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Area 51

14 October 2021

I have been on record about my thoughts on buying a vehicle with a paint color named “Area 51.” Under no circumstance can I find that choice acceptable.

That position, however, just changed.

This color is gorgeous. My favorite color is blue-and-green. Area 51 sits in that sweet spot between that primary color and the secondary one. It’s got a “throwback” feel which flows with the desired Bronco lifestyle.

The Cactus Gray shade, at least online, is not a throwback. It’s more a throw-away, especially in direct sunlight. In real life, in the summer sun, my eyes have observed the intensity of the chroma. The saturation value just isn’t there. It’s very blah. Not nuanced at all! In fact, Cactus Gray is a toss-away color that looks like primer. Only in the year 2021 can a highly coveted paint formula amount to the base coat known as primer!

I’d been tempted by the online shade called Brittany Blue, but that’s a teaser from the past, the mythic Bronco past. That paint choice does not include a reference to the overused female name for every future pop tart-tease born after 1980. To me, Brittany is la Bretagne, in the north of France, home of my paternal ancestors.

Back to Area 51. Or, hopefully, fingers-crossed, forward to it.

The above pic of the Area 51 Bronco was lifted from the Bronco6G Forum, where paranoia and indignation reign supreme, 24/7. There are many “LOL”s added into the comments, but no one is laughing. And no one is trusting Ford, the Dealership, the Bank, or the Transport Company, which is the business that moves the Beloved Bronco from the Factory to the Delivery Dealership.

In my case, the Delivery Dealership will be in Auburn, California. Auburn is . . . a unique town.

This county seat may not have begun as a polarized place at the time of the Gold Rush, but, by the 1970s, it was a polarized municipality, divided distinctly between Hippies and the Moral Majority. Those two groups still duke it out amidst the real estate that makes this town the hilly Davis, California of the North. Davis, a flat, agricultural wasteland just to the east of the UC-campus, was once a no-growth city. Until the city politicians realized they had no revenue stream, and then the developers and businesses that paid the most, got the best development deals.

Per the City Council, Nukes are forbidden in Davis. Not that there was any chance of that area obtaining them, but feel-good positions thrive in Yolo County, which is commonly called Yoyo County.

Auburn wanted to be the no-growth nirvana of Davis, but the City Council was extremely ham-handed in the way they went about attracting and rewarding free enterprise. I still recall a haircut appointment in a salon in Auburn, circa 2006. The guy next to me was getting his slightly graying hair clipped, wherever the locks were slightly graying, particularly near the sideburns.

He explained to the hairdresser that he’d just moved there, to the Christian Valley neighborhood, from Los Angeles. He intended to run for City Council to get a Trader Joe’s approved. Cause he and the wife and kiddies could not possibly survive this foothills non-culture without that speciality store and cultural icon.

I smiled. My hairdresser smiled. Even the gal hair-cutting Mr. Mover-and-Shaker-for-the-Trader smiled. He and his family have probably moved out of this state by now. There is no Trader Joe’s in Auburn. Or anywhere near that town.

There’s a spanking brand new Trader Joe’s in Rocklin, about 15 miles down the freeway from Auburn, in the strip mall just built in 2016. It’s quite a coup for the Rocklin City Council. I can state from experience, local gossip, and business insider info that the City Council of that town has historically been a chaotic mess. Ever since 1906, when the Union Pacific Railroad decided to build its rail yard, not in Rocklin, where the roundhouse was located, but in a little town called Junction, that grew into Roseville.

All throughout the 1990s, and through the early 2000s, there were so many internecine and stubborn, maybe even greedy, members on the governing board that just about every large-scale retail-development project that Rocklin bickered over, went directly over to Roseville:

Roseville Auto Mall, Roseville Galleria Mall, Costco, 2 Home Depots, 1 Lowe’s.

And Rocklin has primarily based the complete funding of its fire and police departments on sales tax!

During the decade-long subprime spending spree in Rocklin, the main drag through town was nicknamed Toy Row. The For Lease/For Rent signs vanished about four years ago. Those symbols of a recession are making a comeback, although the quality of the commercial tenants by the year 2019 had not risen to the top tier of the elite businesses that had built the modern Rocklin, a decade earlier. Boot Barn has replaced Harley Davidson. You be the judge.

Toy Row ain’t Skid Row. That fate was a possibility throughout the Great Recession. During my years of writing THE DAWN and THE GHOST, I frequently took long, 2-mile walks there. (Whilst writing my volumes of poetry, I walked, and hiked, the hilly, unstructured, more hope-filled country roads near my home.)

My trek would begin at the start of Toy Row, where acres of oak trees, amidst wide open grassy fields, inspired me. I’d foot-motor onward, past the vast concrete sales expanses of Tesla, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and the San Ramon Boat Center. The shops, services, and small businesses that filled in the tilt-up stores, in-between those big corporate sellers, were, year after year after year, emptied of employees and merchandise. The boat center is long gone, but Camping World is still there, on Toy Row, smaller in scope and specializing in the sale of used, not new, campers.

