Monday, February 23, 2009

Quality Time With Dad

Here in Texas, the daffodils are saying "screw it, I'm blooming." Who can blame them? Some days are getting up into the 70s, but that usually means the next few days will be in the 50s (or lower!)

Such was the case this past weekend when Dad and I went to the swap meet in Decatur (town slogan: "Eighter from Decatur.") Don't worry if you've never heard of it. Most people haven't.

However, once a year, the cow pastures surrounding the local rodeo arena become a mecca to classic car enthusiasts. And I'm not talking enthusiasts who like to look at shiny cars, I'm talking about the guys who can see beauty in a rusted hunk of metal and have some idea of making it into a nice shiny object. (Some of the "cars" I saw were held together only by rust and prayers.)

Anyway, Friday was beautiful. Temps were in the 70s and the sun was shining. But I had to work that day.

When I walked out the door at 6:30 Saturday morning, the temps were in the upper 40s. It was calm, so I was thinking it wouldn't be too bad. But as soon as I got on the road, the north wind kicked up and I spent the 30-mile drive fighting to keep the car out of the ditch.

Dad's a morning guy. He can get more accomplished before the sun comes up than most people do all day. On the weekends he's usually finished with his to-do list before Mom stirs enough to put on the coffee. This is why my butt was out of bed so early on the weekend. Of course, when it comes to flea marketing, I like to get there as soon as possible.

We met up in the Wal-Mart parking lot (another "mecca") around 7:15 so we could be at the fairgrounds by 7:30. Not that any of the vendors would be opening their booths at that time, but so we could get a good parking spot. The wind was blowing in 30 mph gusts by this time and there were a few people crazier than we were already walking around. But we sat in Dad's truck for a while (the one with the peeling paint and his homemade hydrogen tank--the redneck solution to poor gas mileage. Or so they say. To me it's just an H-bomb waiting to happen.)

By 8, we decided to abandon the warmth and protection of the truck and walk to the far side of the swap meet so we could slowly work our way back to where we parked. Dad had already been out to the swap meet the prior two days, but there was probably a thing or two he hadn't looked at, so we hit every aisle. And all the while gusts of wind would hurl dirt and grass into our faces. And by the way, did I mention it was cold? I stopped feeling my cheeks after the first 10 minutes. I had to keep stopping and cleaning the dirt out of my eyes every few minutes. Dad kept pointing out to me the places where he had bought materials for his '57 Chevy Bel-Air that he's working on.

Why on earth was I subjecting myself to this? I hear all of you asking. Well, in amongst the car parts and Nascar memorabilia there were a few treasures that appealed to me. (However, I am not talking about the breasts that would not stop singing the refrain of "Boobs and Beer" everytime someone walked by. They were mounted like the singing bass fish that swept the nation a few years ago. Someone actually bought one of those for my grandad--the fish, not the boobs.)

By the end of the morning, Dad had purchased more tools than he needed (he bought them simply because they were a good deal, and not because he needed them), I had finally found myself a bicycle, and I also got a birdhouse and a lemon/lime crossbred tree. Not to mention that we ran into one of Dad's buddies who looked at me and greeted me by my mother's name. I actually liked the look on his face when I told him I wasn't her. He thought he had committed a huge faux pas and was trying to figure his way out of it! But Dad quickly assured him of who I was.

So anyway, we were out of there by 10:30. The colder I got, the faster I walked, and thankfully there really wasn't much there that interested me. There were some pretty cool cars, as well as a SWAT van and an old hearse, but nothing like the old Metropolitan I fell in love with a few years ago. Hey, I was raised by a car guy, after all. Even those rusted old hunks of metal had once been alluring beauties.

(Oh yeah, I did spend all morning I was comparing cars to the ones seen in Cars. The Hudson Hornet was great!)

After we wrestled the bike into the back of my car, I headed home to shower off the dirt. I tried really hard not to think about what some of that dirt had started off as, since we had been tromping about in cow pastures. But I guess since I was raised in the country and participated in a few chip tosses in my youth, it's a bit too late for me to get squeamish about cow poo.

1 comment:

  1. cow pies are great for fires... granted they smell like shit... then again...