Kids And Cars
…I am a car guy. This I have been ever since I can remember. My favorites tend to be muscle cars but if it’s got an engine and wheels I’ll stop to look. Naturaly my favorite local event is the annual car cruise and show weekend. My oldest son and I, who is also a car guy, never miss this event. We arrive early and make sure that his 73 Plum Crazy Charger SE and my rusty old Dodge truck are in line together.
…The Charger is of course a big block powered beast, while the truck is what we call a sleeper. It doesn look like much but has a built motor that will make it scream when needed. As we near the big day this year however I found myself getting a little depressed. Circumstances have conspired to make my truck unavailable for this years event.
…This would not be a big deal as I could ride shotgun in the Charger. Unfortunatly for me the boy seems to have a pretty girl to grace that spot. Everyone knows that pretty girl trumps dusty old dad any day. So with the cruise fast approaching I found myself with no wheels, VERY depressing.
…This would be the end of the story, but every once in a while my kids will surprise me. While repairing my son in law’s car the other day my son asked me if I wanted some wheels for the cruise. It seems that he wants his Charger and a Neon he’s been building to both run the cruise. Well now that got the juices flowing. Visions of rolling along in that beautiful Plum Crazy beast of a car filled my mind.
…For an old car guy like me this is the stuff dreams are made of. But alas, like most dreams this one came to an abrupt end. After picking me up off the pavement my son started laughing hystaricly and inquired,”dad you didn’t think I meant the Charger did you?” As it turns out he of course was offering me the Neon, which is a hot little number that would give his big block a run for it’s money.
…The gist of all this is that once again my son and I will be running the cruise together. This of course is a most welcome turn of events. It seems the boy turned out well despite having ye ole catsman for a father. I am no longer depressed and am looking forward to my favorite event of the year again………….Now if I can get him to paint the Neon Plum Crazy and help me find a pretty girl to ride shotgun……………….oh well you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need………..and so I remain…The Catsman…….Update:The Neon was painted Plum Crazy on time.
…As I step up to the bully pulpit on this Friday morning I wonder what I shall pontificate about today.Life here at the palace has been more interesting than needed by far and I’d much rather just move on.So that leaves me with last night’s escape to the castle.
…The castle would be my oldest son’s establishment.I call it the castle for good reason.His house is an old two story set on nearly half a block.There is of course the 2.5 stall garage that a car guy requires.Yes the eldest is a car guy,and I sometimes wonder if I infected him or he infected me.I’m sure we will never know.
..The castle was in fine form last night.My oldest grandkiddo was rolling merrily around the house on a wheeled footstool and simpy enjoing being the silly girl she is.The youngest grandkiddo was happily taking a hambuger apart one piece at a time to facilitate it’s long journey to his waiting gullet.
..Pretty basic stuff for the residents of the castle.The Jman(my son) and his pal the Iman were working on various car projects about the grounds.I had a nice visit with Not TP,one of the resident cats(yes all my kids have cats) who happens to be the mother of old three fang himself.I had the pleasure of pissing and moaning about the drama currently playing out back at the palace.It should be noted here that the drama was due to issues with my son in law’s family not the immediate family that resides at the Palace.
…The boy and I did some repairs to the son in law’s car and caught up on current goings on in our small part of the USA.I spent a goodly amount of time admiring the lady of the castle,one certain 73 Charger mentioned in previous stories.I do so love that beast of Detroit Muscle Car history.Also mentioned in a previous story is one little Neon that your’s truely will be piloting in the local cruise in about a week.The Neon is in the process of being painted Plum Crazy to natch the Charger and old Catsman’s mental state.
…Plum Crazy is a good description for the Catsman,life’s journey has left me jaded,tired,happy,sad and well you know how it is.So yup I’m Plum Crazy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.I’m a very proud father of three adult childern,Josh,Paula and the youngest Karl.My childern are not my life,they are the pride and joy of my life.They have taken up the task of educating their father now,and this is my sign that they have learned to fly.I need to see the youngest soon again,along with hie resident cat,the Queen Ms. Mittens,I’m sure there will be a story to tell after that too.These are the kids,grandkiddos and various cats and other assorted critters thet make up the main components of my life.
