Thursday, January 13, 2011

From Rust to Rods:

The sun was just breaking the horizon as I drove into Bokoshe, OK to meet Tim for coffee. It was an early Saturday morning. I had been working all week in Bokoshe on the coal ash stories. My thought was to take Saturday "off" and maybe even sleep in a little. Tim called on Friday night around 9 P.M. "Can you meet me early for coffee, I have someone I want you to meet". As I pulled up to the convenient store I could see Tim's truck parked along with several others. Through the window of the store I caught a glimpse of Tim talking with another individual. They were both working on cups of steaming coffee. Before I could close the door behind me Tim was up and standing with coffee pot in hand motioning me to have a seat at the table. "Carlan, this is Lee. Lee, this is Carlan." Tim and Lee were long time friends. Both had attended Bokoshe High School together. Several cups of coffee later Tim stopped short and said "Lee, you need to show Carlan what you have in your garage". Lee's reply was a quick "ok". Lee opened the side door to his garage and turned on the lights. The room was filled with old auto parts of all kinds. Parts and pieces everywhere. Tim said, "Lee open the other door". Lee opened the door and motioned me through. The garage was filled with gleaming chrome and sparkling paint.Tim had a big smile on his face. "Lee's been building hot rods since he was in high school". Lee stood in the center of the garage surrounded by years and years of work.Each car had a story. "It took me five years to get the guy to sell me that car. I found this motor in Texas. That car over there is pretty fast. I wanted to race some old boy for pink slips, but he never would do it. I would have won, and he knew it. That's a "48 Merc flathead. You can't find those anymore."Lee is a true artist. Talking with him you know he has a final vision for each project long before he ever starts. He has a passion for "hot rods" which you can hear in his words and see in his eyes. Each car contains a piece Lee's personal vision and touch.I thanked Lee for sharing part of his world with me. As I headed toward the door I saw Lee lost in a moment of thought. He turned to me and said, "you know a hot rod is never finished, I need to paint these fenders brown".

Sure happy I didn't sleep in.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

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