06 February, 2010

An Interesting Dichotomy

So, with quite a bit to do this evening, I don't feel like I have time to go over everything. I feel as though I owe it to the few readers of this blog, though (and to my peace of mind) to try to update as much as I can. It has, after all, been nearly three months since my last post. I assure you this blog is not dead, nor do I want it to be. I feel like now moreso than in the past I kind of need it to stay alive. It serves as an important chronicle of the restoration of the cars, yes, but it also serves as a retrospective self-analysis. That's kind of the topic that I was wanting to dwell upon in this post, but I'm not sure if I'll get there. Part of me says that soon I should close the browser and get to work on my homework; I've been highly unmotivated lately, and I feel like I haven't done near as much as I should lately.

Anyway, business first. After over two years of work, we gleefully received the Maxwell fenders that had been made for us by a gentleman in Indiana (I think it was Indiana, anyway). Some coworkers of my father were driving in the area anyway so they picked them up and brought them to us. The man used 100+ year old machines to craft these fenders, and we sent him the originals from our car to pattern. I have to say that unwrapping them for the first time was an awe-inspiring moment after so long, seeing them be crafted into being and knowing the problems that he had to overcome. I can only imagine that's what our fenders looked like when they first came off the assembly line in 1910; his work wasn't absolutely perfect and flawless, but that makes it perfect for our Maxwell. All of those cars were hand built. All of them had welds showing and seams not perfectly straight. It imbues a sort of charm, and I absolutely can't wait to see them on a nearly completed car sometime. There's so much to do to her, though, before we can think about attaching them.

We also found a man in town a couple of weeks ago who is fully capable of putting the soft top on our frame for the 1961 Corvette. He's giving us a wonderful discount to do it, and I think he'll do a fantastic job. He's been in the business for 40+ years and is someone my dad has known that whole time (but honestly forgot about his services for years!). I'm glad he remembered eventually, though!

But aside from that, school has been keeping me very busy, and the crippling cold kept all of us out of the garage this winter break. It hasn't been pleasant. In fact, today was one of the first days in a while that we could get the garage door open since it's been frozen in many inches of snow. I wasn't even the one to open it, as my dad did that early this morning. Either way, I was sent up to the garage today to grab some drill bits for a project back home, and it felt strangely good to be back in there. It was one of those moments, I guess, that's hard to describe to people who weren't there. It's just been so long since I've seen the old cars and tools and such, and since that place has so many great memories tied in it actually made me a little sad that I don't get to go in there very often anymore.

The bigger issue that struck me as I stood by the '61 was how almost humorous it was that simple things like seeing cars that are the fruits of my labors and my family's labors and being back in a place where I've loved to be all of my life. It is an interesting dichotomy that I live in that I have chosen such a difficult path for my life (in medical school and such), yet part of me always wishes that I could have an easy way out and be happy doing something simple. Part of me has always said that if medical school doesn't work or something else I could restore cars and antiques for a living, or work on the radio and be happy doing that. I'm not sure if I could, though, when I really think about it. I'm really passionate about going to medical school and following through on my degree (even though I don't know which exact facet of my field I want to pursue), and while I could be happy toiling away in a garage every day I know that after a while I would wonder what could have been.

And so for now I'll get to my homework and end this blog post before it gets too long and uninteresting. I do hope to update this more often as the weather improves and as I get back to working in the garage. For now, though, I have to keep doing what I'm doing. Best of luck, everyone, and stay warm! It's good to be back, by the way!

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