No ordinary neighborhood event would have warranted inclusion in Norman Mailer’s meditation Of a Fire on the Moon. But Daniel Banko had nothing ordinary in mind in 1969 when, at the suggestion of Jack Kearney, he decided to bury a “dead” Ford sedan in his own back yard. Three hundred people attended the well-lubricated happening, led by Heaton Vorse, on the banjo, and Victor Manso, reading from Virgil in Latin. Even with a backhoe, a sedan-sized pit proved impossible to dig, so the Ford was pushed in backwards and allowed to settle. Mailer: “A child reached in through the open window and turned a switch. The windshield wipers went on in a flick. ‘My God, it’s not dead yet,’ said a voice. But as if in a throe of its last effluents, the washers began to squirt a final lymph.” The half-buried car remained until 1995, Daniel Towler said, when it was “yanked out of its grave and scrapped.”
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