Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Miracle at the Roadside Attraction

In the panhandle of Texas is a town you've probably heard of called Amarillo. Just west of Amarillo, one day in 1974, this group of three art wonks called The Ant Farm half-buried 10 Cadillacs in a field. A very large, perfectly active agricultural field. Sticking up at an angle consistent with the Giza Pyramid, this row of fine American steel and rusted tail fins serves as some kind of ode to American engineering, mobility and Route 66. From I-40, it beckons and beguiles travelers, teasing them to make any sense of it. Why'd they put it there? Just 'cause. That's the only reason an American needs to do anything. May as well ask why we put a man on the moon. Just 'cause.

I have made this trip back and forth a dozen times and I swear I fall more and more in love with it every single time.

Paulina and I pulled up one day, armed with Krylon spray cans. We squeezed through the zig zag fence and made our way through the hard-packed, dried mud. We sprayed our names. We left our marks. And due to the wind, we got a face-full of Krylon. We choked and laughed.

Cadillac Ranch abounds with the sounds of giggles and laughter. Teeming with vitality. Young girls, young boys. Taking selfies. Crawling. Climbing. Crowing. Spraying messages on the weathered car bodies. Young couples in love, posing for photos. Spraying their initials in hearts to commemorate relationships that will be outlasted by this ageless monument. And here or there, stand a couple older folks, temporarily rejuvenated by the infectious energy of electric youth. Smiling. Taking it all in. Fountain of youth.

Eons from now, future societies will struggle to grasp what purpose this structure served, and conclude it was part of fertility rituals or sun worship, or try to measure the angles of constellations against it, much like they do with Stonehenge. Who built it?! What does it all mean!? What purpose does it serve!? Why?! Why?!

Joke's on them. It's just a bunch of old cars sticking out of an old cotton field.

And that's precisely why it works.

A lot of people say they don't believe in miracles. Go to the Cadillac Ranch and you'll see a transfiguration of some junk cars into a profoundly sacred experience. It might not be water into wine, but it's still a trans-substantiation of sorts.

I told you this story to really tell you something you already know. A pizzeria is more than just a shop that sells a widget. People breaking bread together is more than just fueling a body to supply nutrients. It's fellowship. It's friendship. It's love. It's community. It is greater than the sum of its parts.

Folks work in a pizza shop need to make a living. The operator needs to make a profit. And we at PMQ are honored to help you in these endeavors. But beyond the balance sheet, within the four walls of your establishment is really nothing less than the very fabric of life itself.

This holiday season, I want to thank you for letting me be part of your community, and express my deepest gratitude for the joys and rewards that come from the relationships built and grown over pizza.

Seasons greetings.