Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Something That Keeps Sweden From Being Dull in Its Wholesomeness:

The Raggare (pronounced ROG-are-ay). These folks are evidently dedicated to life in the 50’s. Not the 50’s in Sweden, however; the 50’s in the good ol’ US of A. The main display of this lifestyle is a vintage 50’s American car (or, if you can't find one of those, any vintage American car). In the summer, groups of Raggare occasionally get together and cruise for several hours through a predetermined small town. We happened to be privy to one of these cruises, on our anniversary in Härnösand, when by some fortuitous trick of fate we found ourselves seated by a window in a restaurant on one of the main corners of the cruising route.

I tell you, it was surreal. Classic American car after classic American car, all apparently in mint condition and polished to the nines, full of people (some in 50’s period dress), blasting music (mostly strange Swedish music, although some people did have sock-hop tunes blaring). Some cars were driven by men who would’ve been youths in the 50’s; others by folks younger than me. Some had whole families in them, some convertibles had screeching girls sitting on the back of the back seat. The cruising went on for several hours. We discussed whether or not the prudent Swedes had replaced the engines with modern, fuel efficient models . . . but probably not.

Expensive hobby, but certainly fun to watch.

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