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Monday, January 21, 2013

Masterpiece Carriage Classic: A Period Drama

David E Saunders: An Englishman Sometimes In America-
 Old School Is the New School

Our series depicts the two stereotypes of people involved in the sport of carriage driving: the pleasure show people who are Preservationists that want nothing to change and the combined driving people who are Innovators that want everything to change.  Of course, this is a sweeping generalization, but that is the very nature of stereotypes and superb drama.  If you watch Downton Abbey, you will know that to which I speak.

Being an Anglophile, I cling to the Golden Age of Coaching, quote directly from His Grace the 8th Duke of Beaufort's Badminton Library: Driving, and would sell a kidney to show at Royal Windsor.  There is, however, a duality to my nature and I long to be "a Modern American Girl".  I positively swoon at Frey Carriage Company's artistic, innovative, modern vehicles, certain I am that they will be the antiques of the future.

Tradition did not stop evolving at ox wagons, it went on to produce road coaches, park drags, C-spring Victoria's...it is a century since horses were emancipated to luxury items; how do we find Tradition?  Have we kept her well, fostered her future?  What will be our legacy to the sport of carriage driving?  The drama unfolds.

Tradition is in danger of gathering dust on the shelf in the library, while Fashion flaunts herself as Style to the uninitiated in the drawing room.  Tradition without Innovation is a witless dowager countess [the antithesis of Countess Grantham].  Innovation without Tradition is a crass tin heiress [as opposed to Lady Grantham].

I'd like to see a Big Picture Philosophy emerge in carriage driving, where all the little details of Tradition fall in love with the strategies of Innovation, they work out their differences [after Fashion abandons Innovation at the alter], marry and beget many Stylish offspring who save the Carriage Driving Estate for future generations by making it self sustainable.

Yes.  Oh, yes.  I know...[insert and cue: Laura Linney]...sounds like [with ever so slightly raised eyebrow]... the Europeans.  Stay tuned for Episode 2.

Kind Regards,
Michelle Blackler

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