I am not one for writing about political or social movements as I am not a participant in either these days and my management mantra during a modestly successful career as a non-profit administrator was to never talk politics, religion or football. When you rely on the good faith of donors to power your financial engine, it pays to avoid controversy. That mindset helped to keep me occupied with a lengthy probation period known as gainful employment.
These days if I adhere to this old standard, even though I am now retired, it doesn’t leave you much to write about since observance of the current guidelines for social distancing and self-quarantine keep you from having anything else of substance to talk about. Hence the fact that I can work in isolation in a shop, where I am operating pneumatic tools to grind the decades of rust and grime from the parts of my father’s 1963 Chevy pickup does give me a topic to write about. I also like to provide some photographic evidence of our progress.
When doing this work I do wear a mask. Not that I fear contacting the Covid-19 virus from a car body. But the amount of dust and dirt floating freely off of the crimped wire-wheel attachment of my drill motor could still have a serious and negative impact on my septuagenarian lungs. And who needs an underlying medical condition these days? Things could get worse.
The area of the truck which has received the greatest amount of my attention is the now empty engine compartment. The motor was pulled and completely disassembled, thanks to the mechanical knowledge of my cohort, Dave Lee. The block is in the possession of another mechanic, who cleaned it in preparation for boring the cylinders. Other work of a technical nature beyond my understanding will also be done. I’ll know the details later when I get the bill.
In the meantime I am worrying the metal components needing the type of cleaning I can do. Besides the mask, which keeps me in compliance with the pandemic guidelines, I am faithfully using ear and eye protection. The particulates grinding makes come with their own ability to inflict damage to the human body. I have already been stabbed a few times by small wires breaking free of the fast spinning wheel.
Life is good, though. The work keeps me occupied and focused on a worthy task. Otherwise I might be likely to generate my own protest against some form of discrimination by some currently unidentified culprit. Give me time to think about it and I will find something to complain about and someone to blame. Fortunately restoring a family heirloom is the antidote of the moment. Hopefully the restrictions imposed by an unseen virus will abate before the final steps in the truck’s return to glory are complete.
A road trip will be in order when that day comes. To fulfill my dream, it would entail the freedom to pursue a destination of my own choosing with the love of my life once again beside me in a physical proximity only a bench seat can provide. I will need to work on my technique for letting my hand casually slip off its hold on the gear shift knob and onto a waiting, compliant knee. The thought of such a moment is the substance of which dreams are made.