The psychology of color and how it relates to isomorphic correspondence is a subject that I never grow tired of. I'm not sure if it's the fact I'm still paying for student loans, or just a life-long appreciation for big words stuffed into fancy expressions that causes me to write this way-but what the heck, it might of got me the job as the editor of this magazine. Back to isomorphic correspondence, it means nostalgia, and all of the wonderful things that evoke it. One of my favorite examples to illustrate the magic of nostalgia is when one hears an old rock 'n' roll song on the radio, and all of a sudden they are reliving a moment in time right to the very second that a traffic light turned green, and they popped a '65 Corvette clutch that chattered so hard the motormounts broke. It's like spotting a white '66 VW Bug in traffic with a pretty, young blonde driving, it all comes back at once-the succulent smell of star jasmine, the sight of a lost love walking in the sun with a summer dress on.
When I dream of the Kodiak Brown '58 Chevy pickup I grew up with, I see its Bombay Ivory roof, Custom Cab, and Big-Window and I think of a triple-decker ice-cream cone. Thick enamel paint, fully polished stainless steel moldings, and perfect chrome like Zeus would have on his chariot; it all melts into colors that make my mouth water. Before I die I want to customize a lot more old trucks. Unless some moronic idiot carjacks an SUV and broadsides me in a police pursuit, like one did to a friend's wife the other night, the odds are good that I will. The only thing that's going to change is the way I'm going to go about. I just turned 56, and it marked a milestone in my life that I decided a few years ago if I didn't have certain things accomplished by the time I passed 55, I was going to rip apart the way I currently do things, and come up with a new plan.
Number 1, I'm going to do more things by myself, and have more people help me instead of trying to always do things myself. It kind of sounds "two negatives make a positive" crazy, like one of those things Confucius might say, so please allow me to explain. In the past when I contemplated a major project sometimes there would be an imaginary sign in my head that read "Beyond Here Lie Dragons" and I would either avoid tackling it, or worse yet half way through everything would stop because I had an intense fear, reinforced with past experiences that I would only screw it up in the end. Those days are gone. I've bought a brand-new Miller 252 MIG welder and I'm going to burn up a bunch of wire welding on rare parts without fear. If I destroy something, no problem, I'll write about what not to do in a tech story, and we'll all prosper. Next in line, and I've already started the gears in motion, is to sell off some of the projects I've been acquiring that don't have anything to do with customizing classic trucks. For example, I recently sold the two brand-new Harley EVO crate motors that have been sitting on my workbench for over five years, and now I'm plowing the money back into buying parts for some of my trucks, and specialized tools that I have always wanted. Instead of an English Wheel that requires subtle skills and a lot of practice I'm going to buy a good planishing hammer, and I'll bet by the end of the day I'll be skilled enough to tear into forming new body panels.
One of the things I've noticed about getting older is there's a lot less of my friends around who can drop what they are doing, and swing by the garage and help when it's time to move the heavy stuff, like frames and cabs. It's kind of a bummer, but that's why they sell overhead track systems, so I think I'm going to investigate into what's out there, and set one up in my shop.
I'm sure these changes in my character are going to make it a lot easier for me to finish a truck sooner, but the hardest part about "the new me" is going to be selling a truck after I've finished it. That's okay because if I do get into the flipping groove, I'll have additional money to find more old trucks that I've always wanted, and fix them up ... and flip them, I promise. -John Gilbert