SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 224: No Skeletons Allowed

Call me a road stalker; a title that I will, accompanied by my 365 cohort of the day, Dan, who with me, honors the road stalking pride. And in that spirit of camaraderie, I bear it a pleasure to have a back up creepy dude along side for this evenings car encapsulated reach out.

The streets are dead and void of movement, so when we come across an old-time hearse, it is only appropriate that we see if the dead are living within its cabin. And is some way it is justification for a car drive up hello… like I said, “Creepy conservative guys in-car.”

To set the scene… picture two grown men, dressed in suits from an evening meeting past, a conservative red Honda Accord, and the normal flow of forty-mile-an-hour traffic all jockeying for position on a moderately busy thoroughfare.

Now imagine these two men slowing their pace in waiting for your vehicle to catch up with them, all the while changing lanes in effort to navigate themselves directly next to you as you are halted by an oncoming red light.

Finally, they stop door-to-door, roll down their window, and looking towards you, request your engagement. Adding to that, its 10:00pm and the lights are about to turn green.

The big question, “Would you stretch across your passenger seat to accepting roll down your manual window in greeting whatever they have to offer?”

Or consider this, even if you were intrigued to ask, “Why a hearse?” Would you be very inclined to reach out to said strange driver of such a dusty body carrier?

Well, for us, the intrigue is simply too great, and spurred on by the prompts of Dan’s, “Let’s talk to him,” I short stop the light, and in the remembrance of high school cruising days, I yell out an introduction with an extremely brief invitation to 365.

Surprisingly, the shout out goes accepted, as the shadowed driver leans forward a listening ear, and within the fifteen or so seconds allowed to us via the changing traffic signal, Eric our stranger no more, comes on board to be friend of day 224.

We caravan a few blocks and pulling into a nearby shopping center, find time to settle in for a thirty-minute conversation and photo shoot.

Eric is a mellow guy, and of course… we begin with the obvious inquiry, “Why the hearse?”

“It’s just a lot of fun…” Eric leads, “…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 find out that the car has been mostly sitting for a few years, and Eric takes it on occasional short rides to keep it in running condition.

The car has a personality of it’s own, and as Eric demonstrates a few of its features, it is apparent that the man is a creative fiend of the humorous macabre. Take for example the skull air intake, complete with glowing blue eyes and throttle matching jaw drop, or how about the updated 473 Cadillac spider webbed cam covers and the skull matching steering wheel.

Appropriately Eric has named his gloomy ride… “Dead Storage.”

“Why the name?” I ask.

“Simple…” Eric says, “…it sat un-driven for so long… and…” he smiles, “…you can store dead people in it.”

Happy to report, no corpses behind the driver seat this day, and by the looks of it, this car has not seen a breathless body in a long time. Well, maybe a few who are short of breath.

We shift away from our focus on the car in going to the 365 questions.

“What advice, council or wisdom would you like to share with the world?”

Eric answers 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 goes 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 are know, have learned, and on what they have researched.”

He lengthens 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 conclude… it’s getting late… and all of us have families waiting for us.

Eric pauses 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 this evening, And in you openness I can safely say, there are no skeletons in your closet.