in advertising a while, I find it interesting to check out ads from the past. So, thinking longingly of shit that truly annoyed me to no end, I thought of the Buick Riviera.

The headline makes me wince. What knucklehead thought that a 1971 Buick Rivera was something to believe in? If we believed in it, would we be granted solitude at that lovely lakeside retreat?

That unsuspecting young woman dreaming of prosperity would, in less than 24 months, regret owning that 2+ ton, 455 cubic-inch, 250-horsepower beast with, oh, an average MPG of maybe . . . 8.

I worked in the automotive industry in the early ‘70’s. Yes I had a ‘career’ before advertising.

I worked for a division of Ford Motor Company that performed Predelivery Service. You know, clean up the car, install the hubcaps and send it on all shiny and new to the dealer.

We called it Final Assembly.

Sometimes parts were missing. Essential parts. So we installed them too.

I had been laid off three times during the Oil Crisis, when I finally woke-up and decided to put my certificate in Commercial Art to good use.

I joined a marketing department at a high-tech firm.

Something I could believe in.

1979 and we were in the midst of an economic shit-storm.

The high-tech company I worked for had government contracts. If you weren’t alive then, I’ll fill you in: wage freezes. Any company that had a government contract froze wages.

At least I had a job. Something I could believe in.

35 years later, dozens of hires and layoffs later I have to wonder: what’s changed?

Not much.

Appreciate the good times when you’re living in the midst of them – because they can change suddenly.

Be prepared.

That’s something I can believe in.