December 28, 2008

The 25th Silver Anniversary Corvette

The first time we saw the ’78 Corvette it was two-three years old. A friend owned it and he wanted to borrow my husband, Don’s, pickup truck for the weekend so he offered to let us drive the Vette while he had our truck. The car was up for sale and to this day Don claims he wasn’t in the market to buy a sports car but that’s what happened the following Monday.

That weekend we took the car on a mini vacation up along Lake Michigan. The weather was perfect T-top weather and the tourist towns along the way had their usual laid back ambience. We were used to running around in trucks so it was fun hopping in and out of the little silver car with the red interior. Every where we parked little kids came up to admire the car or they’d yell out things like “nice car” as we drove by. Unbeknownst to us Barbie, the famous doll, had the very same car and they were used to seeing those classy fender lines parked in front of her pink house.

From that first weekend until Don had his stroke in 2000 the Corvette was put in storage in the winter months and it was only driven in the summers when we were on the way to having fun. It was a true fair weather and sunshine car and it holds nothing but good memories of closeness and talking under the stars as we drove home late at night.

Today the car made another trip. It had been in storage all this time since the stroke and I finally was able to get the garage organized enough to get the Vette home. The guy from the towing service was wonderful. He reacted quickly to Don’s one word attempt to tell him about the open windows on the car. Since the car was already on the flat bed ready to go down the highway, I told Don it could wait until we got it home to put the charger on the car to get the windows up. But the towing guy said, “Your husband is worried about the air going through the car.” So he lower the car back down and got the windows up. At the house he worked hard and very careful to get the car placed in a very difficult situation that included an up hill turn to back the car into our smallest bay. The guy was worried about cracking cement, digging up the lawn and breaking sprinkler heads. I wasn’t in the least. Money could fix any damage he could do and this homecoming was long over due.

In the end, there was no damage and we were happy to give him a good tip for his caring attitude and expertise. I asked Don after he left if he thought we’d accidentally played the sympathy card because the man only charge for the actual tow and didn’t write up putting air in the tires or getting power to the windows. The minute the words were out of my mouth I knew the question was anything but moot. Don couldn’t say the words but the look on his face said that no one in their right mind would have sympathy for a guy with a classic Corvette sitting in the garage of his dreams that is attached to the new house of his dreams. Sometimes I think he forgets he’s a stroke survivor sitting in a wheelchair with a severe language disorder. Today, he was just one very happy guy with a piece of his history back.

Jean Riva ©


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