Oh, and Target has joined that row of Corporate Blobs in Rocklin.

Small businesses, even in Placer County, have fled the Golden State that now floats on the oily waters of Corporate Taxes. Those globalist globs have also begun to escape the Newsomville now known as California. Any CA business, over a certain size, is supposed to file an Exit Form with the official State Bean-Counters.

My guess is that fewer and fewer “under-capitalized” free-enterprise escapees bother to do so, thereby adding to the fictitious financial figures for those equally fictitious (DBA) business names.

I won’t discuss the oppressive sight of the onslaught of Foreclosed-For-Sale houses that lined, for an entire decade, the feeder streets of the adjoining neighborhoods. I will mention the sudden emergence of Goodwill Stores and State of California (taxpayer) fed eco-toy-stores, hyping the end of The Planet to children whose parents were out of work.

It’s the Science, stupid.

That socialist model tries to keep the government gig going, for as long as possible, for those lazy malicious idiots, through whatever it takes — of the generational transfer of tax-confiscated money (“contributions”) and the, by now, genetic gifts of Societal Despair and The Official Stupidity. That stinking local public sump pump is small, though; it’s for the piker Progs. From what I’ve seen lately of the Corporate Welfare CEOS, The Stupidity is ginormous; and it’s well-paid by the Feds, whose laws do not constitutionally trump State laws, and the powers reserved to the States.

My countless hours of walking that swath of retailers, flanked, at that time, by undeveloped, open fields, formed an unforgettable experience. As I marched with determined vigor, I felt increasingly dragged down, emotionally, by a sense of doom-and-gloom. By late 2016, I’d changed the location of my outdoor exercise, and made a return to Loomis Basin Community Park South, home of horses and allergens.

For too brief a time, there had been a respite from the steep decline in this part of Placer County. The placement of a Trader Joe’s in Rocklin might be the start of something big. Or the start of big plans gone bust because they were built on sinking sand.

I’ve read, laughingly, that if a prospective marketer needs to determine the political leanings of His Targeted Merchandise, he must, depending on the size of the region, count the number of Trader Joe’s, or Cracker Barrels, in that zip code. This formula might not cashier here for that demographer. There’s a newly opened Cracker Barrel, right across the freeway, from Trader Joe’s. A political detente may be underway, but I think the Bay Area traffic that whizzes to this part of the county to pit-stop-and-eat, (on the way to and from Lake Tahoe) better explains the commercial attempt at Co-existence.

I’m in the know on the merchandising for the locals and for the peddling to the San Fran elitists. The Produce Store in Newcastle started out in 2000 for the locals, and ended up only for the Bay Area travelers.

For those in the gnocchi-know, Trader Joe’s started out as the cut-rate version of Trader Vic’s, which is a notoriously expensive ristorante in Beverly Hills. Amazingly enough, Vic is still in business, all over the world!

And Trader Joe’s is home to such exclusive brands of cheap wine as Charles Shaw. This bargain basement Gallo-wanna-be is nicknamed Two-Buck Chuck, originally priced at $1.99 a bottle. The trying times in California have boosted the price per bottle to $2.49. (Now $3.49 in May 2024!)

Area 51 begins to look normal once one contemplates the unrealities of persons who cling to their cookie butter, kale gnocchi, vintage spiced ale, and 2-Buck Chuck. I am sure the Everything Croissant Rolls are that special blend of French meets American meets Snobby Californian!

I am not a vintage car snob, collector or aficionada, but The Milligan Household now owns a vintage 1966 Ford F-100; a vintage 2005 Cadillac CTS; and a vintage 2013 Ford Edge. We need a new vehicle!

I hope to meet my Big Bend Bronco, in person, sometime in the New Year. Dear Hubby and I have progressed from the Reservation Phase in March 2021 (when the Chip Crisis was new) to the Order 2021 Phase, which never happened. We have just entered the phase of Re-Order the 2022 Ford Bronco.

That long-awaited, years-awaited, day may, or may not, occur.

Some Local Dealerships have indicated that Ford allegedly changed the way that it allocates Broncos to certain dealers, meaning some people could be waiting years for their new 4x4.

The prospective purchasers of The New Ford Bronco are vehemently enraged, outraged, and ranting away, in force, on the Bronco forums. Bronco Nation might be adopting a new 3-letter chant, a terse message that, for at least a month now, has been saying it all, in America, and around the world, regarding the Guilty Party of the bloody mess of Fill-in-the-Blank.

Me, I have moved on, this very night, from those depressing eternal-recessionary walks on Toy Row — to watching Toy Story, the 1995 Pixar production that becomes more politically incorrect by the digital minute!


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