Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Camaro

Greetings All:

It is Memorial Day weekend.  First and foremost, it is a time to honor those who have fallen in defense of our nation.  I will be publishing a poem I wrote and I hope you will appreciate reading it, as well as understand that I am, at best, a bar stool poet.

For tonight, I want to discuss something that has not been a part of my life for several years, my Camaro.  As it is Memorial Day weekend, it is also the unofficial start of summer.  Although we in Iowa have been under a deluge of rain (hard to believe we had a drought to deal with not too long ago), soon it will be warm.  A time to be outside and if you have a convertible, then by all means, drop that top.

I am fortunate enough to have such a car.  Back in "the day," it was something that I thoroughly  enjoyed driving.  However, time, kids, several moves and other aspects of "life" have a way of pushing it off the priority list.  Long story short, thanks to a good friend, I have been able to keep my car stored.  Truth be told, the thing is not even running.  As I type this it is at Gamber's service station, awaiting a review of just how bad the damage might be to it, how much it will cost to get it back on the road and so forth.

It is amusing, at least to me, to think that there was a time when I valued this car more than any other possession I had.  I kept it washed, parked in a safe place and it never saw snow.  Those days went away with the Clinton administration.  In fact, I am trying to find the boot for the convertible top and the faceplate for the stereo.  Again, these are casualties of several moves.  I am going to be an optimist that they will turn up and also that it will not break the bank to bring it back to life.  As I mentioned, it is at Gamber's Service Station, where mechanic and Camaro owner Gary Gamber will, I hope and trust, do his best to get it back on the road.  If not, then I will accept reality.  However, I do hope I can drive it again. 

True, there is something about the American muscle car.  Perhaps no other tangible thing defined the post-war, baby-boom era more clearly than cars.  And not just any cars, but those that rumbled when started and roared when moved.  I remember being in London in 1993 and my roommates and I heard the distinct sound of a 70s-era muscle car.  In a sea of affluence, of fast swimming Euro-flash cars, it was clear who was the shark.

Of course, one can argue that in a period of global warming, high gas costs and other concerns, a V-8 engine is a waste of resources.  That argument was likely raised during the OPEC oil embargo of the 1970s.  Fair enough.  Although I would respectfully submit that the genre of American sports/muscle cars is as much about culture as it is about horsepower.  It is a tribute to the ability of car makers to take a concept as vague as freedom and wrap it into something tangible that allows the practical exercise of the pursuit of happiness, if even for a brief trip to the ice cream parlor.  My days of driving fast are well over.  However, I do have to appreciate that when the pedal goes down, the needle on the speedometer goes up.  I also think speed and horsepower are examples of something bigger as alluded to above- the spirit of America.  In that light, I believe Caroll Shelby, the legendary car maker and crown prince of American muscle cars might have said it best:  " If a little is good, more is better, too much is just enough."  

I will keep you posted on its progress.  In the meantime, here is a photo of the car.

I know, it needs a bath.  All in good time, let's get it running first.

Have a great rest of your holiday weekend.  I would ask that tomorrow, in your own way, please take a moment to remember those who fell for our nation, thanks.

Be well my friends,

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