Chevy Chronicles: Part 5

If virtuosity is a word can virtuality become one too? The reason I ask is that these days, for me at least, all activities seem to be virtual. This past weekend I participated in a virtual conference thanks to the technology available to us now, allowing us to dress appropriately from the waist up and talk to other talking heads similarly attired. It is the new business dress code for a new business mode of operation.

The virtuosity in my life is the one activity I can engage in, which requires physical presence. It is my continued grinding on the metal components of the ’63 Chevy pickup undergoing a much needed transformation. No computer can do this work for me. And that’s okay with me. The truck is a priceless family heirloom my father purchased new. It remained idle after his death, enduring the harsh but dry conditions of the northern California climate near Redding. It now resides in Wisconsin, inside a shop building and is being stripped of old paint and surface rust on its ways to looking like and running as good as new.

With the engine removed and undergoing repair in a professional shop, the B-team (which is me) attacked the engine compartment with grinding wheel in hand. A younger enthusiast would have found this task dull, perhaps, but easily accomplished with convenient access to the right tools. The tools at hand are the right ones for the job. It’s just that the one wielding them is not. Too many years and too many injuries to back, shoulders, hands and knees means the task requires as many breaks in the action as I can possibly justify. It helps to bring a full thermos of coffee to the job site along with a thirst for caffeine to provide that justification.

No fear. The grinding on this part of the truck’s anatomy is complete. A coat of black primer has been applied as a visible indicator of progress. More grinding is underway. Now I am focused on what is external. Much more coffee will be needed as my virtuosity with the grinding wheel will defy the law of virtuality in other aspects of my life. The dress code, though, is to my liking; jeans, ragged tee shirt and work boots. It is the tinkering man’s appropriate attire.

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