W. Ray Donoho
Entertainer/Song Writer/Cowboy Poet/Author of Children's Books
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My Daughter Zina wrote new lyrics to the song;
'Where the Boys Are'.
They are;
'Where the Cars Are'.
I put them in a Music Video, it's yours to see and hear, just click on the Video below..

 
And; It's also on YouTube, just click the link below.. 
www.youtube.com/user/pardsvalley .
It's really great!
If you're a Classic Car Buff or Just Love a Good Song; You'll Enjoy It!
Thanks for watching!! Tell a Friend.

A “CLASSIC” LOVE

 

In the spring of 1981 I came home from high school to find a beautiful turquoise and white old car sitting on our property with a ‘FOR SALE’ sign in it.    Growing up with a dad that always had some cool old car I knew it was special at first sight and as I ran my hand across the fender I decided I had to have it for my own.  When I asked my dad about it he told me that my Uncle Bill had just painted the car and brought it over to sell.  He asked me if I had seen the inside and I said no.  He handed me the key and I sat in the car for the first time.  The interior was perfect and there on the glove box was a painting of the Shasta Mountains and the lake.  My aunt Wanda, an artist, had painted it "just to make it special".  It had that classic “old car” smell.  Anyone who loves a classic car knows what that is.  I fell in love. 

I asked what it was and how much Uncle Bill wanted for it.  My dad told me it was a 1956 Chevy Bel-Air four door hard top.  A nicer model since when you rolled down all the windows there wasn’t a post in between the doors, just a smooth opening all the way down.  Uncle Bill wanted $1,750.00 for it.  My heart sank at the thought of not having the money and with just a part time job no chance of getting it very quick.  Dad told me to call my uncle and see if he would take payments.  After hearing how serious I was Uncle Bill set the payments at $400.00 per month.  Wow! A lot for those days, but my heart was set on making that car mine so I agreed.  I was due to graduate in a few weeks so I set out to find another job.  I didn’t care if I got any sleep so long as the money came in.  I barely made the first payment to my uncle and then I graduated.  My only thoughts were to get another job so I could get this car into my name.  So I got a third part time job.  The money was still a struggle and I didn’t want to disappoint my dad or uncle so I considered selling the car so my uncle could get his money right away.  I wrote my uncle and told him I was sorry it was taking so long for the rest of the money and what I was planning to do.  He wrote back and told me that as long as I loved the car and still sent him something that he didn’t want me to sell it.  I loved him all the more that day.  Eventually the pink slip was in my name and I was (I thought) the coolest chick in Carson City, Nevada.  I met many more people in this town thanks to my car, mostly guys, and enjoyed pulling up to gas stations and waiting for the guys to have to ask me, a teenage girl, where the gas cap was.  I loved getting out of the car and going to the tail light area and turning the camouflaged piece of chrome which revealed the secret compartment that held the gas cap.  A 1956 trademark. 

My car did have one flaw, it had three 1956 hubcaps and one 1955.  One day while I worked at a movie theater, a man came in and asked who owned the ‘56.  I said I did and he told me that he owned a 1955 Chevy Bel-Air that it had three 1955 hubcaps and one 1956.  Did I want to trade?  I was more that thrilled and he went home that night to get it and said he would be at the theater when I got off work so we could make the exchange.  He was there true to his word so we started taking the hubcaps off.  We looked up to see flashing lights and a policeman standing over us.  Having never been in trouble with the law I started stammering about how I was giving him mine and he was giving me his and I had three and he had three and so we were just making it so that we each had four.  The officer gave me a weird look and then looked at the guy.  All he said was one word “hubcaps.” with that the officer said, "ok but get done and go home" and he left.

My father taught me how to rebuild a carburetor and how to tune up the old car.  I checked the oil weekly and washed and polished it every weekend.  I joined the Chevy club and had her in the Nevada Day parade.  She was a rolling beauty.

Five years passed and I was married with a new baby.  The old car had some rust along the bottom and needed some work but with a new family I felt I couldn’t afford to keep fixing it anymore.  With tears I sold my dream car for $1,250.00.

For the next 23 years I kept an eye out for “my” car.  I searched every Hot August Nights event and local car show.  I thought I saw it a couple of times driving down the street at a show but never got to see it up close.  I never considered I could buy it back I just wanted to see it again, to know someone took care of it like I would have.

On August 12, 2008, I was looking on line for an engine for one of our cars and for some reason thoughts of my 1956 Chevy popped into my head.  I decided to scan the local Craig’s List for a possible good deal on a 1956 Chevy.  Only one came up for $7,000.00.  A turquoise and white four door hard top ….. no post.  There were four views of it, one which was of the inside steering wheel area.  I enlarged it as big as I could.  Could that be the top of a mountain painting I saw?

I ran out the door and yelled to my husband “I found my car, I found my car!”  I showed him the photos and was so convinced that I called the owners.  I had to know. 

The owner said that her husband had become ill and they had to sell things.  They had bought it in 1987 but it had been sitting out in the elements for seven years and needed some TLC.  She said she would sell it to me for $5,000 since she wanted it gone.  It was only 16 miles away from me.  I tried for a solid week to get together with them but we kept missing each other.  I finally caught up with them at their house.  The man came out to greet me and told me his story of stroke and brain illness which was why the car had been left “as is” and not garaged and gas not drained etc. which meant it had to be towed.  I asked when he bought it and he said he had gone to Washington in 1987 to see his family and saw it listed in the paper for sale in Oregon so he picked it up on his way back to Nevada.  I listened politely all the while being just two feet from touching the door handle.  I could barely contain myself.   I finally got to the door and opened it.  I needed to see just one thing to know it was mine.  The painting. 

