I'm going to be a grandfather for the first time. My daughter and her husband are starting a family and I couldn't be prouder. Sometime in April there will be a new Mouseketeer. Although my daughter is 30 years old I find I have to remind myself that she is a grown woman, with a successful business, good marriage and lovely home. And now. . . she's soon to be a mom!
I think as we age nostalgia is a necessity. There are some people who just don't care about the past; maybe it was forgettable, uneventful, painful. . .who knows. I think most of us do wax in that direction on occasion. Me, I just bought a time machine, a 1974 Camaro, some call it the ugly one. I've had over 30 of them since 1980.
My first one was a ’74 (except for the wheels it looked like this one); life and a jerky brother-in-law laid it to rest. I remember every inch of it. The crushed velvet headliner, the dead paint on the trunk and hood. It carried me through senior year and beyond. Lots of fun in that one. . .some things left unspoken and some, the statute of limitations may still not have passed.
I found my latest acquisition on eBay a few months ago but did nothing about it. When I saw it listed this final time, it had a ridiculously low starting bid. I figured the thing would sell now, with no reserve and a couple days left on the auction, but I threw out a bid and waited to see what happened. The auction was due to end midnight Friday. I checked Friday evening and I was still the only bidder so I was hopeful. At 11:30 pm Friday I got a notice I was out bid. Ah well, easy come easy go. I went off to bed and thought nothing more of it.
Saturday morning I am up at 5:00 am heading to the shop. I check mail on my phone and see one that says I won the car. I thought eBay was really screwed up and lately it has slid. I put the phone away and thought nothing more about it. I get to the shop and get the day started, check email again and there is another one from eBay asking me to pay for the car. Sure enough I take a look. . . the last bid was retracted and I was the new owner of a ‘74 Camaro. . .cheeeaaap! I got a shipper lined up (for more than half of what I paid for the car itself).
Once it got here (36 years to the day since I got the first one), I looked it over and felt kind of bad. I stole that mofo. I mean straight and solid metal, all the trim was good. Interior was typical second generation Camaro. . .crappy; new engine, transmission and rear end. Tires were shot and it was in primer. So far I’ve ordered a bunch of stuff and it is getting a good cleaning and will soon be transporting me back in time, to the ne'er-do-well days of 1980.
It's contagious; my oldest friend Bob stops by a week ago in a new Jeep. Seems that the nostalgia bug had bitten him too. . . bitchin’. Whatever it takes to make it through is fine with me. At least with this, there's something to show for the investment and it can always be sold.
I'm going to get a little grumpy here, kind of. I'm not sure if it is the election campaigns, change of seasons or what, but people are really starting to get on my nerves. I mean easily. I was at King Chassis today checking in on the Hippo and feeding the fox. Brian made a comment about Tom Jobe quotes from Bill Pitts Surfers series on the Facebook group. The best one had to do with learning things. I'll paraphrase, “When you want to know something, pick up a book. Everything you need to know is in a book." He's right of course, he's Tom Jobe.
Strap in because this is where the ride starts to jump the curb. If you need to know formulae, equations, compounds and chemistry, it's in a book. You read it until you get it and apply it in whatever means necessary to accomplish your mission. I hear too many people talk about how stupid kids are today. Let me tell you, it’s not just the kids. Plenty of adults are as dumb as a box of rocks, as exemplified daily on social media.
I have read some of the most farfetched, impossible, half-witted, hair-brained comments known to mortal man on Facebook. From politics, to mechanical matters, medical myths and anything about Jungle Jim you can imagine. Where do people come up with this stuff? I suppose half is a guess, dream, or 7th hand account their brother's best friend's uncle’s girlfriend’s cousin told them. A quarter is from some know-it-all who swears they are an authority because they read it somewhere. The remainder just made it up and are counting on you being as or more clueless than they are. 90% of these bozos can be shut down, if by nothing else than researching what they say and then. . .hang on. . .read about it. I guess that is asking too much.
Another plentiful annoyance lately is dishonest people. Some are new arrivals and are easily schooled, due to their freshness. Some are hardcore crooks and liars. The best one has happened lately and just happens to include yours truly. I had one of the funny cars for sale, unofficially. Word got around to key people, who know key people. In other words, it was out there and these people could find interested parties and keep it mum in the process. Well, the seller I bought it from, not known for his acute honesty, hears about it. He had told me a time or two if I sold it he wanted first shot at it. This fella has a tendency to think what he says doesn't get around. Well, it does.
Through the course of daily events word gets back to me that he is getting a little chatty. I'm told, " Hey, I was talking to Styles Bitchley and he says,' Did you hear Ed was trying to sell that car as Clutch MiCargo's car?!" The other half of the conversation goes this way. "Yeah, the one you sold him and had for sale as Clutch MiCargo's car?" Apparently, some people believe their own lies or their lack of knowledge gets the best of them and they make things up, an all too common tale in this collectable car game. But he comes from a pre-internet group that I have mentioned before; the guys who didn't have to worry about the facts.
Only problem is time has made them have to change their tune and be accountable and some aren't doing such a good job. I could write a book about some guys I know who at one time or another had their hands on a majority of the old racers floating around out there. A good 50% of them were outright frauds and half the other ones were questionable. At least now the internet has created the possibility of finding the most obscure info highly likely and within days or even hours.
On a more positive note, the Hippo is making great progress and will be back on its wheels soon, in the hands of the more than capable Brian Fox. Looking forward, there could be some developments that make its completion the utmost priority.
Stay tuned. In less than 3 weeks, Famoso, here we come. With this being the 25th annual, I am looking forward to a memorable event. All the cackle cars, restored machines, a little racing and a lot of friends from all over the planet. Always a good time and if you can make it, you should. If not, plan to do so soon. If you love the history of our sport and the characters that made it happen, this is a must.
Till next time. . .keep the pink parts dry and grease Weaser.
NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD - By Eddie Buck; Photos courtesy of EB