… or perhaps it was the entire Thanksgiving holiday weekend that I spent fixing the roof, grille, and other assorted parts that put this particular look on my face. I can tell you one thing though, that’s a facetious expression if there ever was one. Paint and bodywork being one of my least favorite tasks, I seem to forget this every year or so and take on some silly project that sounds like a good idea at the time. Perhaps I need to put a lock on my paint supply cabinet and throw away the key. That way, when I get another bright idea about how I’m going to try to do a little paint and body work, it will serve as a reminder not to.
But it never fails that a little project comes up and I get a renewed vigor about banging out a few dents and skimming on some body filler. The problem is, they’re never that simple. After a few days of sanding and skimming and sanding and skimming and sanding and, well you get the point, it still seems like I’ve got another week’s worth of work just to get one small area completed. And then I get frustrated. And then I don’t want to deal with it anymore. And then my attention turns elsewhere, like counting blades of grass or staring into the sun.
Yet, I always end up getting sucked back into it. You’d think by now I’d either figure it out and get better at it or just completely give up. But no, it’s more like a combination of the two. Yeah, more like an amateur, half-assed quitter. Which to me is better than a total quitter right? At least I’m trying, kinda.
I guess the reason that I continuously put myself through this is that at the end of the day, when all the masking paper and plastic is put away, the paint gun clean, and the air clear, it gives me a kind of satisfaction that can’t be found in any other hobby. That satisfying feeling of, “I did this. It may not be perfect, it may not even be nice, but I did it and at least I tried.” And to me, that’s my little bit of the old American Spirit, alive and well. And, you know what, I see it in almost every truck we feature, at every show, and at every shop we visit. That very attitude that made this country great is very much alive and well, perhaps you just need to look for it a little harder these days, but it’s out there.
Every time I work on my truck or bang around on something in the garage, I get a little lift of that American Spirit, that old hot rod attitude that I just can’t get anywhere else. Sitting on the couch watching football doesn’t do it. Betting on horses at the track doesn’t do it either. Eating a whole box of cookies doesn’t help either. Not fishing, not yachting, not golfing (not even Frisbee golf!), not skeet shooting, not clay pigeon shooting, not bikini model shooting (OK, maybe that one!). Nothing really comes close to the feeling I get when working on my truck, even during the most tedious aspects of a build.
So, maybe it’s a little of that afterglow feeling that’s reflected on my face, when all the hard work is done for the day and you sit back and look at the progress you’ve made and that little feeling of exuberance rushes over you. For each little step forward is one towards the final result; something you can be proud of and enjoy for years to come. Or at least until you come up with another project … CCT