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Back in the 1990s, my wife and I spent a couple years - and thousands of dollars - completely restoring a 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible. A very rewarding experience, but also, at times, a veritable nightmare.
In the later 1800’s - in still a growing town -
A man with too much idle time set out to build a car.
He did at last accomplish this, but I am here to say,
Henry Ford’s the reason that we’re in the fix we are.
My wife and I, we found this car, and thought it would be nice
To make it look like new again, and so we thought we’d try.
A Chevrolet convertible, from nineteen fifty-eight,
Was totally dismantled, and today we both know why
You never buy a car that someone else has torn apart!
We organized the many bags of pieces in our shop,
Soon discovering we were missing many major things,
And not the least of what was gone were…pieces to the top.
The stainless needed polished, and the bumpers, all re-chromed.
The engine needed overhauled, the tranny…all rebuilt.
With months and months of searching for the missing stuff we learned
We’d need to raise more money…and that “Henry” needed “kilt.”
He brought these stupid piles of crap to life, and now today
A million car fanatics search the globe for missing parts.
This is how it all began for us, and like the rest,
This is when the nightmare and the pain and suffering starts.
Walking ‘round a show of both restored and custom cars…
Both of us in awe of all the ones completely done…
When we stopped to take the time to grab a bite to eat,
A gorgeous ‘58 Impala…shining in the sun…
Caught my eye, and I was hooked. The car was really fine.
I saw myself out cruising in her…Connie by my side.
The owner told me, when I asked, that, “Yes, the car’s for sale.”
But when he told me what he’d have to have…I nearly died.
And so the search for something we could pay for then began.
First we bought the magazines, that list this type of car.
We drove to those who dealt in them. We made a zillion calls.
We searched the “net,” and asked around. We hunted near and far.
At last we found a really clean and solid ‘58.
It did need restoration and we thought, “This is the one.”
Three long years have passed, and though we’ve spent a billion bucks,
The car is still in pieces…and not close to being done.
Much is fixed, and most is found…a bunch has been restored.
What’s left to do is basic work; it just takes time and cash!
Like some will mount St. Christopher - to guard against bad luck -
I carved a tiny Henry Ford and glued him to our dash.
We’ll cuss his butt to kingdom come each time the car won’t start,
And chew him out whenever we have trouble on our trips.
And every time we need a part that’s really hard to find…
We’ll smack his little you-know-what and whack him on the lips.
PS: I've now got 4 new Audio-CDs - @ 4 1/2 hours each = (62 diversely varied pieces). They’re listed on EBAY - under - “Mark Stellinga Poetry” - or available by simply contacting me at -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- should those of you who enjoy listening to poems as well as reading them - and particularly those of you that travel - care to be so entertained. (We use safe and simple - PayPal)
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