The Falcon Sanctuary

01 February 2008
12:06:37 GMT
I was a car guy most of my life. I became car aware pretty early. By the time I was eight or so I was making model distinctions. I blossomed into full scale car lust after I turned 10 and we moved to Adel.
I have vivid memories of sitting in study hall reading a story in CarToons about the travails of a drag strip owner with skimpy crowds. While talking with a friend he pointed to the grandstand and said, “Those are MT, and I don’t mean Mickey Thompson.” That was the first time I’d seen the initials MT associated with the name Mickey Thompson, a certified deity in my young car guy universe.
48 years later, I would complete the MT circle by learning a lot about his life and, to the extent they will ever be known, the details of his murder, from one of my friends and from Mickey’s son, Danny. I learned a lot of the story from Danny while I leaned against Mickey’s world land speed record car, an object of my life’s dreams that I never imagined I would ever see in person, much less examine in leisurely detail.
But life is like that. If you put a question out there, if there is a circle that is not closed, life, the universe, God, can and will answer it, as long as you remain open to it.

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4 thoughts on “The Falcon Sanctuary

  1. George Siede

    I loved your account of growing up in Adel and just for fun searched for the intersection of US 6 & US 169 in my GPS software program (it’s still listed as “US 6” in the latest version.

    Three additional intersections of highways 6/169 showed up in other states but only Adel gets a mention in classic American road literature.

    “A guy with a kind of toolshack on wheels, a truck full of tools that he drove standing up like a modern milkman, gave me a ride up the long hill, where I immediately got a ride from a farmer and his son heading out for Adel in Iowa. In this town, under a big elm tree near a gas station, I made the acquaintance of another hitchiker, a typical New Yorker, an Irishman who’d been driving a truck for the post office most of his work years and was now headed for a girl in Denver and a new life.” Jack Kerouac – On the Road: Chapter 3


  2. Melody

    When you started to describe him I had to smile. Your vision has not dulled over the years nor has it become distorted from false memories.

  3. George Siede

    Two references to the Ford Falcon in Argentina in a single day – who would have thought?

    I hesitate to mention this after your wonderful reminiscing of boyhood days and cars but apparently the Ford Falcon has a very dark history in Argentina.

    I am just reading in Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine” about The Ford Motor Company’s direct involvement with and support of the junta before and after the violent military coup in 1976 Argentina.

    Ford supplied the junta with green Falcon sedans used for thousands of kidnappings and disappearances and in return the junta provided Ford with a service of its own – ridding the assembly lines of troublesome trade unionists.

    A little searching on the web found this quote referenced in the book:

    “Whenever a Falcon drove by or slowed down, we all knew that there would be kidnappings, disappearances, torture or murder,” reflects renowned Argentine psychologist and playwright
    Eduardo “Tato” Pavlovsky in a recent article.
    “It was the symbolic expression of terror. A

    complete article here:

    On a lighter note (and lord knows we need it after that) there still is a continuing love affair with the Falcon in Argentina. Check out some great photos and test your high school Spanish here:

    The Abandonados y Interiores were quite good as was the Modelos del Falcon.


  4. Doug


    Sorry to hear about the death-mobiles. We’re out in the rural areas, so it’s different here than it is/was in BA.

    I haven’t seen any Army green Falcons, and only one that had been repainted. That was yesterday, a beautiful, cream station wagon.

    Out here, they are the opposite of what you described in BA. Out here, they are treated like family heirlooms – lovingly.

    RE: Jack K.
    His good times came to an end just west of Adel along U.S. Highway 6.

    Thanks for posting.

    Be well,