MY LIFE WITH CARS By Scott Faragher (Available late 2019) I’ve always been aware of cars and have been fortunate enough to have owned and experienced some of the most iconic cars of all time. I’ve always been amazed that there could be so many different interpretations of `four wheels.’ Cars are so much more than the mere sum of their considerable parts, and infinitely more than just transportation. For me, cars have always represented freedom, style, and self expression, but all under the greater heading `art.’
My first love was a 1960 Lincoln Mk V sedan that my Godfather owned. It was gigantic, and fully ornamented with chrome, in and out, a far cry from the family `58 Chevy Biscayne, the third step down from the top of the line Impala. I sold everything I owned when I was twenty and made a down payment on my first car, a black 1960 Lincoln MK V coupe, and although it met a tragic end, I learned some life lessons along the way. My love affair with Lincolns has been life long, beginning with the `60 and continuing through several four-door convertibles, giant late `70s sedans, through the `90s and ending, for the moment, with a 2000 Town Car’s front end against tree by the side of an icy I-40 a few years back.
Equally important to me were Jaguars beginning with the early open XK models, 120s, 140s, and a 150 drophead, including twelve E Types (1961-1968), and Mk VII, MK VIII, MK IX, and MK X sedans, with a couple of 3.8 sedans, and an XJ-S that was so fast it was too dangerous for me to keep. in the mix. Two fires, electrical failure, often standing by the side of the road freezing, constant overheating, and not starting at all, were all part of a wonderful ten year experience.
Cadillacs, at least through 1976, for me have always been significant, including the 1967 and 1968 Eldorados, the insanely exotic `59s, `60s convertibles, and ending with 1975 and 1976 Eldorado convertibles, and 1974-1976 Fleetwood Broughams and Talismans.
Muscle cars, Porsche 928s, family sedans, friends cars, strange cars like Corvairs, Studebakers, and others have all been a part of this lifelong relationship with my mechanical family members, most of whom were benign, but some of whom were not. Mercedes S Class sedans, and SLs, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces, especially Spurs have been my predominant hobbies for the last few years. Along the way I have been rewarded and punished, pleasantly surprised, cheated, and above all blessed.
In the 1980s American cars sucked. Now, at last, American cars are again wonderful, perhaps better than they’ve ever been. The same for Mercedes, Rolls-Royce, and other famous and not so famous marques. But better is ultimately a relative term. What has been gained technologically may or may not be worth what it has cost in terms of the experience of driving as an end in itself. Safety was not really an issue in the past, as it is now. As part of the so-called `baby boomers’ I was lucky to have experienced the best cars, the best music, best education, best women, indeed the best of America.
GLENN FERGUSON, A Life Of Public Service by Scott Faragher (Available late summer, 2017) This book has been written and in limbo for more than a year but is being edited now. Nashville native Glenn Ferguson was one of the most respected, interesting, and colorful politicians of his era. During his long and successful career as a public servant, he oversaw the dissolution of the separate city/county governments, and spearheaded the formation of what would soon become known as Metro Nashville, the most decisive factor in the emergence of Nashville into the modern era. He also, as councilman for the 16th and 17th Avenues South where the fledgling music business operated, incurred censure and criticism for insisting upon providing a little used park as the location for the original `Country Music Hall of Fame.’ He, along with the original leaders of Nashville’s music business, took the steps necessary to create what is now known as Music Row.
Later, as Metro Trustee, he instituted unprecedented changes in the process of tax collection which are still in use today. Ferguson was a visionary public servant who actually worked for the people he represented, rather than against them, as is generally the case today. He was an early advocate of the elderly, actively involved in civil rights, and never backed away from a fight when he knew he was right. He actively opposed tax increases, especially property tax increases upon the elderly and poor.
Ferguson’s life story provides an interesting and detailed behind the scenes look at the often controversial events and issues taking place in this crucial time (1960s, 1970s, 1980s) as competing political factions wrestled for control of an emerging Nashville, both before and after the formation of Metropolitan Government. The international recognition Nashville enjoys today is largely the fruition of Ferguson’s work and his forward vision of a great city, and the struggles it took to reach its current status.