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Jewish World Review Jan. 16, 2002 / 3 Shevat, 5762

Steve Young

Steve Young
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Consumer Reports

Goodbye "Rincoln Continental," we hardry knew ye -- "The Lincoln Continental. It didn't take took time."

Last week, Ford Company announced that it will soon halt production of the Lincoln Continental, and at that moment every comic who ever played the Borscht Belt or North Miami Beach condominium felt a pang. It was probably just a passing pacemaker glitch, but still, y'gotta feel for the likes of Shecky Greene and company.

As the Continental joins the Packard, the Hudson and the Stutz-Bearcat on that great gas-guzzling, used car lot in the sky, I think it's appropriate that we all pause for a moment, wipe away a "we didn't park our Continental...we docked it" tear and pay our respects to legacy left us by the humongous and proud old war horse.

Who will ever forget...

The short, elderly people who were forced to drive, peering weeble-like through the bus-sized steering wheel.

The inevitable Kennedy-Lincoln coincidences. That John F. Kennedy drove Ford's Lincoln Continental and Abraham Lincoln had a Continental breakfast just before being assassinated at the Ford Theater.

The car that was so big, that people weren't attracted to it by luxury as much as by gravity.

Your Uncle Bernie at every family gathering, regaling all with his wonderfully racially sensitive quip, "No I don't have a cataract. Me have Rincoln Continental."

Your Uncle Bernie's swollen jaw after telling his favorite joke to Aunt Marge's new husband, Akihiro.

The car so big it had it's own zip code.

The car with so much room that people could not only hold hands, they could hold dances.

The spacious trunks which allowed certain New Jersey families to carry extra passengers.

The days when three miles to the gallon was a status symbol.

The back seat was in Eastern Standard Time and front was in Central. 'Course the car had to be situated perfectly on Alabama/Georgia state line.

The back seat not only had leg room, it had room for an entire cast of Chorus Line.

Yes, the Lincoln Continental has moved on, but let's never forget what it gave us. It gave us more than room. It gave many an American the fulfillment of a dream; of making it. The Cadillac was big, yes. But, my dear Gen X's and...Gen Y's, the Lincoln Continental was huge. If I might butcher a Jay Leno joke, "My Lincoln Continental seats eight...for dinner."

JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is contributing editor at the Writers Guild of America's "Written By" magazine. He is the author of the forthcoming "Great Failures Of The Extremely Successful," Tallfellow Press, 2002 Comment by clicking here.

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© 2001, Steve Young