Scott Nearing was not trying to become a pioneer.
Back when the auto industry represented the equivalent of today’s dot-com companies, Dr. Nearing was a highly successful economics professor at a program that would later be known as the Wharton School of Business.
He wrote about a wide variety of economic issues that were vigorously debated at a time when differing opinions were not often tolerated in the world of academic discourse. Benefactors, like today’s corporate sponsors and tomorrow’s Ceasers, expected their due (ck) in exchange for funding and ‘exclusives’.
Anti-war. Anti-child labor. Anti-trust and ‘anti’ everything political in the end, Dr. Nearing soon found that his sole victory in court would only yield a blacklist from academia that would last for decades.
So he bought himself some land, a pickup truck, and moved to the Green Mountains of northern Vermont.
Scott and his wife Helen (ck) would build their own version of ‘The Good Life’. They built several houses, cottages and sheds out of stone using the Flagg method (ck). To accomplish this, they owned a long series of pickup trucks and kept them to the point where rust and age made them unserviceable.
After several years of getting acquainted with their new life, they began collecting maple syrup (ck) at a time when modern agriculture still allowed a family farm to prosper. The two of them wrote books and self-published. Performed classical music thanks to Helen’s training. They gardened, cooked, canned, sewed, built, tilled and adopted to a life that became ever the same, and ever different.
It was an idyllic world. Often romanticized and never perfected to the point where others could easily emulate it.
In time, they even adopted many of the conveniences and pleasures of their past and loosened up on a few of the old disciplined habits. However one thing that never changed was their use of pickup trucks. It gave them the means to move mountains of stone, and the freedom to visit family and friends… but it was a tool. Nothing more.
The pickup truck best served and symbolized Scott and Helen’s version of the good life. I would say that my little 2001 Honda Insight serves mine at the moment.
What vehicle best represents the good life for you?
Note: If you see (ck) on this write-up, it means you can safely click on the link next to it and learn a bit more about the subject I just mentioned. Consider it a low-tech wink that will help you get more out of these articles. All the best!