EVERY TIME I ATTEND a car show, like the Downtown Faribault Car Cruise Night last Friday evening, I discover new details that draw me in for a closer look. Often that means peering inside a vehicle. And often that means asking my automotive machinist husband for information. He’s knowledgeable about anything vehicle-related from under the hood to exterior to interior.
Because of Randy, I attended my first car show many years ago. Mostly I tagged along, expecting to be bored. But I wasn’t as I viewed the displayed cars and trucks through a creative, rather than an automotive, lens. That’s still my perspective.
Randy sees the whole of a vehicle, verbalizing how he wishes he still had his 64 Chevy, his first car. His mind is like a data bank of information on vehicle makes, models, years, original or not. It’s nice to have an automotive tour guide of sorts while meandering at a car show.
My enthusiasm heightens when I spot something like a purple die atop a door lock or a footprint-shaped gas pedal. Randy noted some cars also had mini footprint dimmer switches. Who knew? Not me. And when I saw a Cobra emblem, he told me of their rarity.
I appreciate his insights as we wind among the vehicles along three blocks of Faribault’s Central Avenue (we skipped the fourth block) on a lovely mid-July evening in southern Minnesota.
Aged buildings flank the avenue, rising high, shadowing the street. I appreciate the architecture of these mostly well-kept buildings in this Historic District. I spot a ghost sign on the Security Bank building.
At the Paradise Center for the Arts, marquee lights are visible in the dusk of day. Directly across the street, the neon of a Coffee sign glows in the window of Good Day Coffee. At 210 Central Avenue, two lights hang above double red doors. I notice them when Randy points to the open windshield of a car. Or maybe it was a truck. I don’t recall. But I’ve never seen anything like that—windshield hinging open.
Such nuances delight me, hold my interest, draw me to look closely. I notice stickers, license plates, messages to keep my hands off.
Attending a car show is about so much more than looking at and admiring vehicles. It’s about viewing the whole from hood to trunk and everything in between, inside and out. It’s about appreciating those who own these vehicles and are willing to share them with the public. It’s about art and history, memories and stories, and if you have a personal tour guide like me, an opportunity to learn.
And it’s about community. A coming together. Appreciating each other and this place, Faribault. Sometimes I don’t think long-time residents value our city enough. We need to pause, look up, look around, reflect. See the beauty in the historic buildings and in the people who live here. Respect and celebrate those who call downtown home. Faribault is evolving, growing, changing. Just like the cars at Car Cruise Night.
FYI: Please click here to read my first post on the July 15 Car Cruise Night in Faribault. And please check back for one final post in this three-part series.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
you are exactly right about this, it’s also an art show of sorts – love that interior in your first pic
Definitely art on exhibit…
All in the details, especially in making those details authentic! I love the trucks and that Fairlane is a beauty though too. My truck is getting to be a classic with being 18 years old and some days she acts like a teenage toddler or a cranky lady – hehe. Appreciate another car show with my coffee this morning – Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂
I’m laughing at the description of your 18-year-old truck. I would say “teenager.”
Interesting tiny things you found. Can’t wait for your next blog on this show.😊
My final post will be singular focused and introspective.
We recently saw a new car, the color of the green in your photo of the green car next to the old turquoise car. I really like the color. It must be a new color option….
It’s always nostalgic to see dice adorn cars.
Green happens to be my favorite color so I, too, like that green car.