These “Three On The Road” stories would be very limited if it weren’t for the automobile. I don’t walk very fast, so we wouldn’t see very much. But with a car, we can go places like the Automobile Museum in Tupelo.
It is an interesting collection of automobiles dating from the late 1880s through the 1990s, at least 10 cars per decade on display.
Frank Spain collected all of these over many, many years. And now Jane Spain is the Executive Director of the Tupelo Automobile Museum where they are housed. Jane tells all the visitors what these cars REALLY are. They are the way we got to the places where we lived our lives.
“They let you see things you would never have seen and dreamed dreams you would never have dreamed,” said Jane.
You’d think that it would mostly be men who would like this museum, not being sexist, but they drag their wives along with them in here just like THEY get dragged to seeing chic flicks. And if all these things were just metal and tires and containers of oil and gasoline it would be kind of boring.
But Jane says it doesn’t take long before people realize what they are really seeing.
“You think about times in your life, your first date, you’re bringing home your first child," added Jane. "There’s 99% of the time a car related to it. And one of the joys I’ve had, people coming in, I’ve never had anybody that didn’t find an era that suddenly brought back a lot of wonderful memories. You know, the prom, whatever it would be.”
There are cars in here that belonged to celebrities. There are cars in here that ARE celebrities in and of themselves, including what is arguably the most valuable car ever made in America, the Tucker.
But the automobile is way more than just a thing that parks in the driveway; or drives on the parkway. It is grafted into our lives. Or better yet, our lives have grown around them.
“I think I want people to recognize that they are more than just metal and steering wheels," said Jane, summing it up. "They’re, they’re parts of our lives that took us to places we wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise.”
The Tupelo Automobile Museum is open every day except New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Drive on up some time.
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