Yesterday was the annual American Graffiti Days Salute in Petaluma, the town where the movie was filmed. Of course, my husband, Andy, and good friend, Rob, being the classic car nuts that they are, demand we attend every year. I didn’t end up taking as many pictures as I did last year. But granted last year, as the 35th anniversary of the film, was a banner year for the event, with many more cars and events and even Cruisin’ God John Milner (Paul LeMat) showing up to sign autographs. I also got sidetracked trying to get pictures of my goddaughter Amelia May in her stroller captured as if she was part of the Classic Cruisin’ Parade. Note to self: mothers generally don’t like it when you try to wheel their babies out into the middle of a line of moving vehicles. But, jeez, those cars weren’t going more than 5 miles an hour. Over-reaction? I ask you.
In any case, those who are skeptical of global warming will be pleased to know that, on a declared Spare the Air Day, hundreds of pre-smog law cars were cruising Petaluma Boulevard emitting God knows how much particulate matter into the air. Eco-concerns aside, this is a great event. Go if you are in the neighborhood. The main event is just wandering around the picturesque town of Petaluma, especially the main streets where the movie was filmed, and seeing all the great cars parked on the street and cruising the Boulevard in an endless loop.
It’s odd how, even though the film was set in 1962, it’s people around my age who were babies or not even born then who are most nostalgic about the movie. I remember when the film came out in 1973, it sparked an early sixties style and music revival at my school. We were all showing up for class in bobby sox and greaser gear and listening to Chuck Berry. So why is it that when THE movie about the Seventies, Dazed and Confused, came out in 1993, it never got kids wearing elephant bells and listening to Foghat? Oh, yeah, because most everything that came out of the Seventies as far as style and music was crap. Don’t blame me for that decade. I was living in Germany listening to Bowie and Reggae. Yup, missed most of the Disco thing. But I suffered through enough of it that it’s no wonder I’m nostalgic for someone else’s era.
So here are a few pictures, with links to the full set of pictures and last year’s banner event.
Here’s the pitiful set of pictures I took yesterday. At 95 plus degrees, it was almost too hot to lift the camera.
My 35th Anniversary Set from last year is better.