A Fleeting Moment, Without Beginning Or End

This week’s photo challenge – posted by the Daily Blog – is titled “Fleeting Moment“, and is a picture of a moment captured on the street.  Readers were challenged to capture a moment on the street: to test their skills in street photography.  Now, while my photo wasn’t exactly taken from the street (the subject is parked in a parking lot – I took the picture from the street), I think it still qualifies.

Notice the For Sale sign posted on one of the rear windows of the white van – a sign signifying the owner’s desire to leave behind this physical reminder of times past: a fleeting moment within a fleeting moment.

Every Friday evening, like clockwork, owners of classic vehicles – from old Beetles to muscle cars – gather together in the parking lot of the local McDonald’s to park their rides and show them off.  Why a McDonald’s, you may wonder?  The chosen McDonald’s is actually called the Nostalgia McDonald’s, and is decorated – both inside and out – with a retro, late 1950’s theme.  Many of the featured vehicles are from that same era, making those visiting the fast-food restaurant feel as though they have stepped into an ongoing moment from the distant past.

I chose to take a picture of these particular vehicles because I believed them to exemplify the theme of a “fleeting moment” in a couple of different ways.  The owners of these vehicles do not keep them for economic reasons: they have terrible gas mileage, the parts are not easy to come by for repairs, and finding an exact replacement – should they get into a car accident that totals their vehicle – is next to impossible anymore.  These owners keep these old vehicles around because, to them, they are physical representations of the memories they hold.  When these particular drivers get together every week, they talk about the issues that affected them in years past, almost as though time had not continued to run its course after their occurring.  They talk about the war, about the economic hardships the country was facing, about the changes rapidly developing technology had brought about.  To these drivers, their every Friday might be but a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things, but to them, it is a moment that never really ends.  I can only hope that one day I’ll be able to continue the tradition and sit around with other vehicle owners from my generation, showing off our 2007 Jeep Liberties to all the gawking hybrid and electric car drivers looking on.  We’ll pass the time talking about the war, about the economic hardships the country faced during our time, and the changes rapidly developing technology has brought to our culture – our fleeting moment stretching on into infinity.

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