..I have no regrets,no what if’s or ghosts haunting the chambers of my mind.This is my life today and I shall look forward to enjoying it for many years to come.It’s a very small part of a very large world but it’s MY part and that’s all that matters to me.
The Legacy …The middle of winter in Wisconsin,the late 1960’s.A plastic tarp draped over the front end of a car.A boy and his older brother laboring in the cold night air,repairing the family car so their recently widowed mother can do the things she needs to take care of the now fatherless family.The older brother being forced into manhood before his time,the younger not realy understanding what has happened,but handing tools as needed,then cleaning them and replacing them in the new Craftsman cabinet their father had recently purchased shortly before his sudden depature from this world.
…A chill April night 1978.On a quiet cranberry marsh road the steamy windows of a 1969 Dodge Polara.Behind the glass two young people doing what mother nature drives them to.Out of this clumbsy,fast paced, heated union a conception will occur.A male child is brought into God’s world nine months later.This child will one day inherent the Craftsman tool cabinet lovingly cared for by his uncle and his father since that cold winter’s night back in the 60’s.
…A warm summer’s day,central Wisconsin2009. Several hundred vehicles and maybe a thousand people are gathered in the local high school parking lot for yet another annual car cruise. Amoung their numbers a well worn 50 year old man and a lanky 30 year old man who will proudly tell you that he was concieved in the front seat of a 1969 Dodge Polara in April a little over thirity years ago.As this young man tells the story of his conception his father blushes and has to wipe a tear from his eye.
…This is the legacy of the annual car cruise.An event that this father and son,amoung many others never miss.We are car guys,it’s in our blood,handed down from generation to generation in a fine American tradition.You see it is realy not about the cars or the roads they travel on.It’s about the stories that bring the people and cars togethet to participate in the great tradition of cruising.The cars we drove in this year’s cruise were built with tools that to this day are stored in that same Craftsman cabinet that a boy and his brother were using those many years ago to do what they had to do. What their father taught them,take care of the family,thats why God put you here.
…There you have it my friends.The story of the annual car cruise,played out across this great country of ours every day.A fine American tradition and a legacy to my family…………
An American Legacy(of kids and cars)
…The phone is ringing in the early afternoon of a drizzly fall day.The eldest son is calling to inquire of my whereabouts as I am supposed to be on my way to the Castle to pilot the hot little Dodge Neon in what will likely be the last car cruise of the season.When the fall colors come out and the leaves begin to flutter to the frosty ground it usualy marks the end of the cruise season.Before the snow flies up here in central Wisconsin the beastly 73 Dodge Charger SE will be lovingly tucked away for the winter,and visions of next year’s cruise season will dance in our car guy heads until spring comes once again to the frozen magical landscape of winter.
…I find myself on this day just worn out and lacking the proper attitude for said cruise.Explaing this to the number one son,I polietly decline the oppertunity,terminate the call and retreat to the Palace garage for a smoke.As I sit alone in the chill afternoon I ponder what has led me to such a rash decision.Realizing now that I am acting like a selfish old dude as I know that these cruises are events to be shared with those that we are close to.Berating myself for such blatent stupidity I hurriedly beat a path to the nearest phone and place an urgent call to a friend.Transportation to the Castle is secured and I take a few moments to shave off the past couple days worth of the grey beard as it would not be fitting to be driving around in that hot little tuner mobile looking like the old dude that I am.Not to mention the fact that there are always pretty girls to be aware of a these events and it wouldn’t do to be scruffy looking.
…Arriving at the Castle I find preperations franticly under way as the appointed time is quickly approaching.Rain be damned we still have two cars to be washed and dried before getting started.All hands including the resident grandkiddos of the Castle are on deck and pitching in.The necessary tasks are soon complete when I follow the number one son into the kitchen to retrieve his freshly painted wiper blades from the oven where they have been placed to dry (it’s a car guy thing) to be reassembled and installed on the Charger. This boy pays attention to detail.Blades installed,he then pulls out and installs the straight pipes on the hot little Neon as LOUD is a requierment that my son the,stickler for detail,pays religous attention to.
