Letter: California fire casualty
My husband, Bob, had grown up in Seattle. He had a best friend named George. They were buddies throughout kindergarten, grade school, college, the Navy and married life. By coincidence, Bob, me, George and his new wife, Peg, ended up in Southern California.
Bob had purchased an old ‘57 Porsche while in the Navy and Peg happened to have a newer Porsche.
Thus, we would all get together. The boys would tinker on the cars while Peg and I would sneak a cigarette in the bathroom.
Years went by. We moved, started careers, had children. I remember often warming a baby bottle against the Porsche heater as we raced along. No car seat or a back seat.
We all kept in touch and we kept the Porsches. Kids grew, careers, marriages, etc.
After my husband died, George called and asked me if I still had the Porsche. I said yes, but it hadn’t been driven in years. It was in the garage covered with dust, rust and a big dent near a back wheel.
George arrived from California with a flatbed trailer and hauled the Porsche back to his home, where he began to restore the old thing in his barn. He said it was a hobby for him and a reminder of his old friend. In the last six years he proceeded to take apart the car, clean the engine, pound out the dents and have it repainted.
He called me after the recent fires. He and Peg live near Santa Rosa, California. He told me their house and the barn had burned to the ground along with the Porsche.
They are safe and had evacuated in time.
One cannot grieve for a car, but I grieve for George, Peg and their neighbors.