The Power of Parade: In Grim Times, Cars Suddenly Find a New Use
Ever since Illinoisans were asked to stay at home by our governor in March, a new trend has popped up – people celebrating birthdays or other milestones by driving past the house of the honored person, sometimes honking horns and displaying signs.
It’s meant to be a nod to normalcy in these decidedly abnormal times, as well as an acknowledgment of celebrations that can’t be held at homes or restaurants for the time being. I don’t know if it’s happening only in the Chicago area or also elsewhere, but it’s a nice gesture during these trying times.
Like everyone else, I hate being stuck at home this much – although I do understand why it’s necessary, and I’ll abide by it. This is part of why I get irritated with the anti-lockdown protesters – it’s not just that they might further the spread of the coronavirus, thus leaving us in lockdown limbo longer, but also that there’s somehow this narrative that those of us in support of shelter-in-place love being at home all the time. As if we have to like a policy in order to abide by it.
I don’t. I hate it. But I get it. And because I know it needs to be done, no matter how much it sucks, I am, like anyone else going stir crazy and getting tired of Netflix, looking for any little scraps of cheer to make my days less grim. And while I normally take the cynical journalist approach to corny stories of good news on the evening news, I did smile over the weekend when my local NBC affiliate showed a parade of cars trundling through a Chicago suburb in order to make a little kid smile.
This particular kid was turning five, and he’s a car guy (boy?). His mom, wanting to make his birthday feel special in a time in which celebrations are a no-go for quite understandable reasons, got creative. She put the word on social media that her little dude loved cars, and if any local gearheads needed an excuse for a weekend drive, maybe they could parade past the house in their cool cars and honk and wave?
And they came in their Corvettes and Chevy trucks and Mustangs (no, no one spun into a lawn. This wasn’t Cars and Coffee), all to brighten a boy’s day because we can’t live our lives normally until we get this virus under control.
Go ahead, watch the video and play car spotter. And see if you don’t get a smile on your face, just for a minute.
The news is almost all grim these days, as one would expect. But sometimes we get something good, and it’s okay to smile, if only for a second.
[Image: Chevrolet/General Motors]
Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
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