Lines in the Sand

There's a 43 mile stretch of old State Rt. 77, the El Deora Highway running through the dry country from Bakersfield to L.A., that has just one curve. A single, nasty little off-camber dog leg that appears out of nowhere. And they missed it.

It's not as if that rocket ship of a hot rod was that great at turning to begin with. It was built with one direction in mind, -straight ahead, as rapidly as possible. Steering was approximate and braking minimal, but the largest, loudest V8 in the western states sat under that bulging hood. It wasn't street legal. It wasn't safe. It was simply, hideously, mind bendingly FAST.

Now it's a twisted pile of wreckage at the end of a long, deep gouge in the dirt. It's eerily quiet. The car is empty. The trunk is open and the only sign of the occupants is an emerald green cashmere sweater and an ashtray full of lipstick-red filter tips.

77 El Deora
Oblique Americana: a verbis ad verbera