Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s song comes from out of my dream stream. Very involved, with many scenes, one scene featured me in a record story with sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, and Dad. As I said something about the music selection (which was large), Dad said, “I’d go for Genesis. I like them.”

I said, “Genesis? You like Genesis?”

“Sure, Genesis, Journey…I like just about all of them.”

When I awoke and thought of that part of the dream, “Follow You Follow Me” (1978) popped into the stream. So, here we go.

The Father and Me Dreams

My Dad was a special guest star in my dreams last night. I was a teenager in all of them, not really surprising, because that’s the era of my life that I saw the most of him, as I lived with him for three years after things became dark and unpleasant with Mom’s husband. Then I graduate from high school and left home.

In one memorable part of the dream, Dad and I were following a young tabby cat. The cat had gone down a sidewalk. I hurried after him, and discovered him rolling around on the cement walk in some freshly cut grass.

After that, the dream scenes fluttered and crackled. There was Dad and I driving in a car, and I’m looking out the window, checking out passing scenery. We throw a baseball back and forth in sunshine. I hear his laugh. Dad enjoys laughing.

The dreams grew darker and faster in nature. Then, suddenly, it became “This Is Your Life” from when I was in my mid-teens.

Life wasn’t going well. Most of my time was spent reading books, riding my bike, playing sports, drawing and painting, and listening to music. Although I enjoyed math, history, science, and literature, school was a bore. I was becoming a loner and acted out out a lot, and the dream managed to feature sharp memories of that era. In one sequence, a boy two years younger than me was riding a bike. A bunch of us children were in front of his house on a late summer afternoon. We weren’t doing much but hanging. I think I was fourteen. This kid, though, was riding around and bantering with others. Then I heard my sister say, “He spit on me.”

I don’t believe I’d ever reacted as fast to anything in my life, and I have always, from childhood on to even now, been known for amazingly fast reflexes.

He was riding his bike by me. My hand shot out, caught the rear of his bike and jerked it back, pulling it out from under him. As he fell free, I tossed the bike to one side, stepped forward, grabbed the kid, and hauled him to his feet. I told him he needed to apologize to my sister. I remember that other kids there were freaked out and afraid I was going to do something terrible to the kid. But he apologized to my sister. I released him. He took his bike and ran to his house.

His mother came out and confronted me. I was unapologetic. I told her nobody was going to spit on my sister while I was there. She didn’t know her son had spit on my sister. That changed things.

The scene was just a brief flash in my dream, the part where my sister said, “He spit on me,” and I grabbed his bike. I remembered the rest, along with other memories from that period, after awakening.

The whole dream and memory sequence left me emotionally shaken as I went about my morning routine. As I wondered why I’d dreamed so much about my father and childhood, I reached out to him to ensure he was okay.

The Car Colors

Walking today, I passed a red car. My thoughts were drifting, and seeing the red car, I thought, I’ve never owned a red car.

Dad had owned a red Thunderbird. That began a stream of recollections about Dad’s cars. He’d owned a turquoise Thunderbird (with matching interior), a maroon Monte Carlo (also with matching interior), beige Corvette and a blue Corvette (guess what color their interiors were?), and a white Chevy Impala, along with a white Thunderbird. Both of the white cars had red interiors.

I thought, what an eclectic mix. But then I reviewed some of my car colors. I’d had a copper Camaro (black interior) and brown Firebird (with a tan interior), a green Mercedes (with matching interior), a white BMW (blue interior), silver Audi (gray interior), orange Porsche (brown and black interior), a silver RX-7 with a red interior, a blue RX-7 with a brown interior, and a black RX-7 with a black interior.

In each case, I’d not consciously decided on a color. It was more of a decision, this is the car for me.

Remembering A Dad Moment

1971

Besides being a rock fan and fifteen years old, I was an auto racing fan. My father was in the U.S.A.F. He’d just returned from being stationed in Germany and was now stationed at DESC near Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio when I moved in with him. He surprised me with tickets to the premiere of LeMans with Steve McQueen.

Whenever I hear the movie’s opening minutes, I’m back in that packed movie theater, one of the few children in the place, remembering the movie’s beginning, and Dad. The start is just the sounds and images of racing cars of the era screaming around the French race track. To non-fans, it’s probably noise. But to racing fans, the sounds of Porsches and Ferraris of different-sized engines, Alfas, Corvettes, and Matras can all be heard as individual howls.

Dad had no interest in seeing the movie, but he knew I wanted to. So, thanks, Dad.

The Sisters Dream

I dreamed of my sisters, sisters-in-law, and their daughters. My wife was also present, but ‘off-stage’, in the other room. Sometimes I heard her, but I never saw her. Only one male was in it; he didn’t enter until the end.

I was in someone’s house. I don’t know whose house. Toward the dream’s beginning, one sister-in-law entered. She and I hugged. She said, “How long until December?”

There was a calendar on the wall beside us. Indicating it, I said, “You’re behind. It’s already December. It’s almost the middle of December.”

