The phrase “Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse” often gets attributed to James Dean. That’s what I actually thought until I Googled it to check. Turns out that it was Bo Derek’s husband, John Derek, who delivered the line in the film ‘Knock Any Door’. He may not have said it, but I guess at least he lived out the philosophy, crashing his ‘Little Bastard’ Porsche 550 on a California highway at the age of just 24.
It’s all very well being a Rebel without a Cause, but 24 is just too young to go. James had introduced himself to British actor Alec Guinness (Obi Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars) in Hollywood a week before he died and asked him to take a look at the car in question. Guinness thought the car appeared “sinister”, saying “If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week.” Maybe the force WAS with him, right?
It’s a poignant consideration, both with our ‘future’ theme in mind and as I’m about to embark on our tenth Galleryrally, the annual Gallery ‘fundraising adventure’. It’s our tenth event and we’re heading back to Monaco, the destination for our first rally back in 2008. It is fantastic that we’re able to use our shoestring budget to create an event that has raised over quarter of a million pounds for local charities over ten years, but it’s also pretty amazing to think that we’ve been doing it for decade; that’s almost half James Dean’s lifespan.
Fortunately the emphasis of the event is on challenges and seeing beautiful parts of Europe rather than Dean’s thirst for speed. This year’s event has been supported by CPA Global and Lexus, who are supplying us one of their new LC500 Hybrids to put through its eco-centric paces on our way down to the Riviera. I’d like to give a big thanks to Sandrine at Travel Counsellors for helping with our hotel bookings and MyMemory/Feel Unique for giving our ralliers a little something each for their packs. Look out for a write up next month.
Road trips are good for the soul and give you plenty of time to think. Our four day challenge is almost like a stopgap for our ralliers each year to reflect on where they are and what they’re doing in life. It’s the same for me; time to look to the future and make plans. I’ve not given mind to an exact philosophy but rather than go by Dean or Derek, I’ll go by (Ricky) Gervais, who surmised, “You know that old thing, live fast, die young? Not my way. Live fast, sure, live too bloody fast sometimes, but die young? Die old! That’s the way. Not orthodox. I don’t live by ‘the rules’ you know.” Like him or loathe him, he’s got a point. I’ve never really been one for the rules anyway and I want at least another James Dean life-span or two, even if I’m never quite sure what the future holds.