…All details now in order it’s time for a quick pit stop for some high octane fuel to feed the beasties as we show off their respective talents.Arriving at the assembly point I see that the rain has kept the number of participants limited for this event.No matter,those of us who are there admire each other’s rides and have the required car guy conversations.These are very special events to many people.All walks of life and different styles of vehicle are represented and brought together much like a big family reunion at these car cruises.
…This is pure American tradition,the gathering of the clan auto.Singles,families with and without the young childern,all are represented at events like this all across our great nation and up in Canada many times over throughout the year.This has become a tradition for many and for me has become part of a family legacy that was born on a bitter winter’s night many years ago.The tools I handled then are now handled with loving care by my son to build these machines that represent so many different things to my son and I.I am a proud American like my father before me and the childern I have raised after me.This cruise is our family tradition and this country is what has made it possible.
…………..Peace To All Who Pass This Way…………………………………….
…………………….Thecatsman PhD(school of hard knocks)………………….
The Most Beautiful Girl
…It’s 5:30 AM and I am not up at this hour willingly.With the very warm air and humidity through the roof sleep is simply not possible.The small den of the Palace,my sanctom sanctorm,invaded by the rudest twentysomthing to ever pass through the Palace gates.This only serves to demonstrate yet again the level of tolerance and compassion that is the hallmark of this sancturary I call Paula’s Palace.
…Having been thus invaded I logged off my beloved computer and went on my way.If this were my place that rude fellow would have been shown the exit and told not to return untill he could figure out why he was sent packing in the first place.A feat of deduction that I highly doubt he is capable of.Alas this is not my place and I shall not have the pleasure of removing this irratation from my life.
…This is Paula’s Palace and those who think otherwise are soon shown the error of their ways.My daughter is a shortish blue eyed blonde haired girl that is the sweetest woman in the world,unless you cross her.I have yet to see that done without a heavy price being exacted for the transgression.In this young woman’s eyes all are welcome to touch the lives of her and her family,and will find themselves better for the expierence.Unless and untill you show yourself to be undesirable in some glaring fashion you will never be judged here.You will be welcomed told what you may need to here,picked on,examined by kids and pets alike and deemed worthy or not to enter and remain within the confines of the Palace.
…You don’t cross this fine youg woman.you just don’t.Crossing her will get you several large protective men right up in your face,and that’s after Paula is done with you.I landed on the steps of the Palace over three years ago and was welcomed without question or reservation.Hard times had befallen this silly old dude and there was nowhere for me to land.Life around here is always interesting to say the least and these youg people have taught this old dude several critical life lessons that may have otherwise eluded me.I truly love these people and this magical place,and of course my Daughter most of all.To me this young woman will always be the most beautiful girl in the world.A beauty that radiates from the core of her being to the twinkle in her blue eyes.
………The Catsman PhD(school of hard knocks)…….
…The dogs of night fell silent as the leaves all went to still and rooster’s call had not yet crossed the darkness up on hill.Silent stillness had settled upon the Mother Earth as dawn of new day restlessly awaited morning’s birth.I sat in storied silence in the dark before the dawn watching with great reverence as dew did drape with softest grace to blanket then the lawn.Magic rules the world in this stillness yet is night with chill in air sans any care I wait now on the dawn.
…Nature’s changing rearranging colors on the hill as breeze of chance takes leaves to dance a silent bird does shrill.Rustling leaves now dance in breeze’s gentle sway as rooster crows so all will know it’s time to break the day.The mind has left for journey and body waits behind with cup to hand smokes favorite brand enduring morning’s chill.The mind has gone a wandering somewhere up on hill to watch the change and rearrange that portends the winter’s chill.Not with dread mind looks ahead for soul’s road next to take the former selves have been put to shelves new road now for to take.
…A humble man without a plan who did reside in northern land met soul of woman traveled.Lives had been dark then with a spark did magic start as she did see his need be free and plan began unraveled.Love came to be she set him free his mind now wanders mountains majesty as day breaks on the land and in the dark she holds his heart their souls have now joined hands.They live a life accept no strife to wander here meander there as each to the other’s loving care give heart,mind,soul they did conceive and to believe now live the happy ending.
……………..Thecatsman PhD(school of hard knocks..Ret.)……………