Can’t say when I first started dreaming about a ’67 Camaro, might have been around 14Â orÂ 15 whenÂ I first began to think about how that car and I would have to connect.
Don’t ask me to tell you how, who, what or why lit that fire because I am not sure. Probably has something to do with Smokey and the Bandit, the Dukes of Hazzard and Evel Knievel.
Boys of a certain age might relate to remembering the days when these were shows, cars and people that caught our eyes and held our attention. There was something about that combination of car, youthful rebellion and a willingness to push the limit that made me lie in bed at night and think about what it might be like to do what they did.
I didn’t want to be Smokey, Luke Duke or Evel– I just wanted to do what they did as Jack Steiner and sometimes I did.
Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down
When people ask me what I fear most about being a father I say I fear having children like me.
I remember taking off on my bike and going where I wasn’t supposed to be and doing what I wasn’t supposed to do. I remember the surge of adrenaline that sometimes came with doing those things and having moments of doubt and fear replaced by a certainty that I would get through it.
That is what happens when you jump off of roofs, fall out of trees and accidentally place your face against a fist and the consequence is a bruise. You don’t care about bruises because when you are young all you need to do is stare at the bruise and it fades away.
Time passes and you do what children do. You get older but you don’t always get wiser. You just grow more certain that you are just one of those people who is built a certain way and is capable of doing certain things.
When your father says he won’t sign the forms to let you play football and you ask why he says it is because you are “young and dumb and that you like the contact too much.”
You protest his refusal to sign but admit he is right, you do like the contact. When you get to college you’ll start a tradition of playing tackle football without pads every Thanksgiving and you’ll play straight into your forties.
The young guys in their thirties complain about their fear of getting hurt and you’ll shake your head because even though time has taught you that you are not invulnerable you don’t fear serious injury because the people that get hurt are the ones who play scared.
Fear is what causes injury so you don’t worry about it and after the game it is often the college kids who ask you how you play with such ferocity.
“Well, look way down the river, what do you think I see?
I see a band of angels and they’re coming after me
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down”
Ain’t No Grave – Johnny Cash
The Race You Can’t Win
Not too long ago this blog was filled with posts in which I said I wasn’t happy with the life I was living. That was true, I wasn’t happy.
Wasn’t happy for a host of reasons. Was frustrated by challenges that I hadn’t asked for and hurdles that others erected. Â I wondered what the hell was causing the chaos and mused out loud here about possibilities.
And then I thought I got beyond it all. Thought I had figured it all out, more or less and I started to breathe again.
But then I got smacked in the mouth and kicked in the ass.
Been trying to decide if life moved sideways on me again this year or if I haven’t recognized just how lucky I am and have been.
That is because during the past three or four months friends and family mourned the loss of three daughters/sisters and a wife/mother. The three women were all between 32 and 43.
They all were running the race you can’t win.
I’m still running.
There may be days where I feel like I am the damn Phantom of The Opera but I am still running and even though things went sideways I am still standing.
So maybe I shouldn’t be complaining. Maybe I should keep smiling because I am more me than I have been in years. I am more focused and certain of what I want and determined to get it.
“And I was gone and I ain’t back yet
Lookin’ back at the moments, black and white
I wouldn’t change a thing that changed my life
For the worse, for the better
Man, I was gone, gone forever”
Ain’t Back Yet- Kenny Chesney
That is not my Camaro in the picture above. My ’67 and I still haven’t found our way to each other, but I did have quite the relationship with a ’77.
But that doesn’t mean the ’67 and I won’t have our time in the sun. Some dreams don’t die, they just get postponed for a short while. Give me a little time to catch my breath and a couple of extra bucks and that ’67 will find her wheel in my hands.
I’ll make that engine purr and then will come the time of stories that will be bloggable but not shared. 😉