She and I joined the others by a coffee table. Everyone was happy to see me, and I was happy to see them, but I knew it was a dream, and I was trying to understand why they were there, and what was going on. Bowls of finger-food and plates of sandwiches filled the coffee table. My two youngest sisters were beside it. The youngest was talking and laughing with several nieces, while the next oldest sister talked to me about the food and asked me what I wanted. I saw my older sister and my other sister in another part of the room. Multiple overlapping conversations were taking place, and there was a lot of laughter. I couldn’t hear much of what was being said. My sister-in-law sat close to me, trying to talk to me, but my sister was also talking to me, leaving me unable to answer either.

Taking a break from them, I went into another room. My Dad was in there, doing business. I was trying to understand what his business was, and what was he doing. Although I asked these questions, I couldn’t comprehend his responses. Eventually, I went back into the other room to find something to eat.

Which is where memory of the dream fades.

A NASCAR Dream

It was peculiar.

My Dad, wife, and other family members – none of them ever seen, but heard in the wings of the dream stage – and I were watching a NASCAR race. It was one of the big banked tracks, like Charlotte, Michigan, or Daytona. I lean toward the last as the site. The cars were in roaring packs. It was the race’s mid-stage. Fans know this means the drivers were racing for position, but were mostly finessing the situation and vehicle to make a run at the end. Stock are mostly high-speed endurance races with a final ten-lap shoot-out, especially with the modern tendencies for the cars to wreck on the last, desperate laps. That stops the race and frequently leads to a green-white-checker situation.

I’d driven in with family in a white Chrysler Sebring convertible, with a beige leather interior. The car was parked right there.

Watching the race wasn’t the same as in reality. While watching on a huge screen, I (and everyone else) could virtually walk among the cars as they raced around the track. NASCAR encouraged this technology as a way for fans to get closer. Further, you could design a new paint scheme for the cars as they raced. The drivers and team could then review your scheme while the race was on, and adopt it for the car, again, while the race was on.

That’s what I was doing during the race. ‘My’ driver was a female (and not Danica Patrick). She’d was leading for most of the race, but there was a wreck. She was eliminated, and the race was red-flagged for track clean-up.

My family wanted to leave. The race wasn’t going on, and the one we cheered was no longer in it; why stay? I was working on that paint scheme, though, and didn’t want to quit. I finally surrendered to their heckling. Then Dad wanted me to move the Sebring up. Although we weren’t in a garage, there was a closed garage door. Using a remote control, I moved the car forward, but resisted getting it too close to the garage door. Dad insisted, move it further forward. Irritated, I did, stopping the car with the nose right against the garage door. I then complained to him about it.

That’s all there was. I found interesting symbolism to move after I awoke: a white car, my father as an authority figure, and a female driver, in the lead. All of those seemed like elements of myself. After mulling it over for a while, I took it to mean exciting times were coming (the race) during which I would be pushed to the limit (the car against the garage door) but that it would be fine (my father), and that while I had control, I wouldn’t be in full control.

As if I’m ever in full control, right?

 

Ford Wins LeMans

Ford won LeMans in 1966, and they won again today, June 19, 2016, fifty years later to the date.

When I was ten, this was important. The Ford GTs were the pinnacle of sports racing endurance cars, and one of the winning drivers, Bruce McLaren, was a racing driver I admired, so wow, Bruce McLaren, in a Ford GT, won LeMans. Groovy!

I don’t know where Dad was that year. Mom and Dad had divorced. I lived with Mom and my sisters in the Pittsburgh, Pa, area. Dad was in the Air Force, and I think he was outside of the United States. I think he may have been in Vietnam. My belief is fixed on Dad’s Ford Thunderbird. A turquoise hardtop convertible, that car was gorgeous. It was also sitting in my Uncle Pete’s garage in Penn Hills, Pa, alongside Uncle Pete’s white ’65 Mustang coupe.

Yeah, I was into cars.

Cars are what connect Dad and I to this day. When we speak, we chat about what we’re driving and what new car designs have, or are about to, come out. After the ’65 Thunderbird (or maybe ’66), he had a ’68 Thunderbird coupe, red, with a black landau top. He traded it in for a maroon ’74 Monte Carlo, but went back to the Ford Thunderbird, buying a white one in 1976.

Then he took on Corvettes, buying and driving three or four of them, having them as a second car while his primary vehicle was a pick up truck or SUV. There was one break in all of this when he bought a Cadillac. (Dad in a Cadillac is as strange as me in a Cadillac.) Memory isn’t as fixed about those cars. I was an adult by then, separated from him by life. But like him, I was in the US Air Force and enjoyed performance and sports cars. My first car I bought was a 1968 Camaro. Returning from the Philippines, I bought an orange Porsche 914 and drove it from West Virginia to Texas and back. It was left for a Pontiac Firebird, which I sold when we left for Okinawa. Returning from there, I bought a 1985 Mazda RX-7. The RX-7 was my Corvette, as I ended up owning three of them, trading in my black 1993 Mazda RX-7 R1 less than two years ago, after owning it for nineteen years.

When I call Dad later today, he’ll ask me if if I still have the RX-7 and then remember that I traded it in for a Mazda CX-5. He’ll mention his step-daughter’s Corvette, which he helped her buy. We’ll talk about the newly redesigned Miata, and I’ll ask him if he’s seen the new Fiat 124, based on the Miata. Besides the way I look, walk and talk, and the color of my eyes, hair and skin, and my build, there is no doubt I’m my father’s son.

We are car guys.

 

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