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Monday, December 14, 2009


cloud on bullhead 14dec09

The only thing of importance today was picking up the Catfish after Chuck did some more work on it, like a major part he could not have to put on until today. Ordered. It's the fuel pump assembly that goes down inside the gas tank. Meaning the gas tank had to be taken off, emptied first, the old fuel pump assembly taken out and the new one put in. The pipes that came out of it to run the gas forward to the engine, had corroded and were seeping gas. Plus, the reading on the dashboard from E to F changed. Before, the needle went way above the F when full. When the needle was at F it was half full. Now the needle more accurately describes what's in the tank.

I feel happy with the Catfish in near perfect running order. Chuck did a beautiful job on it. I like to ride in it now just to feel the engine run smoothly, the muffler absorbing the exhaust sound, new filters, new brakes, clean throughout the flushed cooling system and flushed fuel injection system. New tires. It's a joy to drive. Maybe I can get some car deodorant called New Car Smell. Except those things only smell like chemicals to me. I don't need chemicals to tell me the car runs fine, and I believe it will for a long time. I'm still taken by how like new the interior is after 16 years and 128k miles.

Jerry takes good care of a car. He's like my uncle Sonny in that way. Sonny bought a 1954 Chevy brand new. He kept it and drove it as his primary car for a very long time. He kept it clean and waxed all the time. Never a spot of rust. It looked brand new off the showroom floor. When he bought a new Chevy up in the 90s, he put the 54 in his dad's garage. He loved his car. I have an appreciation for cars, always have had. If I had chosen a life of luxury, I'd have the finest cars in the land. They would be my treasures. Since I can't afford to have material treasures, it's been a lifetime of getting used to it. It's like Jr's trophies he cared little about. He didn't like that they were stolen, but he didn't miss them.

Sonny came home from WW2 with stress syndrome. Stayed in his room alone all day and all night. I was told to leave him alone. He had a calendar with that picture of early Marilyn Monroe nude on the red bedsheet. Sonny was known for liking spicy calendars. How many years out of high school? 2 or 3? As Sonny started coming around he began to have girlfriends. One I remember worked at the ticket booth of a movie theater in downtown Kansas City. She had red fingernails, red lipstick and she smoked Pall Malls. Mid 1940s. The big story I remember when I was 4 she was robbed. A man pulled a gun on her and told her to hand over the money. She fainted and he left. Management was very happy with her. I missed her when she quit coming around. She paid attention to the little kid and the kid was enchanted with her. She had the classic 40s glamor girl look with the permed hair, high heels and a cigarette.

My grandmother, mother's mother, when she was here told me of the time her brother in law, her husband's older brother ("He was one of them mean Germans"), beat her up really bad when she was pregnant with Sonny. That was the day she quit loving her husband. Sonny was ok, but she couldn't help but see a connection with his mental instability as a result of the war experience, whatever it was. I was never told and never asked. Sonny found a woman when he was getting some psychiatric help who was also getting psychiatric help. They eventually married and had a girl who needed psychiatric help. I don't mean like they were people whose heads leaned over on one shoulder. He worked for Bell telephone from his first job after the Army to retirement. A lineman. Loved it. They were good people. Sonny's wife Helen called me The Reader. She liked to read too. We were the only ones. The ones that needed psychiatric help. Or rather the ones that recognized they needed it.

Sonny grew up on golf courses, his dad a greenskeeper. By the time he was out of high school, he was playing in tournaments around KC and winning. He and his dad won father-son tournaments all the time. He wanted to go the way of pro golfer, but that old mental instability killed it. Nonetheless, he won a lot of amateur tournaments, played a good game up until he couldn't play any more. Had a lot of trophies. It was like he was born with golf in his blood. Sonny was a good natured kind of uncle to have. Always good with the kid who looked up to him. All his nephews looked up to him. James Joseph Brink, Jr.

Uncle Sonny comes to mind in relation to taking care of cars. The man could take care of a car. If I wanted to live the life of having a garage, a yard, garden hose to wash the car in the yard with, I could be one to take care of a car like Sonny did, with him as my role model growing up. I thought it was really neat to wash and wax a car. In high school years I was way into custom cars. Daryl Starbird was in Wichita and brought a big custom car show to Wichita every year. In this later time of the life looking back, I tell myself if I'd followed my heart I'd have gone into auto body work with customizing as my purpose. I also don't believe that's where my heart would have led me, because it had the chance and didn't. It's a kind of work I believe I would have enjoyed a great deal more than many others. But I am now where my heart led me.

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