Thursday, February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I was leaving class at Control Data Institute (computer programming and operations). Got to the parking lot and Hubbell, my 1979 Ford Mustang, wouldn't start. Another woman from a class 2 or 3 months ahead of mine (a new class started each month), hailed one of her classmates, Derry, in the parking lot.  I had AAA, but he said he had jumper cables, would get my car started before I finished dialing the number. He got Hubbell started and worried I'd have trouble on the way home, he put the jumper cables in the car. "At least if you're stuck on the road, you'll have cables and can flag someone to help." Imagine giving jumper cables to a complete stranger? Got home without any problems.

The next day, during morning break, I found Derry to give him his cables back. We went out to the car, and Hubbell had a flat tire.  I told Derry after class I'd have AAA come and change the tire for me. He wasn't going to have any of that. It was a matter of pride. "Can't have anyone [in there] think what a pantywaist I am that I can't change a tire for a little girl." After that, Derry became another big brother.

In his spare time, Derry made wooden cars and trucks which he hand carved for his son. I commissioned him to make a hook and ladder fire truck for my nephew. It was a thing of beauty with small, removable ladders and a large ladder that could extend.

When I graduated CDI, Derry presented me with a pencil holder which he made. "For your desk" There was a place to hold pencils, a brass plate with my name, and Hubbell. Right down to the details. There was a painted engine under the hood, the doors and trunk opened, The car could be removed from the base to be rolled across the floor.  Derry even made the stuffed, good luck teddy bear that lived in a cubby by the gear shift.

After all these years, I have a reminder of my first car and a cherished friend. Derry passed away in 1990 from leukemia. His birthday was 16. February. He would have been 73 years old. I miss you, D.

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