My turn

Hopeful signs at the Chicago Auto Show

2014-02-20T00:00:00Z Hopeful signs at the Chicago Auto ShowGeorge Grenchik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
February 20, 2014 12:00 am  • 

I’ve never really been much of a gear head — you know, way into cars. I’ve been around for a long time, but I’ve only owned three new cars. I’ve had used ones and I tended to keep those a long time. I was a good friend of Terry Nelleman, of the former Terry’s Motors in Calumet City, but not a very good customer. He’d say if he depended on customers like me, he would starve.

But I did find myself at the Chicago Auto show last Sunday. I think it’s only my third visit. I’m not much of a fan of paying money to be advertised to. And I didn’t pay this time because I got some comp tickets from a cousin.

The Chicago Auto show is the largest on the continent and McCormick Place is probably the largest enclosed space I’ve ever been in, or is Grand Central Station larger? (I’ll get back to you on that.)

The crowd was enormous too, at times, uncomfortably so. And everyone has a camera, mostly as part of their phones. But then there’s me who not only doesn’t have a camera on his phone ... that’s right, he doesn’t have a phone.

Anyway, there were some awfully nice vehicles and their presentation and marketing was pretty impressive.

Automobiles have been and are a huge part of America. They have symbolized America’s industrial, creative, and entrepreneurial prowess. And they are the epitome of those very American traits of mobility and freedom.

On the down side, the automobile has pretty much addicted us to the burning of fossil fuels in enormous quantities. And unless you’re one of those folks who are still confused why Columbus didn’t fall off the edge, you know that burning all that fuel has caused some adverse effects on our climate.

At the auto show there were still plenty of massive vehicles which, even with efficient engines, burn a lot of fuel.

But on the flip side, there are more and more hybrid technologies which depend much less on gas. And some that don’t use any gas. Plus there were a good number of much smaller cars available

It was also interesting to see that the price of the 2014 model of the Toyota Prius, a hybrid, was the same or even a little less than what I paid for my 2008 Prius. As new technologies become more widespread, price often comes down.

I just hope we are wise enough to see and disciplined enough to act in ways that lessen the threat to our environment.

AROUND TOWN

A great big crowd was in place for the annual meeting of T.F. North and T.F. South’s basketball teams. Since I’m “on the north side of fractional”  I was a little down about the double defeat the Meteors (North) were handed by the Rebels (South). Particularly in the boys contest where a last-second shot by North that would have sent the game into overtime just missed.

But between the large crowd, the enthusiastic tumblers, the dance and cheer squads, the band, the honoring of the North seniors between games, the number of staff and administrators in attendance, it was a pretty good evening.

This Saturday is the annual Candlelight Bowl sponsored by the Friends of Jim Perniciaro. The event remembers Jim Perniciaro and raises money to fight cancer, the disease that took him much too early.

The time is 8:30 p.m. at the Lan-Oak Lanes, 2524 Ridge Road in Lansing. It’s a fun event and supports a great cause and remembers a great man.

For further info contact Denny Halloran at (708) 862 4874.

Thanks for reading.

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