Give Up the Buggy’s Pace

That line in Portuguese in today’s Cloudburst poem appeared in a neighborhood magazine interview.

In the 1960s after GM opened up their factory here in SJC, they went into southern Minas Gerais state, just to the north of us, to recruit workers. Much, I guess, as factories in Detroit recruited people in the South.

It was a big move for the mineiros. Rural for urban, slow life for fast-paced work. But it represented great improvement in quality of life, with better salary and possibilities for health, education and recreation.

The move was expressed, so said the interviewee who came to SJC when he was 10, in the phrase,  largar a charrete e encarar o Chevette. Or, literally, “give up the buggy and face the Chevette.” At the time, the Chevette was the popular small car produced by GM in the SJC factory.

It’s a charming phrase and represents the challenge, the fear, the opportunity placed before those given the chance to work in the GM plant.

It serves to challenge us all to give up backward ways of thinking and doing in order to improve our lives, especially spiritually, and embrace the good change that the future holds.

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