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Time – sometimes we treat it as a commodity. A precious, finite commodity that unfortunately we have a tendency to waste. Yet it can be that one second that can change everything. We had that one terrible second in the first few moments of Christmas morning when my Step-Dad fell down the stairs at my house and suffered a fatal injury. Christmas day felt surreal as we dealt first with hospitals and doctors and then priests and grieving family, the day stretched into a blur. Even now it is getting more difficult to connect the dots of each moment we experienced. My poor mother, her soul mate taken from her way too early, now has to deal with a life without him. All I can do is to be that granite rock for her in the coming days, weeks, months and beyond.

To call him my Step-Dad does not do him any justice. You see he was more a father to me than my own Dad was. He taught me more about being a responsible thinking, caring man than anyone else in my life. He was my font of wisdom and knowledge, my moral authority, and my friend. To my boys, he was their Granddad, coming to countless sports activities, endless school programs, the important events in their lives. They called him “Papasito” and so did I.

I don’t want to write about the sadness that descended on us like a fog on Christmas day, but want to celebrate his life. The life of a car guy. Who knew and drove great cars, who relished the experience of driving a Porsche, who was sympathetic to things mechanical.

When I met him, he was driving a funky late 70’s El Camino. It was red and black, had garish mag wheels and a huge rumbling V-8. It did not have a ton of giddy-up-and-go, but it sounded the part. It fit him perfectly, a eclectic style that swept up every facet of his life from dress to cooking, from music to the voluminous amount of content he read. You never knew what he would be wearing when he emerged from the El Camino, it could be smart slacks and jacket, with a rakish scarf to a full on pimp suit. It was a visual adventure just to see what threads he chose for the occasion.

Later he drove a Geo Tracker, the El Camino had run its last gasp, the band-aid patches to keep it running had run their course. It sat under a tarp in their driveway, maybe there would be an infusion of cash to keep it running, a second lease on life. The second lease never appeared and his beloved El Camino was finally towed away. The little red Tracker’s practicality fit him perfectly when he needed it. He had required something cheap and reliable at the time, I think the Tracker was the mini SUV poster-car for cheap and reliable.

I remember us talking about the rebirth of the new Mini. He respected my car-guy opinion and wanted to know what I thought. I told him I thought they were great and I would certainly buy one. At the time, retro was in and there were lots of other cars that seemed to draw on themes of what had come before. There was the terrible Chrysler PT Curiser and the terrible'er...er (if that is possible) Chevy HHR. Those “timeless” designs now consigned to the dustbin of history. The Mini though; it was a revolutionary car when new, the genius of Alec Issigonis evident in the packaging details. Somehow Mini-BMW took the best parts of an ageless design, fused it with modern features and sensibilities and made it new again. The proof? They are still cranking them out in even more variants.

I digress (what else is new…), he breathed a sigh of relief knowing it had passed my car-guy cool car test. He was like a little kid, he wanted one so badly. Turns out there was no Mini dealer in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area. Probably had to local BMW dealer did not want to build a separate facility for it (or something like that). So he travelled down to San Antonio to the first Mini dealer in Texas and bought one there. It was yellow of course, with black stripes and a white hood and roof. And of course it was a Mini Cooper S with a 6-Speed. Papasito had style.

He was a Porsche guy too. He owned a 1973 911E, with three kids bouncing around in the tiny bucket seats no less (one even riding on the transmission hump). Every time I got a new Porsche he would question me about the details, living the Porsche-guy life vicariously through me, if only for a few minutes. I gave him rides in several, and when I pressed the go-pedal blasting down the road, he would smile in appreciation at the performance. He would never drive one, although I offered. He deferred to being a passenger, just experiencing the thrill, trusting my driving skill.

He loved to drive fast. My Mom? Not so much. If the speed limit is 70 MPH on the highway, she will go exactly 70, not a mile higher. A couple of years ago, they were heading to the Davis Mountains in Texas for a short vacation, they were driving on a stretch of Interstate-10 where the speed-limit was 80 MPH. At one point she glanced down and was going over 85. She turned to Papasito and gasped, “My Goodness, I am doing 85!” To which he calmly replied, “Ohhh Baby, you are brave!”

Yeah he was a car guy and I will really miss him. Goodbye Papasito, until we meet on the other side. Just have a really cool car ready for me…will you?

On that exhaust note, see you all next time.
 

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Sorry for your loss but I tremendously respect your celebration of a life well lived. That is how I remember and reflect on the loss of my Dad, many many years ago. He lives on, every day, in conversations with my wife and our grown son. That is the greatest tribute you can pay is to keep their spirit alive in word and deed, every day.

All the best to you and your family.
 

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@rob76turbo

Life ends, love not.

I know what I am talking about, my Dad passed away on my 10th birthday, ages ago now....

