Sunday, April 26, 2009

Family Weekend

Okay, this weekend I had to attend to some family matters on Vancouver Island, which is a two-hour ferry ride west of the city of Vancouver. Of course, Victoria the J Van is an hour's drive east of Vancouver. Thus, I didn't get a lot of "hands on" this weekend. That said, I did do a little J Van related research. Long-time readers of this blog will remember how I narrowly missed buying "Duncan" (Canada's oldest J Van) from Steve H last summer. Well, "Duncan" still hasn't made the pilgrimmage from Vancouver Island to Vancouver the city and his new owner Steve D yet, so this weekend I made the trip so see "Duncan" at his former owner's place and maybe take a few pictures (some of the more interesting ones posted here). I did that yesterday. Now, I can say this without regret: I thank whatever gods may be that I did not succeed in buying Duncan. Although complete, it's an even worse basket case on close examination than Victoria is. I looked through the front grille to see if the chassis plate could be seen. Not only could I not see the chassis plate, but the top valance appeared rusted away. I went to take some measures of the superstructure and it too is all rusted away. I look forward to Duncan coming over to the mainland (Steve H said this would happen in June) because I need "him" to makes some measures, but bringing him to life is going to be a challenge.

After leaving Duncan, I drove down the road and ended up at a shop that is normally closed when I'm visiting. Called "Rainforest Woodies" (, it's a custom street rod/muscle car outfit that specializes in the design of Phantom Woodies. Now I'm definitely not a muscle car guy, and I'm only an old school kind of hot rod guy, but a Woody of any kind gets my attention (okay, stop the jokes). As I explained earlier, I'm really a woodworking guy at heart. In any event, the guy at the shop was named Rich. I told rich about my project and he showed me his whole shop, which was very extensive. I hadn't considered bring any of my "Victoria" metalwork needs over to the Island, but given that I have to come here in any event, I have started to reconsider. In the end, I walked away from "Rainforest Woodies" with a familiar thought -- namely jealously; here was another person doing the thing they loved doing and working for himself. I'd like to do that, except that I'm especially good at nothing Over the next two days I visited with my wife's parents and, it being springtime, I bought my baby a shovel and pale and took her to the beach for the first time.

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