I HAVE AN ABIDING FAITH IN AMERICA


| January/February 1978



Forget the gasoline shortage

''Forget the gasoline shortage...I'll use wood. 81/2 x 10 Frick owned by Mr. James Layton, President, Eastern Shore Threshermen & Collectors with Dick Friedcman at the throttle towing the author's 27 foot Airstream International Land Yacht.

108 Garfield Ave., Madison, N.J. 07940

As we begin our third hundred years as a nation it gives us cause to reflect on just where we might be in the next hundred years. We have come through wars, financial panics and a welter of man made situations such as Watergate. But of all of the things that have confronted us the energy situation augers to have the potential for the greatest change in our lives and in our life-style of any that have given us cause for alarm.

There is an old Army system of weather prediction that suggests that tomorrow's weather will be the same as to days. I believe that there is considerable evidence that would indicate that one following this system will be guessing tomorrow's weather correctly more often than not. But that does not lead naturally to the conclusion that tomorrows living will bear much resemblance to that of today. Howard K. Smith, the noted TV newsman, in his graduation speech at Franklin Pierce to foresee the future don't work out goes like this; 'When you are trying to for see the future don't work out present trends to their logical conclusions because they never reach there'.

A somewhat more earthy philosopher making an observation relative to the horse population in New York City around the turn of the century observed that if their numbers continued to grow as in the past then the entire city would be covered to a depth of at least one foot in horse manure by the end of the century. As we all know, to our relief, that unhappy event did not take place. No, the automobile came along and soon there were no more hordes of horses in the streets and even more happily no manure problem. The indicated trend just never did get realized.

Well then, just what directions are our leisure pursuits going to take in the future? For years many of us including myself have enjoyed a wandering easy-going life in our recreational vehicles. Travel trailers, tent trailers, truck mounted campers and motor homes have proliferated until something like 20% of our population finds 're-creation' and relief from daily problems by packing up the family on week-ends and annual vacations to head out where change in daily routines alone represent a renewal of the psyche. With gasoline becoming more expensive and less readily available in the future perhaps, then some change is likely.

I have an abiding faith in the people of this great nation to solve in their own inimitable manner this riddle of the future.