Dynamic Divergence: Seeing The U.S.A. Through Chevrolet

IMG_1057The Wonder Years is now on Netflix. So of course, when left to my own devices with a Netflix account (I don’t have one personally) of course I’m going to indulge in repetition of comforts. Front and Center, 3 episodes in, is the Arnold family’s 1963 Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan, Green with a White top, as they swoop back silently, in middle class white grief, back from Winne Cooper’s brother’s funeral.

It reminded me of a quote I’m paraphrasing about 1960’s Middle Class station that Oprah made once. The determining entrance point for all middle class families that had “arrived” in some sense was purchasing a Chevrolet Impala. Once upon a time, the true marker of comfort meant the largest, most luxurious Chevrolet. Between 1960 and 1965 that number went from just under half a million to more than a Million. Year after year, a sextet of tail lamps meant equal if not more than a six figure salary does today.

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Dynamic Divergence: The Village Of The Damned Prius Owner

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Out of the blue, my longest term old friend asked for advice in regards to buying a “new” car. She’s moving on from her 2003 Honda Accord. An urban dwelling badass that has worked on both sides of the tech and non-profit divide, she’s looking to reward herself with a new ride, to spoil herself with the latest and greatest of luxuries. She’s also expecting her first child.

Both of us, in our Mid 30’s, were born into California car culture. We were blessed with rolling not-so-relics from the 1950’s and 60’s splicing through our upbringings as malaise machines were in retreat, giving way to modern masterpieces of the 1990s and Y2K years.

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