Growing up in a small town in Ohio, I have a lot of wonderful memories, and so many of them came back full circle this weekend at the Kalida 32nd Annual Pioneer Days Car Show. This is a hardworking, close-knit community that sure does love their cars. So many families here are supported by either of the local Ford or General Motors plants, and my family was no different. My dad was a GM man through and through. He worked hard to support his four kinds and our mom who raised us. This was the way of life for many families in this area. My dad worked first shift, third shift, really any shift they needed him to, and he took as much overtime as possible. Even though he worked a lot he always had time for family and fun.
Some of the best memories of my dad are of him working in the garage until all hours of the night. See he never got enough of cars, and we never got enough of fetching tools for him. He had a passion for finding old beat up classic cars and restoring them to their original glory. Some of them were so bad and rusted out that I never thought it would be possible to rescue it, but sure enough no matter what they looked like when he started, they always came out beautiful. He would work on one car sometimes for a few years building our anticipation. We were always so excited when it was finished, because we would always get loaded up and go cruising around all day. Then sure enough it would not be long that dad would park the car in the front yard with a for sale sign in the window, and it was on to the next project.
There was one car that I remember very vividly. It was a 1963 Chevy Impala Convertible painted pearl white with blue interior. We all loved this car when dad was finished. After the long day of cruising we all begged my dad to keep the car. Despite all our pleading the For Sale sign went up like always. We would have all loved to have kept the car, but dad sold it along with another car to buy a 5th wheel camper so we could all spend more time together. I think all the wonderful family memories that came from that were by far worth it.
Then this weekend my mom and I were walking around the car show, like we used to do all the time with dad when we were young, and what did we come across? This 63 white impala convertible with blue interior. It looked exactly the same even right down to the fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror. The memories of so many nights with my dad in the garage came flooding back in an instant. Then come to find out, this truly was the exact car. My mom knows the guy that dad sold it to over 20 years ago. It still looks exactly like it did the day dad parked it in the front yard. We saw lots of awesome cars at the show, but none of them were as special to me as this one.