By CORY FARLEY
AW Senior Contributing Editor Cory FarleyIn my newish retirement from the newspaper business, I've been hosting a radio talk show. It passes the idle moments between hours of doing exactly as I please and provides coffee money (at a sub-Starbucks level) with less effort than, say, wearing an orange shirt and explaining to Home Depot customers why their two-by-four doesn't measure two inches by four inches.
Lately, I've been wondering whether America's celebrated love affair with the automobile could be dwindling. Gasoline prices knocked the industry in the head, and the flailing economy cleared out dealerships as if they were handing out free swine flu. I can't say I was sorry to see SUVs falter, but I'd have trouble getting used to humming around in something that sounded as if it was built to hem pants.
If that's happening, though, there's no evidence on KBZZ 1270 The Buzz. The other day, in a slow segment, I raised the question of whether there still were Ford people and Chevrolet people. You don't hear those descriptors much anymore, but I figured it would carry me to the news.
Well, didn't the phones catch fire! Not only are there still Ford and Chevy people, but there are also Mopar people indignant that they get no respect. A lot of them admit that they're driving Toyota Camrys now, but in their hearts, there's a Duster 340 with a rumpa-rumpa idle.
A few days later, I mentioned that I'd enjoyed my Fiats but had doubts that a Fiat-Chrysler hookup would save anybody's bacon. That led to nearly an hour of Fiat stories, almost agonizing in their sameness (