What is the point of buying and caring for the original crop-duster plane from North by Northwest if someone in the food chain (yourself or the guy you bought it from) decided to change the engine nose to a robin’s egg blue color and paint the wings a fresh shade of light amber? The original plane was a plain old brown crop-duster out of central casting so why prettify it?

Bill Knauz and his slightly prettified NxNW biplane.

The Real McCoy

I’ll tell you why. Because people like Bill Knauz, a respectable Lake Forest, Illinois, resident who bought the plane five years ago, don’t respect originality or artifact aesthetics or film culture. They may think they do but they don’t.

Which is what a lot of hinterland guys are like. They call themselves devoted collectors of the highest order but they can’t resist sprucing their up historical possessions a bit. You can’t take the original Citizen Kane wooden Rosebud sled and paint it purple and red — that’s vandalism. The mind-blower for me is that LakeForester.com’s Linda Blaser wrote a profile of Knauz and didn’t even mention the desecration. You can’t deal with hinterlanders. They don’t get it and they never will.