The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of Travel #31



Iain said...

Ahhh the good ole days of showing up five minutes before your flight and still being able to board.

Now you spend six hours in the airport so you can get through security and drink enough at the airport bar so you won't feel them doing a cavity search.

Tempest said...

It REALLY was like that.

Fond memories.

And a slight mist in my eyes.

We blew it.

Brooks said...

The inspector nervously eyes the budgie.

justjack said...

Sooooo much to love about this artwork. The triangular design, even unto Blondie's left arm, leading the eye ever upwards to the glorious Pan Am logo; Milburn Drysdale way over on the far left; the awesome skinny tie and razor-sharp brimmed fedora of Chinley McJawline.

But the best thing about it, I think, is the fact that, having only moments ago touched down in gay Paree, Chinley is already checking out the seductive almond eyes of Mamzelle, and working on his plan to ditch his wife and sample some authentic Parisian HeyHey a la mode comme ils le font.

Vanwall said...

The de rigueur accessory for the savvy traveler back then was a Pan Am flight bag.

Christopher said...

I've still got a couple of blue square pan am bags from our family traveling days in the early-late sixties....$492.round trip to London

Kimberly Lindbergs said...

Great observations, justjack!

I love how it looks like the guy is looking over his shoulder and eyeing the brunette behind him who seems to be eyeing him as well.

John said...

$492 round trip to London in, what, the early 1960's, wasn't exactly a giveaway. But the whole experience was just so much more glamorous - and humane. They probably got fed two (at least half-decent) meals from NY to London, and got practically fawned over by half a dozen very attractive stewardesses. And people actually got dressed up to travel! Today, it's gym shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops.

Flynn D said...

Whoever drew this sure had some fun with the subject matter.

Great comments from everyone, too.

Peter Yezukevich said...

justjack's comment here is probably the best comment I've ever read on the Gunslinger. Cheers!