January 12, 2008

One fine day

A man's man. Corvette collector, pipe smoker, meat packing plant employee. John was 'the corvette guy'. He collected them. Quite a thing to collect, corvettes. His wife left him according to the neighborhood women's gossip I eavesdropped on because he loved his cars more than he loved her. I'll admit, as a young child, I loved seeing his '55 or '56 red and white convertible gliding up the street in the parades. I still couldn't grasp him loving his cars more than his wife. Years later I know there must have been other things, but I'm not here to talk about relationships today.

The backyard of his house, just down my ally turned into a monster garage over the course of a few weeks one summer. 6 cars fit in the shine to automative perfection. As I reflect back on that garage today, I wonder just how he got a building permit for such an ugly structure, but he stored his favorite babies in that garage. He had more than 20 other corvettes stashed away somewhere else.

There was a white birch tree perched in his front yard. A large beautiful tree that dominated the neighborhood with it's unique look. White bark gleaming in the evenings when we'd sit outside and watch the sun go to bed for the night. I'd often smell John before I'd see him on those nights. He had a routine of walking the neighborhood sidewalk with his pipe. You could smell the perfect scent of pipe tobacco from a few hundred yards away. A distinct masculine smell that went with his rugged good looks and 70's mustache.


At 3:16 PM, Blogger Buffalo said...

I've never been much of a Vette fan, but a restored '55 in my garage, a red one, wouldn't make me mad.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Schuyler said...

I was curious what the '55 or '56 vettes looked like, so I went to the usual first stop of mine on the Internet, Wikipedia, and typed in corvette. Just plain corvette takes you to the "original" meaning of the word, "small, maneuverable, lightly armed warship, smaller than a frigate and larger than a coastal patrol craft". I had no clue. Even the first page of results from a google search on corvette are all about the car corvette. Intersting that wikipedia takes you to the ship definition page first, then lets you go to the car page rather than the other way around. They followed the history of the word instead of popular usage.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Think Frustrated said...

I'll bet he wore Old Spice, too. I'm 27 years old and I love Old Spice, and wear it. It's funny because people ask you what you're wearing, and love it, but I won't tell. It reminds people of fathers and grandfathers, subconsciously, so everyone pretty much loves it. Plus, it costs like $10 a bottle. Finally, they have the best slogan: "If your grandfather hadn't worn it, you probably wouldn't be here."

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Vesper said...

There's a whole story in this lovely vignette, with a whiff of nostalgia to go with that sweet pipe tobacco smell.
Could he have loved his 'Vettes more than his wife? I wouldn't be surprised. After all, they embody a certain kind of perfection that humans could not achieve... :-)

At 5:39 AM, Blogger veda said...

nice blog!


At 11:40 AM, Blogger Tai said...

That was a great memory, I could smell that pipe and see that birch...interesting what captures memory, isn't it?


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