Times are tough at the shop, and child labor has becomes necessary. Not really.
At the start of this new year, I'm reflective. Last year I discovered the origin of my van, and I actually found the name of the guy who sold it 64 year earlier. He lived near me. His name? Basil Plimley, the great grandson of one of the first auto dealers in British Columbia. I phoned Basil. His nurse answered and passed him the phone. He was in his late 80s. He was polite, but it was a difficult conversation.
Afterwards I made a small photo albums documenting all my van efforts. "I'll stop by his house one day and show it to him in person" -- that will make it easier to engage him, I said to myself. I mean to do it last Christmas, but it's hard to stop by a 90 year-old's house, invite yourself if, and start talking cars. Christmastime meant I could bring my daughters along, and that would make the intro less awkward, I thought. It never happened. This year, I meant to do it, and when I finally looked for his number online, I discovered something else. Basil had passed only a couple weeks after I had talked with him on the phone. He had a good life, but regret procrastinating. I would have like to see the look on his face when I showed him what I've done with the van. Reading his obituary made me regret it more.
Meanwhile, at the other end of a life, my friend's son has taken cars, and he was recently welcomed to the shop to see how you can melt steel, paint and do other cool things.
Paint will fly pretty soon.