Posted by: Brad Nixon | December 7, 2009

Crazy Horsepower

This site is mostly writing, not pictures. Although I’ve earned my living for the past 25 years making programs that have pictures and video, I’ve maintained a firm commitment to the word as the primary means of communicating. This online series of essays is an extension and an exploration of that conviction.

But sometimes a picture is all that’s required, aside from a few words to provide context, setting or background.

The setting for this picture is the south bay of Los Angeles. I’m putting gas in my car at the big Chevron station on Crenshaw Boulevard¬†that has about 12 pumps (each with its own promotional video display).

I’m barely going to make it to work on time for my conference call as it is. But there, over at pump 6, is the subject of today’s photos. Really, now. Am I going to just finish pumping my gas and get back in the car and drive off without SAYING something to this man? I have a camera in my briefcase. Am I not going to take the three minutes it would require to get a photo of him standing next to his creation? We’ve all done it. You’ve SEEN that incomparable moment. You KNEW you should stop and say something, ask a question, take a photo, for crying out loud. Did you stop? Did you ask?

For once, I did, although I didn’t get this gentleman’s name. Before I took the photos, he calmly walked to the buggy and pulled out and donned the hat and sunglasses: another of the far-flung kin of ZZ Topp!

I could say more about what I saw, and launch into any number of directions about what motivates guys to invest big chunks of their lives into working on cars (if this really is a car).¬†For once I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Just another day in the suburbs of Los Angeles.


  1. haha! great! did you write this from the car?
    we had something here today you might remember from your earlier life, temps in the 20s.


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