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Monday, December 10, 2018
Home Cam Tait blog One Rolls Royce, please

One Rolls Royce, please

Wonder why they wouldn't let me test drive this baby?

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by CAM TAIT EDMONTON SUN

Newspapers have certainly changed since I first typed my story on an IBM Selectric typewriter and had my mother do a quick edit with — what else? — a red felt pen.

And then call a cab, which would come to our family home in the west end, pick up the three pieces of paper — double-spaced, of course — and deliver it to the newsroom downtown.

Back then, too, the editorial staff and the advertising department really didn’t mix. The old rule of thumb was if you want something in the paper that didn’t make it past the journalism test, you paid for it.

As simple as that.

And even if a reporter went to an advertising event, they would leave note pads and pens — see, that’s what we used before these fancy hand held devices — at home.

Writing about an advertising event? Hand in your journalism card right now.

I thought about that Wednesday evening as my good friends Randy and Rita joined me at the 2018 Precious Metal Gala at the Edmonton Motor Show, which revved into full gear Thursday morning. The ignition will be turned off Sunday afternoon.

The car business is very important to the Edmonton Sun. Very important.

And so while some of my newspaper mentors would shake their heads, and make their point with red pens of their own — felt markers, of course — and roll their eyes in disagreement, I’m going to tell you about this year’s car show parked in the Expo Centre at Northlands, idling and ready to go.

If you’re a car person, this is for you.

There’s everything: the red-and-white ’57 with the hood up … the tiny RCMP black-and-white squad car with the huge red light on top … the 1933 Model T … the school bus powered by electricity … and then, through four big halls of cars, there it sits.

My dream car.

Even though I don’t even drive, I love cars. Big cars — cars that, all by themselves, make a big, bold statement and look safe to drive.

It’s light brown in color and two-tone. The paint job is like a million carefully planned stokes from a skilled and steady hand.

The seats inside smell of the finest leather.

Yes, indeed. Rolls Royce sure knows how to put together a car.

I sat there, for a few minutes, looking at this pure beauty of machinery. I texted my wife a picture and, jokingly, told her I made a downpayment.

It was a wonderful few hours of seeing some of the greatest vehicles — cars, trucks, SUVs and so much more — and gives you a chance, just for a fleeting moment, to dream.

As someone who is in the newspaper business, I wanted to salute a significant part of the advertising business.

Yes, things have changed.

But I don’t think one thing will ever change: an opportunity to say thank you to the people who support you.

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