Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who can turn The World on with a Smile?

Our title this week is brought to you by the Mary Tyler Moore marathon that assisted my work in the TR6 room this weekend. It’s getting hard to find good television these days.

Right now in Calgary, AB it is a whopping minus 35 degrees Celsius. For you Americanos that’s about the same - minus 31 in Fahrenheit. It’s damn cold. Since the end of January I’ve been waiting in vain for some consistent warm weather so I could pull the engine on the 1964 Dodge 330. I thought this weekend would be as close as I could get and I was right.

We are in the midst of showing our house to sell right now. Our trusty real estate agent, Gordo, was hot-to-trot to host an open house this weekend so it seemed perfect for me to make a run to Red Deer and get some work done.

Out early Saturday morning and all was great until I hit Highway. At the halfway mark I was down to a one lane goat trail. I imagine if I had left later in the day I would have had real problems.

Although snowing and windy the shop was relatively good protection. I could feel the cold and hear the wind but I didn’t let it slow me down as I had the “Leaning Tower of Power’ out of the 330 before noon Saturday morning. If you need to install or remove a Slant Six engine I’m your man – I have it down to an art form.

I realize how confusing some of you must find the Belvedere story line. The Belvedere has inexplicably weaved its way into this blog like the injection of an ethnic character into a floundering sitcom halfway through season two. It might only make sense to me but that’s ultimately what’s important.

My dad is dead and has been for over two years now. A lot of things that once were important because he was here are no longer important. I’ve only recently realized that and said it out loud. I invested a lot of time and money in 2008 and 2009 not being aware of and/or coming to terms with what to do with those feelings.

Before we buried my father’s ashes under his 100 year Blue Spruce at the ranch, his ashes resided on a shelf in my mother’s closet. Below that shelf on another shelf were his glasses and his cell phone. The cell phone is now no longer there and I don’t know how long my mother will keep his glasses there but someday they will be gone also.

I wear glasses and I carry my cell phone with me everyday. They are beside my bed at night and the first things I grab when I wake up. It’s strange to me that these things that were important to him are not important to anyone anymore. They have ceased to have meaning.

By extension there are things that were important to us; that is, important to both me and him. If he is dead I guess I carry the burden of these things still being important. They are now only important to me. I really mean that – these things are still important to me. Seeing that engine run, recouping the time, money and effort that went into 330 is important to me and… maybe now - only me.

I don’t want anyone to read this blog with rose-colored glasses. I know it looks to be otherwise but about half the time my dad and I didn’t get along. There were a lot of things we didn’t see eye to eye on and sometimes we picked on each other. It’s important for me to remember that about him and me – keeps him human and strangely tangible.

I know I was a hard kid to raise and I wrecked a lot of stuff. If you’ve read this for awhile you’ve seen glimpses of my recklessness in the trip to KC and other times in this blog. It may be hard to believe but I have settled down a lot since my youth. It fell on dad to “fix stuff” a lot of the time when I screwed things up.

In particularly the accident with the 330 all fell on his shoulders. Not that he ever let me forget it.

This was also the last car we worked on before I left home at eighteen. It may have even been what we were arguing about when he threw a 9/16 Snap-On wrench at my head (and missed) -which as the inciting incident that caused me to come to conclusion at eighteen that it might be time to move on down the road. Our relationship became a lot more civil after I moved out.

That’ll be a nice little piece of history to drive again.

In TR6 news I’ve saved the best for last. Talked to Tony the body-man and he said I can drop off the car at his shop (and move it right inside) on the weekend of the 19th. The car is going in for PAINT!!!!!!!!

That brings me to the point that I have got very little done with regard to removing the windshield, door handles and all the other stuff to get it ready. I’ve wanted to get work done on the 330 and the TR6 just looked sooooooo good sitting there all together. I couldn’t bring myself to tearing it down.

That’s this weekend. Among other appointments in Red Deer I’m going to have to squeeze some time for the car. I work best with a deadline and now I have one.

Stay tuned…

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