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Monday, April 23, 2012

Cars + Puppets = Carpets??! (April 23, 2012)

Parking lots are treasure troves of fun surprises. You’ve always suspected this, I’m sure. Doesn’t everyone equate parking lots with major excitement? Of course.

Today’s discovery involved a 1950s Studebaker. I love the contrast in this scene: it’s a gray morning. The parking lot is nearly empty. A lady pushes a grocery cart filled with napkins, milk and goldfish crackers toward her parking spot. Suddenly she sees a shiny blue car with sparkling
chrome trim, parked near her car. The surprise! The contrast between the mundane (napkins and milk) and the unusual (a beautifully-restored vintage car). It made my Monday. I fished my battered camera out of my purse and started taking photos. I’ve seen a number of classic cars in this very parking lot over the years. I think this is because in my neighborhood people tend to
own their houses for decades and a number of them have vintage cars parked in the garage or driveway, which they restore as a hobby. But you never know when you’ll see an older car and so it’s a treat to find one, especially parked near you, as though the car was waiting to surprise you.

Today’s find was especially fun and timely because we’ve been watching The Muppet Movie (from 1979) a lot lately. In case it’s been decades since you’ve seen it, I’ll remind you that in the film, Fozzie the Bear drives Kermit the Frog to Hollywood in a 1951 bullet-nosed Studebaker
Commander. Just yesterday this movie was on and so the Studebaker was still on my mind today. Imagine my glee at discovering that a car very similar to the one in the movie was parked near mine today. I took photos from lots of angles and oooh and ahhhed to myself.
Here's the Muppets' Studebaker before its makeover:

Here it is after the band Electric Mayhem gives it a colorful paint job:
Here’s the Studebaker I saw today:

This shows a close-up of what seems like an original rim. My photo of the side of the car shows newer rims on the driver’s left side and older rims on the right:

Once I got home and Googled the car in the Muppet Movie I discovered a few differences. Today’s car had a split windshield and four doors, whereas Fozzie’s has no split windshield and is a two-door model. But still! One does not see this model every day. It was in terrific shape and I
had such fun looking at it.

I looked online for photos of Studebakers and discovered a few things: there is a Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana. Might put that on Bucket List. Who knows? There are whole websites dedicated to Muppets fans. (This seems reasonable to me as the Muppets are so funny and appeal to nearly everyone, but I’d never actually looked for all-Muppet websites before.) There are also great photos of cakes and cupcakes honoring the loveable creatures. My favorite photo shows the creations of two sisters who own Cupcake Occasions in Suffolk, England. They made a collection of Muppet cupcakes that are adorable and really capture the individual looks of some of our favorite Muppets:
Lessons we can learn from today’s discoveries? Enjoy the happy surprises you find. Take delight in the small joys, like photos of Muppet Cupcakes. Dread not Mondays. They may hold unexpected gifts.

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