Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Drag Racing for Drag Race Geeks

The 2005 Antique Nationals is a delightfully geeky car event. All sorts of old timers running peculiar engine combinations that make sense only to true snobs. Lots of inliner engines, early Ford 4-bangers, Whizzers and the requisite Flathead V-8s. Of all the photos I took, this single shot of a full fender, full height Model A vs. a mild custom 50-something Ford is the only one that was not corrupted. Match-ups like this are the stuff of notebook paper sketches and you don't expect them to happen in real life.

, the host of the Antique Nationals, is about 50 miles north of Los Angeles and anchors a strip of desert that was once a true, undeniable paradise. The Four Corners Swap Meet is still there and an excellent place to buy speed freak's sofas when they have sold everything else, but before the Pines Cafe was sold and compromised, this two mile stretch of Pearblossom highway contained everything a desert rat would need to live a robust, meaningful, malt liqour inspired modern renaissance. Besides the wonderfully derelict dragstip and the tamale switchblade comb dumpster-expired Lucky Charms swapmeet, the Pines Cafe was the true one in a million. The owners would be cracking Keystones by about 11AM and would delightfully tell you the FDA allowed rat hair content of ketchup if you stupidly asked for it rather than 'the homemade salsa right there on the table.' I have eaten breakfast all over the world and never had a meal finer than that served at the Pines Cafe.

Ten years ago, the Pines Cafe was having some tax trouble and they sold a xerox'd, Broderbund Print Shop, Astrobright, stapled cookbook to raise funds so I bought 5 and keep them in archival sleeves. I often use the pancake tricks with astounding results and if I could find the strength of character to use the quantities of lard that are called for, I am sure the Mad Dog Huevos Rancheros and Oklahoma Tostada would not disappoint.