My deepest sympathy

Gerhard
 

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He was a special man.......as you are a son. May he rest in peace.
 

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Time – sometimes we treat it as a commodity. A precious, finite commodity that unfortunately we have a tendency to waste. Yet it can be that one second that can change everything. We had that one terrible second in the first few moments of Christmas morning when my Step-Dad fell down the stairs at my house and suffered a fatal injury. Christmas day felt surreal as we dealt first with hospitals and doctors and then priests and grieving family, the day stretched into a blur. Even now it is getting more difficult to connect the dots of each moment we experienced. My poor mother, her soul mate taken from her way too early, now has to deal with a life without him. All I can do is to be that granite rock for her in the coming days, weeks, months and beyond.

To call him my Step-Dad does not do him any justice. You see he was more a father to me than my own Dad was. He taught me more about being a responsible thinking, caring man than anyone else in my life. He was my font of wisdom and knowledge, my moral authority, and my friend. To my boys, he was their Granddad, coming to countless sports activities, endless school programs, the important events in their lives. They called him “Papasito” and so did I.

I don’t want to write about the sadness that descended on us like a fog on Christmas day, but want to celebrate his life. The life of a car guy. Who knew and drove great cars, who relished the experience of driving a Porsche, who was sympathetic to things mechanical.

When I met him, he was driving a funky late 70’s El Camino. It was red and black, had garish mag wheels and a huge rumbling V-8. It did not have a ton of giddy-up-and-go, but it sounded the part. It fit him perfectly, a eclectic style that swept up every facet of his life from dress to cooking, from music to the voluminous amount of content he read. You never knew what he would be wearing when he emerged from the El Camino, it could be smart slacks and jacket, with a rakish scarf to a full on pimp suit. It was a visual adventure just to see what threads he chose for the occasion.

Later he drove a Geo Tracker, the El Camino had run its last gasp, the band-aid patches to keep it running had run their course. It sat under a tarp in their driveway, maybe there would be an infusion of cash to keep it running, a second lease on life. The second lease never appeared and his beloved El Camino was finally towed away. The little red Tracker’s practicality fit him perfectly when he needed it. He had required something cheap and reliable at the time, I think the Tracker was the mini SUV poster-car for cheap and reliable.

I remember us talking about the rebirth of the new Mini. He respected my car-guy opinion and wanted to know what I thought. I told him I thought they were great and I would certainly buy one. At the time, retro was in and there were lots of other cars that seemed to draw on themes of what had come before. There was the terrible Chrysler PT Curiser and the terrible'er...er (if that is possible) Chevy HHR. Those “timeless” designs now consigned to the dustbin of history. The Mini though; it was a revolutionary car when new, the genius of Alec Issigonis evident in the packaging details. Somehow Mini-BMW took the best parts of an ageless design, fused it with modern features and sensibilities and made it new again. The proof? They are still cranking them out in even more variants.

I digress (what else is new…), he breathed a sigh of relief knowing it had passed my car-guy cool car test. He was like a little kid, he wanted one so badly. Turns out there was no Mini dealer in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area. Probably had to local BMW dealer did not want to build a separate facility for it (or something like that). So he travelled down to San Antonio to the first Mini dealer in Texas and bought one there. It was yellow of course, with black stripes and a white hood and roof. And of course it was a Mini Cooper S with a 6-Speed. Papasito had style.

He was a Porsche guy too. He owned a 1973 911E, with three kids bouncing around in the tiny bucket seats no less (one even riding on the transmission hump). Every time I got a new Porsche he would question me about the details, living the Porsche-guy life vicariously through me, if only for a few minutes. I gave him rides in several, and when I pressed the go-pedal blasting down the road, he would smile in appreciation at the performance. He would never drive one, although I offered. He deferred to being a passenger, just experiencing the thrill, trusting my driving skill.

He loved to drive fast. My Mom? Not so much. If the speed limit is 70 MPH on the highway, she will go exactly 70, not a mile higher. A couple of years ago, they were heading to the Davis Mountains in Texas for a short vacation, they were driving on a stretch of Interstate-10 where the speed-limit was 80 MPH. At one point she glanced down and was going over 85. She turned to Papasito and gasped, “My Goodness, I am doing 85!” To which he calmly replied, “Ohhh Baby, you are brave!”

Yeah he was a car guy and I will really miss him. Goodbye Papasito, until we meet on the other side. Just have a really cool car ready for me…will you?

On that exhaust note, see you all next time.

Thank you for your post. Kind of set things in perspective. Sorry for your loss. I am sure you will never forget your Papasito.
 

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Caymaniac
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Condolences to your family. Thanks for reminding us about what matters.
 

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Cayman Owner
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I'm sorry to hear about your loss...

I'm very appreciative of how you chose to remember him and thank you for the smile worthy story! :)

:cheers:
 
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