My week of glorious unwind, began with a rewind. A rewind to days past, and memories culminated in shiny painted ghosts of a previous era. Polished and loved to a gleaming shine, there were rows and rows, that gently materialized out of the foggy huge whole, into colorful, chrome-detailed Firebirds, Challengers, GTO’s, Desoto’s, Mustangs and Chargers.
I had found myself in Scottsdale during Barrett-Jackson week. It was not by happenstance, but by a sort of divine intervention, also known as my parents, that I wound up in Arizona at this particular moment at this particular time of year. We didn’t “happen” to be there at the same time as this world-renowned classic car auction, but my Dad had planned it this way, and I was to be his equally-obsessed buddy as we scoured rows upon rows of classic cars. The day before Barrett-Jackson was to kick off, we somehow found ourselves in the parking lot of a Best Buy across town at a promotional classic car show drumming up excitement for the upcoming famous car auction.
I’m no spring chicken anymore, but I was without a doubt the youngest middle-aged person walking these rows lined with old cars, with the exception being little children that were most likely being forced to tag along with their grandparents. I couldn’t help but wonder: In an ever-aging world, will the interest in these classic cars just fade along with it’s generation of drivers? These “car” people have stories about these cars. They grew up with them. They remember drag racing these cars on an empty dirt road and cruising them down Main before they pulled into the local drive-in with their girlfriends sitting in the middle next to them. They remember who wrecked which cars and who still has their original cars. While newer generations may have an interest in the cars, their engines and the fact that they are “classics,” our generation may just never have the intimate, close life connections with these cars that our parents and grandparents did. At the risk of sounding, well, pessimistic . . . I couldn’t help but wonder if these events will survive?
Call me a complete classic car novice, and I’ll say you’re being very generous with the term. I know nothing of classic cars. I don’t understand what the big hubbub is underneath their hoods propped open and I don’t find myself impressed with their loud mufflers and revving engines. To me, those mufflers need a serious fix and fast. The main thing I’m contemplating, while attempting to “look” like a classic car connoisseur, is which paint colors I like best and how much more of this golden oldies music I can stomach. However, the workmanship of these cars is stunning. Their smooth, chromed curves, shiny winged tail lights and molded, architectural exteriors are beautiful. It is hard to imagine that kind of workmanship and thought being put into automobiles in our current age. I think almost anyone, classic car knowledge optional, is immediately pulled headfirst into the fairytales that these beautiful cars evoke.
I wonder if our generation will some day chase car shows across the country to look at Dodge Neons, VW Rabbits, Pontiac Sunbirds, Honda Civics or the 1980’s version of Ford Mustangs and Camaros. Will these be our classics? All joking aside, it’s hard to fathom any cars from my adolescent era with the workmanship or popularity to create a following thirty years from now. Will these cars and their fantastic journeys fade into the fog of merely a fairytale from long ago?
A dear friend of mine sees destiny and a fairytale in everything. I once wondered how her life could be so perfect, so idyllic. But no life or family is perfect. Everyone is fighting their own battles, whether you can see them or not. There are moments where I’m sure they’ve felt pulled, strained to the point of tearing. And other times where they’ve thought life could not possibly have anything more perfect to offer. We’ve all felt those feelings before. Throughout the rollercoaster of life, they’ve seen God’s hand at work, his embrace leading them on all the squiggles that were just a part of the journey.
Hers is a family that takes regular pancakes and magically transforms them into blue-green, heart and star shaped flapjacks, just for the sheer joy of it. The magic of breakfast and life and classic cars, is most definitely in the details. It is in the desire to create extraordinary out of ordinary and to take a little extra time to see destiny in even the most ordinary of events. The patient eye to recognize and acknowledge miracles when we see them, small or large as they may seem.
Like the classic cars, my visit with dear friends reminded me to rewind to simpler times. To return to the idea that happiness, in its very purest form, is within reach. That our destinies may take us on a wild, rambling journey, but despite our crooked roads, we will still end up where we are meant to be, at the exact moment we are meant to get there. There are no shortcuts to our happy ending destinies. Even out of grief and sorrow, or frustration and disappointment, we are brought to everyday moments that can be transformed into happy endings of their own.
Fairytales with villains and magic miracles included, happen daily. It’s up to us to write the happy endings.