When our son Andrew was a little boy, he wrote a story for school titled, “The year Winter Never Came.” With temperatures in the 70’s here in December, I’m beginning to think it was this year he was writing about. Not complaining though, as it’s allowed me to hit my annual bike mileage goal of 5000 miles with time to spare and plenty of garage time working on the Pony. Here are a couple of shots of the side panel progress.
Like everything else with the Pony, the side panels have proved an enormous challenge. After the debacle of the faulty paint batch, then try installing those panels with holes in one place onto a 60-year-old tractor with holes in other places that have shifted all over the place. Then too, I haven’t even dealt with this yet, but two of the holes have the old cap screws broken off in the Pony’s torque tube. But anyway, you get the idea from the photos how things are shaping-up.
In related news, Gene’s grand-daughter, Sarah, has for some unknown reason taking a real shine to the Pony. She’s just shy of two-years-old, but I’m told that when I’m not around she constantly talks about Bruce’s tractor, even calling me on her pretend phone to ask how the Pony is doing. It was a several years ago now that Gene gave me a small toy replica of the Pony, perhaps it was a Christmas gift; I don’t recall exactly, but I thought this would be the perfect time to “regift” that little Pony to Sarah. So last week I passed the “little Pony” along.
With Sarah is her dad, Ben. I’m telling you, she grabbed that little tractor with an iron grip, and she looks pretty happy, doesn’t she?
And a final Pony matter, it was a couple of weeks ago now, but it was a pleasant surprise when I flipped the page on my tractor calendar to find this.
A perfect shot to end the year, wouldn’t you say?
If you’ve got the “Christmas Blues,” I’ve got a suggestion that will pull you out of that funk real fast. Go to Barnes and Noble and buy Dave Barry’s little Christmas book, “The Shepherd, The Angel, and Walter, The Christmas Miracle Dog.” It’s an absolute hoot! You’ll probably find it for $5 or less and you can read the whole thing in a couple of hours. I just read it for the second time a few days ago and laughed just as much, maybe more than the first time I read it.
You know, some things are really hard to accept. A few weeks ago as I was pulling out of the Wellness Center where I volunteer, I noticed some speckley crap on the Camry’s windshield. It kind of pissed me off, because I had just had the car washed. I’d parked under some trees, so thought perhaps it was tree sap, but running the windshield washers didn’t remove it. I let it go until the next weekend when I returned to the car wash and asked the guys there to give the windshield an extra blast with their high-pressure sprayer. Man the car looked great, but I could tell right away that the specks were still there.
A few days later I grabbed a rag and some lacquer thinner to see if that would remove the specks, no luck. After that I started thinking maybe I should be reporting my issue to the Wellness Center in the event other vehicles had been similarly affected. But yesterday, I thought I’d try one more thing. I’d bought a nifty little glass scraper a few months ago for removing old gasket material from the Pony’s rear axle housings, so I slipped a new blade in there and went to work. This time I could feel right away that the specks were coming off, and then it was just a matter of seconds before I noticed that the accumulating specks were, wait for it….red! Oh no, once again, the culprit isn’t someone else, it’s me!
Apparently on one of my days in the woods spraying the side panels, there must have been some “wind drift,” and the paint carried down the street to the Camry. It was parked a good distance away, but the specks are pretty irrefutable proof that the panels aren’t the only thing that I’ve spray-painted recently. Thank god the Camry is red, because it just got a little redder. The poor Camry has had some real injuries inflicted on it during the Pony’s restoration. Ironic isn’t it that the better the Pony looks, the worse the Camry is for it. I better finish the restoration quickly, or all I’ll have left of the Camry is a car that looks like the wreck John Candy and Steve Martin drove in the movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
My goodness, just a week and it’ll be Christmas. The house has been decorated for over two weeks, and just like Santa, Andy will arrive on Christmas Eve for a nice visit. Wonder what he’s bringing me. The Princess and I wish you all a festive and joy-filled holiday. Merry Christmas!