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Beatin’ the Heat

I am an auto mechanic and long-time, true car show enthusiast in Dallas, Texas. My old Dodge Charger is my pride and joy. Needless to say it gets the bulk of my free time and attention. Give me a couple of hours on the weekend to do the job. Restoring and maintaining it is my passion. With all that I have done to it, it is now a luxury car end to end. It has every accoutrement it requires to be authentic. There is a great joy in working with classic cars that is like no other. If you have one, you are a fellow traveler—so you know the score. We share the same spirit. Caring for them is a challenge and requires a certain skill that you learn over time as you enhance the restoration. Join the fun and give it a whirl. Ordinary cars give me no great satisfaction. Anyone can give them a new shine or set of wheels. I go for the kinds of cars you see at classic car shows so I can admire the handiwork of others. I approach the owners with intensity and ask a lot of questions. I learn how this and that were done to such perfection. It is a mutual admiration society.

There is nothing that draws me in faster than a local car show. I am never absent You never know what you may find. If you are lucky there will be some gems. Maybe not on a par with my Dodge Charger, however, but eye-catching nonetheless. I attended a recent show a while back on a particularly hot summer day. I was loath to fry in the intense heat of the penetrating sun. I took a beach canopy with me and set it up like a tent for protection. I am sure it looked a bit odd. “Think it’s the beach,” smirked one passerby. “Need some sand?” said another. It was all in good fun since the canopy was meant for the sandy terrain of the shore. What got protected was the Charger, not just me.

So I set up my little encampment and went about safeguarding the Dodge’s shiny new coat of paint. This was my home base as I wandered about the car show looking for special attractions. I checked out all the cars that met my specifications of interest and then returned to check out the Charger and make sure it was still intact. I was pleased to see so many people gathered about it under the shelter of the canopy. It lured the sun avoiders and let them get a closer look. The canopy was a kind of frame for the car and set it off from the rest of the car show entrants. The car is a lure in itself in any case and never fails to gather a following. I am thrilled they can relate to my handiwork. I get a lot of pride from their praise.