My Husband Said, "We Need To Talk. ..."

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I had just walked in the door from work and was caught completely off-guard. We had just moved into a new home with a 3-car garage, which should have been a clue as to what was coming.

"You know how I've been talking about restoring an old car?" I breathed easier -- at least it didn't involve lawyers and court documents!

"I have the opportunity to buy Steve Brown's '57 Chevy Bel Air. It needs some work." I'm ecstatic! He's not leaving me! Little did I know... "leaving" is a relative term.

"But I need $900 to buy it. Don't worry -- I'll do the repairs myself."

Snap! The hook was set and all he had to do was reel me in!

At the time I thought, what a nice little hobby for him. This will keep him occupied during his off hours from law enforcement. Can YOU spell "naive"?

The first impact of this "little hobby" occurred when he towed the car home -- yes, TOWED and I use the term "car" very loosely. It was a strange black and copper color -- on a '57 Chevy, remember! -- with no front seat. Actually, it had a front seat, but it was lying on top of the BACK seat.

The second impact came a few months later when, upon returning home from work, I popped open the garage door on my bay -- to discover 33,000 pieces of CAR all over the floor! That elicited my one and only scream. Thus began my intimate relationship with Danchuk's and their catalog.

Over the course of the following year, the car was put back together, body puttied, primered and painted. We spent one Sunday touring car dealerships looking for that one perfect shade of maroon -- and found "Garnet Pearl" (Toyota). We debated putting the "fins" back on because the car looked kind of cool without that big expanse of silver. But "stock" won out over "jazzy" and we're glad we did. The crowning glory, though, was the upholstery on the seats that were finally in place -- pale grey and cranberry tuck and roll.

Over the past several years, after getting involved with car clubs and joining that exclusive group known as classic car aficionados, this "little hobby" has taken on a life of its own. And it is one we both thoroughly enjoy. The stares from people as we drive the '57, the "thumbs up" signs we get, and the nods of appreciation give us such a feeling of pride. It's something all car buffs share.

And I've met the nicest people! Kevin, who delivers for FedEx; Bob, the UPS driver; and our postal person, Janie. Janie recently rang our doorbell and handed me a very large parcel.

"Ooooh," I said, "it's like Christmas!"

"Don't get too excited," said Janie. "It's from JC Whitney... it's for HIM!"

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