Three Wheels and a Bumper Car

Glen Gordon “Gary” Davis, a used car salesman from Indiana, created the Davis Divan in 1947. Based on a custom three wheeled car built by then famous designer Frank Kurtis, Davis aimed to make it safe, innovative, and affordable.

Davis Divan at Lane Motor Museum, Nashville, TN

Davis’s ambition and ability to raise money was far greater than his ability to mass produce a car. After two years, his factory had turned out only 13 Divans before his investors and employees sued him for fraud.

Davis was a bit of a misfit.

I can relate.

Momma always said, “Remember, you are a totally unique individual, just like everyone else.” (She never said that, but it sounds better when I say it that way).

I’ve never felt like everyone else.

I’m an upper middle-aged man who listens to hip hop and bluegrass (Darius Rucker’s version of Wagon Wheel is playing as I type).

I love the culture of hospitality of the rural South and hippie vibe of Santa Cruz.

I like shooting but I’ve never been hunting and don’t have the desire to start.

I love cool and unique cars and drive a pickup and a minivan.

My pickup has Han Solo’s dice hanging from the mirror and a BB-8 in a hula skirt and coconut bra on the dash.

A Funko-Pop Bob Wiley (from the movie What About Bob) watches me type from his perch on my desk.

Am I normal?

One of several Tatras at Lane Motor Museum, Nashville, TN

I hope not!

My writing may never be more successful than the Davis Divan, but I’ll keep typing out these odd stories that pop into my head.

Maybe, like Gary Davis, I’ll find success where I least expect it. He took some of what he learned from the Divan and became a successful manufacturer of bumper cars.

Whichever way life bumps you, never give up on your uniqueness.

God only made one you. You might feel like you’re different than anyone else.

Celebrate your differences and contribute your uniqueness to history.

Moments that Move

Bob Wiley (bobble head) is excited to see the end of the book.

One day last week, I was typing along, trying to wrap up the rough draft of Wil Clarey: The Mystery at the Mill, when I got to the end of a paragraph and tears threatened to spill from my eyes.

No, it wasn’t some emotional scene.

It just hit me, as the last few words hit the page, that it was the end of the book.

With my busy schedule, it has taken me over a year and a half to write it.

It was a momentous occasion!

I was brought up to stuff emotions inside.

“If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about”

was heard around my childhood home more than once.

Later in life, even my father realized how destructive that phrase was.

Now I’m a big softy.

My kids like watching emotional movies with me so they can see me cry. Of course, I use the “I’m just stuffed up” excuse every time but they know better.

The same thing happens to me at a powerful worship service – especially if we sing songs that hold nostalgic significance to me.

Brant Hansen writes about having experienced emotional envy. (Blessed are the Misfits c. 2017, Brant Hansen). Being on the autism spectrum, situations that would be emotional to others didn’t faze him. He makes the point that those experiences and the faith that goes with them are not dependent on emotion.

When I lived in Arizona, I attended a church where the worship leader got so emotional every week that it distracted me from the worship experience. After a couple of months there, I ended up going to a different church because of it.

Worship can be an emotional experience.

So, what am I trying to say?

Is emotion good or not?

Anyone who has experienced tears of joy should be able to tell you that emotion is good. I agree. But,

Emotion should never take the place of faith.

Faith will produce an emotional response in most people. But faith based on emotional experiences has an unstable foundation.

In preparing for this blog, I tried to think of experiences I’ve had that were emotional. There were many. But it wasn’t the emotional response, but the situation and the faith involved in it that were life changing.

I could go on and on about emotions. There are so many negative emotions that can make people feel trapped.

I’ve been there.

I can offer no easy escape, but I can say that positive emotions help.

So, next time that song has you in tears, that unexpected blessing brings tears of joy, or that leap of faith brings release from anxiety, savor the emotional experience without basing your life on it.

You may just find those flashes of joy help light the way to an emotionally and spiritually healthy life based on

truth and faith.