Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

What Do You Do With An Iconic Building When The Icon Fades?

Asside from the Harley's I drive a Hummer H2 (hey, I like vehicles that start with "H" for some reason).  I've owned three versions of the Hummer H2, ever since GM started putting them out back in 2002 -- all yellow.  My licsense plate is HMRBEAR.   I actually hadn't intended to get one but when they first came out Tony pandabuff suggested we go test drive one.  I fell in lust with it, and I bought the third one to be sold in the Seattle area by Hummer of Bellevue back in 2002.  I've traded them in every couple of years on new ones, and last December got a 2008 H2 - all from Hummer of Bellevue.  Back when GM first started the Hummer brand they had huge plans for it -- a number of models, and dealerships were required to build unique iconic buildings that looked something like a big army Quonsett Hut.  A number of dealers did, including the Bellevue one.  However with the huge spike in gas this past summer and the fading interest in big SUV's the brand has faded before it really got going, and there is talk that GM is going to discontinue the brand or sell it off.  I bought the last yellow H2 the dealer had in 08 -- in  model year 2009 they stopped making them in yellow.  Like I said, all three Hummers of mine have been yellow -- it's kind of turned into a trademark for me.  I wonder what I'll end up getting in a year or so if I trade this one in?

So I had to go over to the dealership today for an oil change and new wiper blades.  I was rather distressed to see when I pulled in that the dealership is now "Cadilac Hummer of Bellevue", and there was but one lonley H3 there, a "Cadilac" banner hung from the "H" in the Quonsett Hut, and the showroom that used to have H1, H2, and H3s in it was filled with Cadilacs! (despite the big Hummer paintings on the wall!).    My service guy was even somewhat unfamiliar with what needed to be done on this service since he "usually writes Cadilac orders only."  I'm not ammused, and there is something wrong about seing Caddy's in that building.  I have to wonder though what will happen to these iconic buildings when the icon goes away?  This year I noticed dealers in Las Vegas and Tampa had closed and their lots and buildings for sale. 

After getting the work done on the Hummer I had to head south to Renton and a board meeting for HOG.  As the day wore on though the sun burned the fog off and it became quite sunny in the early afternoon, so when the board meeting ended at 2, I headed home and called up Tony to see if he wanted to go for a quick ride.  As he had plans with his friend Scott for later it only ended up being a short ride, but he came over and we headed out -- him on his Ultra, me on the Nightster.  I love the little Nightster with it's high "ape hanger" handlebars, and low saddle.  It's got a 1200 cc engine in the lightest frame Harley makes so it's got tons of power and is a zippy fun little bike, especially in the curves.  I bought it to have in Olympia to ride when I have free nights during session in the spring, but have yet to get it down south to the condo garage. I have a touch of a cold coming on too so it probably wasn't the best thing to do, but I couldn't resist getting out on the bike. 
We rode about 25 miles down around Three Tree Point, a charming little beach community that I've always liked.  In case you are wondering, those little houses go for around $950K.  It sure felt good to be out in the sun -- with the heated gear keeping me warm, and the wind in my face.   As Tony had to go meet up with Scott he took off as we got back to West Seattle, but I decided to keep riding for a bit and went down to Alki beach for my favorite white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie before riding home.  I've got another HOG meeting tomorrow -- planning with the road captains for our 2009 riding season -- here's hoping I can actually ride to that tomorrow.  A winter weekend in January with two days to ride.  Can't beat that!

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