in his memory  

rm_titsandtires 51M/41F
2973 posts
11/15/2005 8:47 pm

Last Read:
1/14/2007 7:32 pm

in his memory

Mood: reflective

This week is the anniversary of the death of a former brother-in-law. This was 23 years ago. He was married to one of my sisters, and they had just gotten divorced. I was in basic training at the time, but it probably hurt me more than it hurt my sister.

I wasn't very open minded when I was 18. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I was closed minded. I thought I knew quite a bit. I didn't know squat. The easiest way for my family to deal with that (more specifically my parents) was to take everything I said with a grain of salt. I didn't feel like I was ever really taken seriously about most things. Don't get me wrong, my parents were good parents, still are, but I think that back then, they didn't give me guidance on some things so that they could avoid the conflict that may go along with it. They would just be satisfied to let me learn things the hard way.

But not my brother-in-law. He was actually more like a brother to me than an in-law. Looking back now, I realize that he was a busy person most of the time. But if I showed up at his door, even after my sister moved out, he'd stop what he was doing. He would make time for me. More importantly, he'd listen to me. I mean really listen. And he called me on my bullshit. That is, he wouldn't let me bullshit myself. And he made me feel like he was listening to me too. Not like I was an inconvenience. Looking back, I'm sure I was a time or two. I mean the guy worked close to 80 hours a week between a job and two other serious commitments.

He had one of the coolest cars I ever rode in. A '69 El Camino with a big-block, solid cam, M-22, 4:56 posi.... Super fast, sounded sweet. He was one of the reasons I became a gearhead myself. Not the kind that buys a Camaro, shoots it in rattle can gray primer, slaps a set of mags on it, bolts up the glass packs... that's redneck. He taught me the importance of building a clean, well tuned, good looking, and most importantly safe car. Finish it, and drive it with pride. He taught me that it can be a very rewarding and prestigious thing. To build a car, from the ground up. How to personalize it. How to drive it with respect for the road, the profession, the hobby, and the history of hot rodding.

When I was in the military, I had an El Camino that was very similar to his. I did a lot of work on it, almost finished it. My goal was to take it to his grave site so I could feel like his efforts that he put into me were worth something. It would have felt in a way for me like repayment of some sort. Not like he ever asked for it, but it would have provided a sense of closure for me.

Never happened. In '88, someone decided that most of the parts on the car would look better on their own than on mine, and it got stripped. They (the MP's) caught who did it. Turns out, it was the MP dispatcher's husband. She was able to keep the officers on patrol away from the car long enough for him to get what he wanted. But I was due to change post that next month, and was never able to finish the car.

I think about him once in awhile. I'd love to take my current ride by his grave, wherever that may be. I don't even know. I'm 2300 miles away. But I will share with you all a photo of this car. It's not the same as the closure I had envisioned 17 years ago, but it does feel good to at least do something... in his memory.


slidein2meplz 61F
1994 posts
11/15/2005 11:09 pm

good post Tires....I grew up in and around racing...I've spent many, many a time watching someone build a car or the course of my life. Plus having worked in dealerships for 26 years...I know a thing or 2 about 'em. I think you've done well to share his memory...and I am sorry for your loss. Cars/'s all good.

~~~ Just me, poppin to say HI! ~~

tillerbabe 55F

11/15/2005 11:34 pm

How very sweet of you. Thank you for sharing this with us....{=}

MamChelle 48F  
1443 posts
11/16/2005 12:00 am

AS i read this...i felt so touched..i grew up around a garage with 2 older cousins who instead of kicking out this precocoius and too sexually advanced gal..they taught me how to tape and sand and prep, and even let me do some detailing (on the cars) these guys kept me out of a lot of trouble..and in three will be ones death TY..I needed to be reminded..........and touched.

rm_titsandtires 51M/41F
3656 posts
11/16/2005 12:55 am

thank you ladies. he was truely a great guy. one of the good ones.


HardlyYours4Now 52M

11/16/2005 2:07 am

Billy Joel - Only the Good Die Young - is running through my head now. May not be the tribute you'd planned years ago, but I think you did him proud.

Looks like a nice ride.

saddletrampsk 54F

11/16/2005 6:25 am

Sorry for you loss..glad he is always in your heart.

silkysmoothlegs3 105F

11/16/2005 7:07 am

thanks for sharing babes

sometimes it helps

sending you hugs

love silky xxxx

cum2kissu2 52F
10792 posts
1/14/2007 7:07 pm

You made me weepy.


Become a member to create a blog