Monday, June 6, 2011

Fleetwood Country Cruize-In 2011

We spent another wonderful weekend at the Fleetwood Country Cruize-In. With the exception of a bit of rain on Saturday morning (and some thunder), the weather was 'car show' perfect. As we've come to expect, the cars on display were incredible and our host, Steve Plunkett, incredibly gracious. All proceeds generated by this annual event go to the Plunkett Foundation, which in turn supports many charities. Only in it's 9th year, the show has already managed to raise over 4 million dollars ... that's awesome!

This was Michael's and my 3rd time at the Cruize-In and I finally had a chance to tour Steve's Auto Salon — in a word, amazing. His collection of Cadillacs has got to be, bar none, the most impressive collection in North America. He not only has several 1 of 1 rare prototypes, but has some incredible gems like the 'Kennedy car', which he recently lent for use in the TV series, "The Kennedys".

Steve, himself, gave us a personal tour of the Auto Salon, giving us a unique one-on-one perspective on the cars (Cadillacs), the company (General Motors) and this 1915 ad, that is still today, considered to be one of the all time best advertisements, ever created. The ad, made up strictly of copy and no images, speaks to the caliber, quality and integrity of an individual or company, and the work that they produce. From my understanding, it's what GM, has not only striven to achieve, but has succeeded in doing over the years. Steve has it prominently displayed, larger than life, above the main floor of the salon. He made sure to point it out to us and give us a printed copy - very cool. I thought you might enjoy reading it as much as I did. — Linda:

The Penalty of Leadership - Cadillac ad from 1915,
that ran in the Saturday Evening Post

The Penalty of Leadership
In every field of human endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership be vested in a man or in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always the same. The reward is widespread recognition; the punishment, fierce denial and detraction. When a man’s work becomes a standard for the whole world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few. If his work be merely mediocre, he will be left severely alone - if he achieve a masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging. Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a commonplace painting. Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass or to slander you, unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius. Long, long after a great work or a good work has been done, those who are disappointed or envious continue to cry out that it cannot be done. Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were raised against our own Whistler as a mountebank, long after the big world had acclaimed him its greatest genius. Multitudes flocked to worship at the shrine of Wagner, while the little group of those whom he had dethroned and displaced argued angrily that he was no musician at all. The little world continued to protest that Fulton could not build a steamboat, while the big world flocked to the river to see his boat steam by. The leader is assailed because he is the leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership. Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy - but only confirms once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant. There is nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as the human passions - envy, fear, greed, ambition, and the desire to surpass. And it all avails nothing. If the leader truly leads, he remains - the leader. Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman, each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial. That which deserves to live - lives.

By Theodore F. MacManus

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