No, I didn’t actually have an affair with an Edsel. The Edsel was an automobile, even though it was taken off the market because its radiator grill resembled female genitalia.
This was an interesting if somewhat bizarre way of looking at cars. Since time immemorial, automobiles have been associated with sex. Back in the 1920s, the Tin Lizzy, Henry Ford’s first creation off the assembling line, set the standard for all the romantic hijinks that followed. Booze and sex and automobiles just about defined the culture of the young, whichever decade you pick. The older generation looked down on all this sinning and chose respectability. Their automobiles were sedate Buicks or Chryslers, or a similar model from one of the other manufacturers.
As I mentioned in the first part of my thoughts on the Ford Edsel, I abandoned my Borgward with undignified haste, and bought a Volkswagen Beetle.
Looking back, I do remember now that I sold the Borgward to some guy who wanted to race it. Well, the car had a lot of torque, but little else. In any case, it didn’t matter to me, because I was going to lose it, trash it, or sell it, somehow, as I entered a new phase of my life: I was getting married to my first wife.
One of the reasons I’m so interested in production shots like this one is that my dad was a film cameraman, more properly called a director of photography. I’d often see him hunched behind the camera, just like this.
In reading Fall Guy, please keep in mind that the setting for this story is the America of the late 1940s, and that the language and attitudes of my characters represent the zeitgeist of that era, which was unfortunately steeped in cultural ignorance and endemic hatred of minority groups.