Monday, May 23, 2011

Rainy Weekend Work

Since the birth of Hayden I keep thinking back to ’79. Not that I remember the year of my birth but I can’t help but speculate.

My parents were living in the apartment in Edmonton – just off of Whyte Ave, my dad was selling real estate, my mother was typing term papers for university students and I was here – just here.

That’s the benchmark – I mean if not the benchmark then at least something I can hang my hat on. My parents had some strife coming towards them with various businesses and a rocky economy but there is something so simple about that.

Catching her in a moment of weakness Friday night I tricked Krista into watching “Dog Day Afternoon”. She didn’t make it to Sal getting a bullet in the temple but she held in there for quite a long time.

We have a love seat in the basement and a couch. God knows why but for most of the movie it was me, Krista, Hayden and the damn dog all squeezed onto that one love seat. My family all tucked into one love seat. This is as simple as this family is going to be. Things are only going to get more and more complex from here.

At thirty-two I can’t begin to fathom the dynamic of my mother and father in the summer of ’79. There is no path from the fall ’08 to there, let alone, from here to there. I’m not sure what I’m looking for in continuously thinking about it but it’s constantly on my mind. Maybe it’s the fact Hayden and I were born at the same time of year or that I have no memory of my father in the capacity I’m in now.

My dad lost his father in early December of ’78 – 22 years to the day I got run over by that train – if you can believe that. He admittedly wasn’t as close to his dad as my dad was to me and my sibs. I’ve been told that they were closer towards the end than they had been in earlier years – somehow I attribute that to my mother – although I have no tangible basis for that.

My Brother Neal’s daughter Kessie and my son Hayden are first girl and boy of the first generation of our family to have not known dad and that’s going to be strange. But maybe it’s just going to be strange for me or me and Neal.

I didn’t meet my grandfather; my father was biggest thing in my universe at the time of all of my childhood. I can’t honestly say that affected me at all and I’m not sure if it affected my father to not have his father around - especially early on. It must have.

I’m not sure my dad ever really reconciled what his relationship with his father was – he reflected on his father from time to time, over car trips, and spoke of him both reminiscently and critically. Unlike my father’s other favorite car-time subjects he didn’t ever have a nice and neat handle on his father – and their dynamic.

For a week that turned out to be a week in the second to last month of my father’s life I sat in his hospital room almost every day. I remember that we didn’t really talk much that week. I read, dad watched the Summer Olympics on television and dozed. I have to remind myself constantly that it never occurred to me at that point that he was dying – but there are so many questions I would ask him now if I had the chance. I wish we would have had the last big Bruce and Angy debate.

I’m not sure what the dynamic between Hayden and I will be. Right now the conversation is a little one sided. I hope like hell he likes cars, football, basketball and hanging out with his dad – but time will tell.

This all only relates to the TR6 in the way that it’s what I think about when I’m working on it – and this last week I spent a lot of time working on it.

On Friday I received a big box from The Roadster Factory. In it was the two front marker lights, the license plate lights, The finishing plate for below the front grill, the space-age plastic glove box (“space-age” always is better than “continuously-mouse-infested”), all the knobs for the heater, wipers and choke and last but not least the Union Jack decals for the rear quarters.

After three beers and “Dog Day Afternoon”, at around One AM Saturday morning, I got real brave and went to the garage and put the Union Jack decals on the car. They look perfect – if I do say so myself.

This passed weekend I also put the tail lights back together (thanks to a Mick at BMI), installed the license plate lamps, installed all the dash knobs, installed the front marker lamps, fit the glovebox by installing the toggle for the amp and the glove box bulb and, finally,buffed the front bumper and most of the back bumper. All and all I spent about 20 hours out in the garage over the last week and the car shows it. I’m very happy with where I’m at. I’m hoping I’m on schedule for late August shakedown drives – but that is a little cash-flow dependant.

This week I’m hoping to have the bumpers mounted and maybe even the tranny cover locked down.

Stay tuned…

Licence plate lights

New Marker Light

New Union Jack logo, Amber corner lamp and rest of lamps installed

Sat Radio Dongle - looks better than an antenna and it's removable

Ashtray Sat radio setup

Close up

Glove box with toggle and light installed

Amp fitted under passenger seat

Rear lights

Can see myself in the front bumper

12 volt power adapter mounted above passenger wheel well

Tranny cover in place (not mounted yet)

New heater knobs

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