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Showing posts from May, 2011

So many questions

MOST OF this Havana peso taxi is, I believe, a 1980s Ford fullsize van. That indented accent line above the rocker panel is too distinctive for it to be anything else. The wraparound taillamps must be later additions.
   At first I thought it was the Club Wagon model, but then I realized the sliding side windows are also additions, and probably came from a bus. The rub strips? From a tree.
   But the grille, hood and front fenders? International sprang to mind, no doubt because the word International is painted on the side (along with Fault Line, which I take as ironic statement). But no, these bits aren't from any International truck I can identify.
    So what, then, was the donor? A Soviet military carrier? A British bread van? Or is that bold beak some fiberglass add-on kit, like the Rolls-Royce prows people used to bolt on to their Volkswagen Beetles?
One thing I know. Even without the wooden rub strips, this van would be unique.

That should buff out

A closer look at Ernest Hemingway's 1955 Chrysler New Yorker DeLuxe convertible.

The old man and his Chrysler

Papa owned a Lincoln, a Buick, but at heart, Papa was a Chrysler man. His Wheeler Playmate cabin cruiser, the Pilar, had two engines. The 50-horsepower Lycoming ran alone when he sought marlin and sailfish and German submarines. The Chrysler Crown reduction engine added its 70 horsepower for the runs between islands, throttles open, fans expelling the volatile fumes from belowdecks.
    Early on in Cuba Papa ferried his son Gregory's baseball team, the Gigi Stars, in a Chrysler. Decades later the boys, now old men, would remember jamming in, a jumble of brown arms and legs, for the games at the Club de Cazadores.
    In 1953 he bought his fourth and last wife, Mary, a Cranbrook convertible. It was from Chrysler's Plymouth line, a yellow car with wire wheels.
    Then in 1955 Ernest Hemingway paid $3,924 for a Chrysler New Yorker DeLuxe convertible. To the Cubans, seeing it driving between Finca Vigía – the Lookout Farm – and the Pilar's berth in Cojimar, it looked red and wh…

Christopher P. Baker declares Cuba officially open to Americans

You read it here second ─ Cuban travel now is open to every U.S. citizen.
    Or so reports Christopher Baker on the Moon Travel Guides site, citing revised regulations published April 21 that he says confirm U.S. president Barack Obama's desire to ease the longstanding restrictions on travel between the two countries.
  "Pack your bags!" adds the intrepid travel writer. "Finally, it's time to go to Cuba."
    Well, maybe you shouldn't be stuffing socks into the Samsonite just yet. American access to Cuba does seem to have become easier, but it's hardly unfettered.
Students, for example, now can travel to the island for course work for academic credit without first seeking written approval from the U.S. government. This pre-authorization was already available to Americans with close relatives in Cuba, and to journalists, professional researchers and others.
    Another change is the restoration of a provision allowing "educational exchanges,"…