Tears were flowing before the door was completely open.  There it was!  Through the cloud of dirt swirling inside the car I could see the White Mountains and blue water of the mural my aunt had painted 28 years earlier.  I turned around and hugged the complete stranger as he stood there wondering what the heck was wrong with me.  Since he was so hard of hearing I told him the story loudly, through tears.  He hugged me and said I could tow it out that day for $5,000.00. 

We went up to the house to tell his wife.  She asked gruffly what was the matter with us.  The man couldn’t speak from emotion so I told her they were tears of joy and that the car had been mine 23 years earlier.  I guess that was my mistake because that is when it all fell apart.  As I tried to hand her $5,000.00 dollars she yelled at me that she had never told me $5,000.00 and that unless I came up with the $7,000.00 I couldn’t have the car.  In shock I tried to remind her of our conversation and told her that this was all I had.  She yelled “what do I care, get the money or leave us alone!”  I told her that the man had said yes to the five thousand but she yelled “you are a trouble maker and you can’t steal that car from us now go away!  In fact you can’t even have this car at all!”  I could see this was getting worse and I knew I had to leave so now through tears of sadness I got into my car.  The man followed me and asked me to give him my phone number and he would talk to her.  I gave it to him and showed him the photos I’d brought of my car in 1981.  The woman came out into the yard and yelled at him to “stop believing that sob story I was handing him just so I could steal the car, that it was all lies”  He turned to her and showed her the photos I had with me and said “look, this is her car.”  She then said “whatever, get the $7,000.00 or no car!”  I left the property. 

I called my husband and told him the story.  He told me to calm down that we would find a way.  That car was meant to be mine.  I had to pull over three times before I got home to contain myself.  I couldn’t believe that I could be allowed to find my car after all these years and still not get to have it.  By the time I got home I was so angry that I searched every avenue to get the extra $2,000.00.  In a strange turn of events over the past couple of weeks, I had left my job at the state and had some retirement money coming to me that I was reminded of by my oldest daughter.  This was the same daughter that was just a baby when I felt I needed to sell the car in 1985.  I had sold it to help take care of her and now, thanks to her, I was on my way to getting my car back.  I went to the state office immediately and was told that in two days I would have a check in my hands.  That evening I got up the courage to call the owners back and beg for my car.  I told them that I would have $7,000.00 cash in my hands by Friday and I could pick the car up on Saturday if they would please sell it to me.  The lady acted like she was my best friend and said “of course honey, I said if you could come up with the money you could have it, now calm down and we will see you on Saturday.  We love yoooou.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather.  But you can’t reason with crazy so I didn’t try.  For the next three days I truly didn’t sleep.  I would go to bed and wake up from nightmares that the car had been sold or wrecked when I got there.  Finally Saturday, August 23rd got here and we left.  Calling the tow company twice to make sure they would get there before the lady yanked the car away from me yet another time.  The man and woman were there in the yard having a big sale when we drove up.  Some people were talking about the car and remarking loudly how you can’t touch them anymore for less that twenty grand.  I panicked and quickly said hi and I gave her the stack of $100.00 bills, 70 of them.  She took them onto her back porch and slowly, holding each and every one up to the sun light to make sure it was real, counted them.  Beads of sweat rolled down my head with each thousand that was counted out.  She finally reached the $7,000.00 mark and stuffed it all into her pocket.  Walked out and told her husband to sign the title.  The dear man had already done it while she was counting.  With a shaking hand I took it.  Now, where was that tow truck?  I called again and they had gone on an emergency call but were on their way.  Finally, they backed in, put a tow strap on her and started pulling to get her out of the weeds and clear of the fence.  Some more hookups and tow wheels and she was ready to go.

I gave the man a hug as we left and told him I would never let it go again.  He said he knew I would love it as much as he did.  The tow truck followed us back to Carson City.  My youngest daughter knew what I had been through that week and was working that day on the north end of town and we had to pass her job.  I called her and told her to walk out her front door and watch the main street.  I told her when she sees us pass to look at the yellow tow truck behind us.  We passed her and honked.  I kept watching her and laughed when she clasped her hands over her mouth and then jumped up and down waving her hands and shouting.  She called me screaming “oh my gosh you got it!  Mom, I’m so happy for you, woo hoo!” 

As we pulled onto our property and I watched it being backed into its space and unhitched I realized she was back home.  She was sold from that very spot in the yard and was parked safely here again.  Through the dust and leaves I slid in behind the wheel.  I didn’t care that she was filthy; she was exactly the same, just 23 years older.  A little rustier, the seat a bit saggy, but weren’t we all.  I have already taken almost as many pictures of her as I have my one year old granddaughter.  It took me 5 hours to clean her up just to the point of recognizable and I have a long way to go.  My husband has drained the old gas out and is working lovingly to get her going again.  On Saturday, September 6, two weeks to the day that I got her, I received the title in my name.  I framed it of course.  That evening I was looking for something and I opened a box I haven’t opened in 20 years.  There in the top were the original, Nevada blue and white, license plates that were on her when I got her in 1981.

 Last night I rejoined the Karson Kruzers car club and of course told the whole story which brought us a round of applause.  I have been invited to drive her in this years’ Nevada Day Parade with them and accepted proudly. 

From Redding, California to Carson City, Nevada – from Carson City, Nevada to Oregon – from Oregon to Washoe Valley, Nevada – and from Washoe Valley, Nevada a short 16 miles back to Carson City, Nevada.  She was always meant to be mine.

Tomorrow I will go to the DMV and reinstate her plates. 

 This Sunday I will take my family for a drive.

 
                                                       

THE END ……
                                                       
Yeah Right!!!
    
    


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