They are found in valleys or towns, in sheds or barns. They are occasionally sighted on the street, parked or in parades.
They are vintage cars, and Ron Miller is seeker of them, ranging from automotive beauties to jalopies. He not only discovers them but has recorded his findings, with photos, in two books.
The Anniston native’s most recent car book is “Rods, Rust and Restos,” co-written by Don Hamilton, a retired pastor who is also from Anniston.
It follows “What’s in Your Garage,” which was published in 2014. “Readers enjoyed our recent reflections about old cars,” Miller said. “So Don, my friend from adolescence, and I decided to entertain them again with Volume 2, which continues the theme of old cars, their owners and our experiences in finding them.”
Fifty automobiles are listed within the pages, which include stories and poetry related to these performing machines. Miller’s “Southern Garage Tour,” as he calls it, gives insight into the car culture while bringing in humor and memories. The decades covered in the development of “car star” history are the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.
This book differs from “What’s in Your Garage?” in that it focuses more on the people that Miller meets in car clubs and at car shows in northeast Alabama.
The car owners are from different backgrounds but most share the same lifestyle: regular jobs by day, rebuilding cars by night. Many of them, like Troy Tillery of Anniston, call their garage their stress-relief center.
And many of them have enough projects to last them several years — if not always. However, they make time to help a neighbor restore a car, or a grandfather and grandson will work together on a hot rod.
Women get into the action, too. The book’s back cover features a photo of Dee Huckaba’s eye-catching 1968 Camaro.
Camaros are the focus of an entertaining tale in the book: “How the Camaro Got its Stripes.” A true story comes on another page: “Angels on the Road,” as told to Hamilton, is about a family driving on a narrow, mountainous road when the driver has to change a tire near the edge of a cliff.
The poem “Defeat” by Edgar Guest, included with Miller’s photos, has a double meaning. It delivers advice about life, while encouraging car restorers to continue their projects, no matter how tiring.
To buy a copy of the book, contact Ron Miller at 256-236-3248. Books cost $25.
Swedish orchestra to play Knox Concerts
One of Sweden’s oldest orchestras will take the stage Saturday evening at the Anniston Performing Arts Center when the Knox Concert Series presents the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $50 for reserved seats and $35 for general admission. For tickets, call Mandi King at 256-235-2553.
Compositions on the program are:
• “Sarka” from “Ma Vlast” (“My Homeland”) by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana.
• Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, with piano soloist Nareh Arghamanyan.
• Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64. According to texts, this is an extraordinary symphony for several reasons. There is continuous melodic interest and an unusually good demonstration of the blending of major and minor moods. The third movement contains a waltz, and a very attractive one, according to “Great Symphonies” by Sigmund Spaeth. The touch of cheer brought by the waltz is needed because the symphony has been interpreted as the composer’s struggle against fate. It also has elements of spiritual meaning, especially in the religious character of the opening and close of the symphony.
Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.