20 Slides, 20 seconds each. Here’s the transcript:
1. Hello. My name is Darron Collins. I’m the president at College of the Atlantic. I’m a resident of MDI; husband to Karen; father to Maggie and Molly; master to my dog Lucy; and I’m hopelessly, pathetically in love with another woman named Scarlett. But let me clarify …
2. …my wife is only mildly disturbed by this because Scarlett is a 1985 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-60; with a straight six 2F engine, 3-inch Old Man Emu spring lift, 33-inch tires, and many other modifications.
3. Scarlett is actually more orange than Scarlett. But fading paint is just one issue – she has rust, dents, bumps, bruises and warts. But this patina adds to her charm as the second most beautiful woman in the world (after Karen, not Scarlett Johansson).
4. My love for Scarlett turns to unbridled lust when she’s used for what she was built for – adventure. She’s been the platform for adventures of all kinds. Scarlett is a bedrock of my recreation – or, what I prefer to call my re-creation.
5. Keeping this to the suggested PG rating, Scarlett is also a loving member of the Collins family; a complacent dog that can be climbed on without insult or retaliation; a brute than can pull you from the thickest mud and deepest snow; a bear that can carry the world on her back.
6. My family rolls their eyes at Scarlett and her blemishes and prefer the modern conveniences of mom’s car. That is, until a “friend that is a boy” in one of my daughter’s classes shows his own affection for Scarlett with a card like this.
7. Scarlett doesn’t fit in at the parties and ceremonies I attend in my role as president. Here she is at the Pot and Kettle Club, chumming with a fancy friend. The mocking crowds only make me love her that much stronger.
8. I love people. You’ve now learned that I love inanimate objects. It’s probably no surprise that I love institutions as well. There’s no institution I love more than the College of the Atlantic. I loved it as a student in the late 80s and early 90s and love it even more today. It’s a very special place.
9. I can ignore party-goers and, to a lesser extent, my family, but I must answer my COA colleagues who question my love for a vehicle who burns 11 miles per gallon on a good day, threatening polar bears and planetary ecology in one fell swoop.
10. As president, I’m supposed to represent the ethos of the organization. The faculty say “Hey Darron, the COA president should drive a smart car.’” I think it’s funny to say “Scarlett eats smart cars for breakfast” but I have more thoughtful explanations.
11. To the artists I speak of lines, curves and colors; Or I don’t speak at all – I just ask the artists to relish in aesthetic perfection. Lets take a minute to do that ourselves.
12. To the historian, I talk of the post World War recession in Japan and its effects on the development of the Land Cruiser. Here’s the original BJ20. I describe the role the Land Cruiser played in exploring six continents.
13. To the field biologist I warn of lesser vehicles. Never ever call a Land Cruiser a Jeep or, worse, a Land Rover. Only the Land Cruiser provides the biologist with access to the most inaccessible places for research.
14. In terms of energy, a Prius’ nickel battery is mined in Canada, shipped to China, and is a disposal nightmare. The car’ll last 100,000 miles and cost three bucks a mile to build with externalities. Scarlett’ll last forever, so with mileage approaching infinity, I think of her as free.
15. The only way Scarlett will last forever is through love and a forever relationship. Ours began when we hit a stalled car on the interstate going 65, top speed. I owe my life to her. I’m not sure I would’ve survived the wreck in a Prius.
16. I’m not much of a mechanic and was born with a strange block to the practice. The accident with Scarlett coaxed the craft from the deepest recess of my being. And the importance of craft is what I speak of most often to the COA faculty and the world.
17. Through Scarlett I’ve learned the harsh discipline of a hack saw and the patience of drying paint. Through Scarlett I bridge the gap between the theoretical and the applied; I teach the knowledge in the grip of a screw and the wisdom in steel.
18. It’s been four years since that crash and I’m only a slightly better mechanic. But I’m a more patient craftsman and I evangelize about the brilliance of men like these, true masters of craft. I now live by the tenet: if your hands aren’t dirty you’re probably wrong.
19. Scarlett reminds us the world’s a more complex place than it seems; that unraveling complexity requires the artist, humanist, and scientist in one being; that true knowledge comes through the use of brain and body together. These things define human ecology and the ethos of College of the Atlantic.
20. So, in fact, there’s no better vehicle for a COA president than Scarlett. I’ll never trade her for a Prius or Smart Car. But I may add Rose to my fleet, a stunning ’64 Land Cruiser FJ-45. What a physical and intellectual mountain to climb that will be. Thank you.