“Stop focusing on the hype, and start focusing on realistic goals and humility”
The streets were dead and void of movement, when my good friend Dan and I drove past an old-time hearse.
To set the scene, picture two grown men, dressed in suits from an evening meeting, driving in a conservative red Honda Accord, traveling in normal flow of forty-mile-an-hour traffic.
Now imagine these two men slowing their pace in waiting for your vehicle to catch up with you, all the while changing lanes in effort to navigate directly next to you as you are slowing for an oncoming red light.
Finally, they stop, door-to-door with you, roll down their window, and looking toward you, request your engagement. Add to that, it’s 10:00pm and the lights are about to turn green.
The big question, Would you stretch across your passenger seat to roll down your manual window in accepting whatever they have to offer?
Well, for us, the intrigue was simply too great, and spurred on by the prompts of Dan’s, “Let’s talk to him,” I short stopped the light, and in remembrance of high school cruising days, I yelled out an introduction accompanied with extremely brief invitation to be interviewed for 365.
Surprisingly, the shout out was well accepted as the shadowed driver leaned forward a listening ear, and within fifteen or so seconds at that changing traffic signal, Eric our stranger no more, came on board to be a friend of 365.
We caravaned a few blocks and pulling into a nearby shopping center found time to settle in for a thirty-minute conversation and photo shoot.
Eric was a mellow guy, and of course, we began with the obvious inquiry, Why the hearse?
“It’s just a lot of fun” Eric led, “I originally found it in Nebraska, where my wife and I bought it to drive as our moving van in relocating to Los Angeles; and seeing that I was moving to Hollywood to pursue a career in special effects make up, the hearse seemed like the right car to have for the job.”
I found out the car had mostly been sitting for a few years, and Eric occasionally took it on short rides to keep it in running condition.
The car had a personality of its own, and as Eric demonstrated a few of its features, it was apparent that the man was very creative and a fiend of the macabre. Take for example the skull air intake, complete with glowing blue eyes and throttle matching jaw drop, the updated 473 Cadillac spider webbed cam covers or the skull matching steering wheel.
Appropriately Eric had named his gloomy ride, “Dead Storage.”
Why the name? I asked.
“Simple,” Eric stated, “it sat undriven for so long; and,” he smiled, “you can store dead people in it.”
Happy to report, there were no corpses behind the drivers seat that day, and by the way it looked, this car had not seen a breathless body in a long time.
We shifted away from our focus on the car in went to the 365 questions.
What advice, council or wisdom would you like to share with the world?
Eric answered quickly, “Stop focusing on the hype, and start focusing on realistic goals and humility.
We need to look away from the greed. Everybody is too into themselves, call it the boundaries within they’re own five feet, and too many do not care about the five feet around other people.
It’s like in music, Dick Clark died today, and now there is nothing pure or down to earth. He was the real deal; and in an industry where so much is hype, he was an example of integrity.”
Eric went on to discuss hype in more depth, “Hype is when wherever you go you are forced to see everybody’s program; I’d like to see a day when nobody is being overly influenced by commercialism, the media or the Internet. A day when people make decisions based on what they know, have learned, and on what they have researched.”
He lengthened his stride, “Politics are 100% corrupted, there is no honesty.
People need to stand up and force their public servants to do what they are paid to do; it’s We The People.
We need to get the documents, do the research, vote, and stop sitting back to all the politicians as they run the country as they are.
Don’t just follow the parties. Vote informed.
Something is going to happen, a revolution, a war, I don’t know, but whatever it is, change is needed.”
Are there any other global issues that you would like to predict? I concluded. It’s getting late and all of us have families waiting for us.
Eric paused for the first time, “Global warming is scientific, it’s not all about us, and it is part of a natural cycle. Look at the history of the evolution of the planet. It continues to change and evolve, that is its natural course. Although! We are defiantly not helping to fix it. We are a little late on the clean up.”
Eric, thank you for taking the risk to meet with us that evening, and for the openness you extended. I can safely say, there were no skeletons in your closet.