I shot this after deciding I didn’t like what I had put together before. My first video had no story. No soul.
I know John Raiford – the subject of this video – through his son, also named John Raiford, though he’s not a junior. I met John working at Starbucks, and he introduced me to his father some time after that.
One of the first times I was at his house, Mr. Raiford took me to his garage to show me those two wonderful machines he has stored there.
One is a 1964 Chevrolet Impala, the other star of this video. He also owns a 1952 Chevrolet 3100. I might have enough footage of the ’52 to put together a second video. You’ll know why I chose the Impala if you watched the video.
It is a fantastic story. Talking to people, like Mr. Raiford or John Skinner from my earlier project, is the reason I really love what I’ve been doing. I get to meet people and chat with them about the cool things they do and own. In my experience, people are more than willing to talk and share if you can show them you care as much as they do. And I do care.
Unfortunately, whenever I went to shoot video, the vehicles wouldn’t start. Mr. Raiford said the batteries were probably dead. I was just disappointed that I couldn’t hear the rumble of a Chevy small-block.
This whole semester has been wonderful. I finally get to work on what I want to work on. I get to write stories about cars and meet people that I share a deep interest and connection with.
One of the hardest parts of shooting this video was keeping my damn mouth shut. I kept wanting to ask more and more questions, but it meant I would have to add another cut.
I had a really good time making this video. I actually went out and bought a camera this week, so there will be more to come soon enough.
I chose the song “Avalon Blues” by Mississippi John Hurt to bookend this video. The song is about Hurt’s move to New York City. As great as the new can be, Hurt still longs for the past home, Avalon, Miss. Mr. Raiford expressed a similar sentiment:
“I enjoy old cars. I enjoy just being around them. I’d rather drive a ’64 or a ’52 – if it’s in good shape – probably more than I would a new Corvette.”
So, I’ll admit this isn’t the best shot video. Moving around in Mr. Raiford’s garage was cumbersome, so most of the time I had the tripod in hand, balancing it when I could. That means there is a lot of camera shake, and for that I’m sorry.
Next time – and there will be a next time – the quality will improve. So will the one after that, so on and so forth. I promise I’ll master the use of a tripod at some point, or at least figure out a more stable camera setup. Maybe a helmet mount.
One day I hope to put together something as good as what Petrolicious puts together. These are two of my favorites. Both of these feature sons driving cars that once belonged to their father. I know how much it means to me when Dad lends me the keys to his car.