I have noticed a great deal of discord in my (our) daily life over the past decade and while I sometimes chalk it up to “that’s life” the fact remains … it’s not fun. I find myself paying less attention to what’s going on around me (not good) and paying more attention to what’s going on in my own garage or that of my rodding buddies (very good). Arguably this is an extreme example of escapism as I should be paying closer attention to the daily happenings.
For starters, I was on the phone the other day with fellow hot rodder and builder extraordinaire Steve Moal of Moal Coachbuilders in Oakland, California. The conversation began with the shop’s latest build (1932 Ford highboy roadster) that Steve was finishing for the Grand National Roadster Show and the subsequent judging in the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster competition. He and fellow hot rod builder Jackie Howerton have combined talents to ensure that this roadster will surely grab everyone’s attention, but more on that car later.
Steve and I were reflecting on the overall state of affairs that surrounds our daily lives. The one thing we noticed was that while the “wheels” appear to be falling off daily life in general all seems to be going well in our world of hot rodding. At first glance we figured it was because we had our collective “acts” together and surely we must attract like hot rodders to our presence. Moments later we had a good chuckle and came to the conclusion maybe, just maybe, it was our hot rodding hobby that brings out the best in everyone. As long as we have each of us to rally around the collective “all of us” would be in good shape.
I have stated the obvious many times that while the cars are fun to build, to look at, and most definitely to drive, it always boils down to the guys you hang out with … whether socially as a group or an individual. There’s little doubt that the range of quality of our car builds among our friends can be wide ranging but the fact remains it has no impact on our group or individual friendships. In the end, we spend more time talking to each other about any number of topics aside from hot rodding and it is the breath of these conversations that makes each of us friends. (Editor’s note: I’m still friends with Ron Ceridono, spanning well over 20 years of hot rodding, workplace antics, and the constant crisscrossing of our personal lives, proving I have the resiliency of a saint! —B.B.)
It didn’t take Steve or I long to talk about how things were going with our families, at work, our personal hot rods, or what we would like to be doing in the future. We both agreed that we wished everyone could “just get along” as it would make life a great deal more enjoyable. We did agree—well I whined until he capitulated—it was time for he and I to have another fun drive across country … or somewhere that took enough time for us to solve the world’s troubles. This could be a long drive but the longer the better.
We both agreed that we aren’t getting any younger but we shouldn’t spend time reflecting on the way things were or sniveling about the way things are but rather keeping our eyes on the road ahead. It’s important that each of us plan our “road ahead” and drive it with enthusiasm in the hopes of getting the most out of life, which to me means having a hot rod ready to jump into at a moment’s notice.
I immediately offered the suggestion that he get back on his latest roadster build, one that he’s been trying to get done for years. The way I see it the sooner he gets his Deuce roadster finished the sooner he and I can jump in it and head for all points on the compass with only one goal in mind: to enjoy what our hobby has to offer us, friendship and the fun of driving a hot rod.
I have always thought that the reason politicians have a hard time relating with their constituency is that they have little to share outside of politics. While much good can be accomplished oftentimes the wheels of progress turn slowly … very slowly! But if politicians spent more time out and about in their hobbies enjoying it with their voters maybe, just maybe, each of us would be willing to understand each other’s point of view a little better … maybe? Merely my opinion. According to Mom I am still playing with cars. I have spent a lifetime working and playing with cars … according to my mom I never did get a real job. Now, one doesn’t disagree with Mom but I for one am glad I never did get a real job. SRM
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