First Thought

Making it a Family Affair

Larry Jewett - May 10, 2012 10:00 AM



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A few months ago, we put a call out, asking for stories that would make a good fit for our Father’s Day issue.

Honestly, we have wanted to do it for a few years, but always found ourselves too late. This year, for some reason, we remembered in time.

The stories are about how your father influenced you or how you, as a father, have influenced your children to enjoy the hobby. We want to thank all of those who took the time to send the e-mails, the photos and the background, knowing we would never be able to share all of the stories we got. What follows on the pages is just a sample of all the stories that are out there.

If you want to hear more stories, all you have to do is ask. Try it at the next car show you attend and you’ll find there are plenty of places where the hobby is fortified by generations past or future. You’ll often see evidence of a father and daughter or son walking through the show field. Knowledge is imparted and not always in the direction you might expect. Garage time is not too hard to imagine after taking in that scene.

To keep the flow of letters to a minimum, let’s point out that moms are just as capable of sharing the hobbies as dads, but this story comes out just before Father’s Day. Mother’s Day was last month. We’ll have to plan something for 2013 since that time window has already closed.

The nice thing about this whole matter is the fact that you don’t even need to own a car, but only to have possession of the passion that comes within the realm of the hobby. There’s nothing wrong with a little intergenerational dreaming. You often find your dream car is not the same as the object of desire of your progeny, but the bond is there.

The fortunate ones are still sharing their hobby with the generation previous or next. Some of our stories told of fathers who are no longer with us, but have left impressions that time cannot erase. It’s an inevitability of life, so we need to vow to take advantage of the resources while we have them.

As a child, I can safely say that I missed opportunities to learn from my own father. There were countless times when a car was being fixed, but the lure of the sunny day overrode my understanding that what was being done was actually more valuable than trying to hit a ball over a fence. If only I had stayed around to hand in needed tools or run to get other parts on the workbench, my learning curve would have been quicker. Still, there were the times when I was learning and never realized it or how valuable that lesson would become through time.

Regardless of what our chronological age might be, regardless of what we have learned in the past, there are still lessons to be learned, one from another, as we allow them. Having a shared hobby only steps up the possibility that lifelong lessons will come and you just never know when they will come into play.

It’s like adding the latest and greatest to your toolbox, your mental toolbox. It’s there when you need it and you just never know when having that tool will come in handy.

Thanks to all who do their part to keep the hobby strong. Happy Father’s Day.