Sunday, February 27, 2011

Young Wins Antique Car Award With Grandpa's Car

Reprint of a story run in the Monroe County Advocate and Democrat February 27, 2011

Young Wins Antique Car Award With Grandpa's Car

Not being able to see over the steering wheel or reach the
gas pedal didn't stop him from traveling the world in
Grandpa's 1934 Plymouth. Brrruumm-brruumm.

Truth be told, the car had seen the last of its real-world
adventures when the engine died and Grandpa parked it
in the garage with all the other items that he may fix-up
or need someday. In 1965, when Grandpa died, Charlie's
grandma promised she'd save the car for Charlie.
Grandma moved the car to a covered lean-to.

In 1978, Charlie went to claim this piece of Grandpa that
he had always cherished. Snow and rain had fallen,
eroding the roof of the lean-to and funneling onto
Grandpa's car. Bit by bit the rain and snow had eaten
through the Plymouth's roof. Charlie's beloved touring
machine was rusted all the way through the floorboards.

Saddened, but determined to restore this beloved part of
his grandpa, Charlie lovingly loaded Grandpa's car onto a
trailer and hauled it from Rhode Island to his home in

Nine years passed before Charlie had time to photograph
and dismantle his childhood touring machine. He moved
several times; wherever he moved, the chassis and bags
and boxes of car parts moved with him.

Retiring to Coker Creek, Charlie spent untold hours
researching, installing, tweaking, and polishing. He
became an Antique Automobile Club of America judge to
better understand what was required to become a
champion. He and his wife Deborah traveled thousands of
miles participating in AACA classic car shows and swap

Working his way up the rankings in the Antique
Automobile Club of America, in 2006, Grandpa's car
earned First Place Junior ranking. Last year brought Senior
rank. Each show was followed by more research, spit,
polish, and sweat to bring Grandpa's car to as-new

On Friday, March 14, in Melbourne, Fla., Charlie Young
and his '34 Plymouth took the gold in the Olympics of
classic car restoration, Grand National status. Charlie
says, "My only regret is that I didn't find out about
Grandpa giving me the car before it was in such bad
shape - and that Grandpa didn't leave me about
$100,000 with the car."

The Pain of Losing a Partner

Who is there to hold our hands and let us wail in pain?
Who is there to pick us up until we can walk again?
Who will manage our friends in their attempts to take over?
Who will tell the world at large to take our grief a little slower?

We cannot all get over it when we have lost our mates,
In a true partnership, where there are so many states
Of our live's necessities, in which we shared the load.
How can we function alone when we, on two axles, rode?

If only we had wailing walls where we could place requests
For one to take the place of our mates in decisions about what is best,
For the future which we must continue to face without half of ourselves,
For a replacement for the arms that, by once, we were so tenderly held.

I was blessed by reprieves when I thought my loves would die;
I have often thanked My Maker, no matter the reason why.
I do know how desperately we hunger for human touch
When faced with losing a part of ourselves that we have loved so much.

How is it that we can continue to go on with our own lives
Without the earthly unity for which each of us strives?
When we've had it and lost it, how can we not long
For an end to our earthly brokenness. How can this be wrong?

Even those who believe that God waits for their return,
For the physical presence of their loved ones still burn.
Shouldn't there be a way for us to embrace Eternity
Without having to feel the pain of losing a part of me?

Re-Creating Responsibility

The hardest thing a woman could do was let her children fly alone;
Being absolutely sure that they'd never again return home.
Watching these children parent and partner is an indication to me
That there may be something more that our society could not see.

Women weren't fully functional, except as an extension of the man;
This included the nurturing of men and children, in the Eternal plan.
When women become frail, there was often nothing but rejection;
To whom should they turn for fellowship and protection?

To have no separate identity but what is reflected in others,
Was the accepted norm for all women, especially for mothers.
Much was wrong with this, that woman wasn't completely formed,
But this was the accepted philosophy, our past society's norm.

Who would rise up and speak for all of those mothers
That had been told to keep silent in respect for others?
What was to become of women, once they let go of their children?
They were still unprotected from the callousness of men.

Many did not wish their daughters to have all the responsibility,
But husbands and fathers were not brought up to, caretakers, be.
What was to become of the women and daughters of our nations
Unless the fathers and the lovers sought their own re-creation?

There are many men today, though they may be relatively few,
Who, when their women are weary, know just what to do.
They have learned by truly becoming one with her soul,
Fulfilling the unmet needs that keep their union whole.