Filed under: 1966 Chevrolet Corvair ("Ashley")

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My wife Rose (MAXXINE to all of her Motortopia friends) and I just got back from a much-deserved week's vacation in the beautiful Pocono mountains for some R&R in the cool (if somewhat rainy) weather, and a time to decompress from the stresses of working for the Poatal Service. At this point, I don't know whether I'll have a job come March, if the Postmaster General has his way and breaks the contract, doing away with the "No Layoff" clause that was written in in exchange for the unions granting the U.S.P.S. a "No Strike" clause. They say they'll do the layoffs from the top down to eliminate the highest-paid employees first so, with nearly 26 years there, my neck is DEFINITELY on the block!

Anyhow, back to happier things, namely our trip. We went to a church on Sunday where a friend is the Pastor, then enjoyed their monthly breakfast afterwards. We met this gentleman through a prayer group in our home church that Rose is active in that goes up to the Poconos once a month to pray for his 22 year old daughter who is severely handicapped due to being struck by lightning about 3 years ago. Please remember Emily in your prayers. Her folks tell us that she was always a bright, cheerful young woman with aspirations of eventually becoming a doctor when the incident occured. Emily is still a beautiful young lady, but she's having a tough time re-learning every aspect of life, from walking to talking, to even feeding herself. But you can still see that spark in her eyes and her beautiful smile that lights up a room. The 'old Emily' is still there, but she just can't express herself or move in any coordinated way. I can't begin to imagine how frustrating that must be for her, but she's a fighter, and always seems so cheerful. This evening, before leaving the Poconos to return home, we returned to the church to help out with their annual Pork & Sauerkraut dinner. It was nice to see them one more time before leaving for home (and dinner was great too!).

Monday saw us heading west to Mountainhome, PA, to visit our friend Harry Callie, the gentleman who bought my '66 Corvair "Ashley" from us a couple of years ago. Last year, I was upset by her condition. He clearly hadn't been driving her, and she was filthy inside and out. He mentioned that she didn't seem to be running right, so I offered to take her for a couple of days to see if I could figure out what, if anything, was wrong with her. I wrote a blog about that last year along with photos in an album from our time with her. Anyhow, imagine my surprise when I found out that Harry had followed through on his promise to me that Ashley would be professionally restored cosmetically (She didn't really need anything mechanical done to her). I went back to the garage and there she was, my old baby, looking brand new! All the minor little parking lot dings were gone along with the rust spots that had started to develop from four winters worth of driving in Pennsylvania road salt. The broken taillight lens had been replaced. All of the dinged-up chrome pieces had been straightened or replaced. The front seats had both been reupholstered, and the carpet re-dyed to get rid of decades worth of sun fading. She still needs some detail work taken care of, but it did my heart a world of good to see the old girl looking new again. Harry told me that he would be more than willing to let us use the car again for a few days, but for the fact that it was currently impossible to get it out of the garage! It seems that last week, a big ol' bear had wanted to get into the garage and had broken the door to the garage bay where the Corvair is parked. The door won't move without the risk of it collapsing on the car. The PA Department of Fish and Wildlife came in and set a humane trap for the bear, caught it, and released it somewhere where it shouldn't be a bother to people. Maybe next year we'll be able to take her for a drive... I hope!

(While we were there, I volunteered to exercize any of his other collector cars for him if he wanted me to. That list includes a 1970 454 Corvette coupe, a 1963 Bel Air wagon with a 409, another Corvair, this one a '65 Monza painted "Evening Orchid", a '59 Edsel Ranger, a '66 Rambler Ambassador convertible, a '62 Studebaker Lark, a '55 Studebaker sedan, a '65 Dodge pickup, and a gorgeous dark blue '47 Cadillac sedan.)