Saturday, June 18, 2011

Electric Car Redux.




View from Flodden.. Norman Nicholson's ancestral home.




Well, it's not only my NDP MP Jamie Nicholls who is into electric cars, so, apparently, is Obama.

According to a News Reports he is putting 280 million towards trolleys in Washington, Tuscon, New Orleans and a few other places.



The Green Websites are praising it. The Washington Post calls it Obama's Trolley Folly.




They call trams 'an obsolete form of transportation." But then, back in 1911, many people were calling the automobile a silly frivolous toy.




The Post thinks he should be working on traffic congestion because Americans spend so much time stuck in traffic. The Post says trolleys are folley because Americans prefer vehicles which allow for personal freedom. (What freedom is there stuck in a traffic jam?) I got it! Invest in Jet packs.




If you have a visionary project, it is very likely to attract criticism, the more visionary, the more criticism. But then maybe it is a folley: You can't go back - usually

That's what many were trying to do in 1911, with the Macdonald-Robertson movement, trying to make people go back to the farms and women back to the woodstove. They wanted to reverse the falls, so to speak. It didn't work. Women went to work outside the home, despite the new profession of homemaking. Families did move to the 'burbs in the middle of the century, but not back the country. And now aging (aged?) Boomers are heading back to the cities from the 'burbs, according to a recent report on Sunday Morning, the CBS show.




Anyway, today, my husband and will trace Edith Nicholson's June 11, 1911 trip to Montreal from Richmond... (backwards.) One hundred years and one week later. It's a nice weekend. It also happens to the the anniversary of the death of Marion Blair Wells, Marion Nicholson's daughter. In 2002.



We will not do it in a 1911 auto, but in our Malibu. We found Flodden on the Google Map, and even the quarry they all talk about. It is still there. So is Kingsbury.




We will no doubt find the Nicholson farm. Well, hopefully we will. It's too bad. When I found the Nicholson stash of memorabilia, there was a inventory of one of the farms... but it got borrowed and then lost. I'm sure the address was there.




Edith and the Skinners passed through Marieville, on that day one hundred years and one week ago, but missed Valcourt, the home of Bombardier.




I checked and Bombardier is in the business of Electric Street Cars. Of course.