Almost two years ago, Tom made the decision to have his1974 MGB, which he purchased first-hand right out of college, fully restored. For those of you that know Tom, this was a major financial endeavor, and it took a bit of my help to push him towards the decision. Although our archives do not contain a picture of the MG as he first bought it, we do have records of her purchase and maintenance history. Could it be true that Tom only paid $4,274.50 for her on July 18, 1974?
The B (as Tom called her) was Tom's main car as a young teacher-bachelor, and also during our early married years. In 1986, at the ripe old age of 12 years old, Tom drove her back to the car dealership in Mansfield, Oh where he had purchased her for a major tune-up. He also had her repainted in the traditional MG red. She served off and on during the next 15 years as a car that was brought out just for fun -- not real practical for a family with two young children! For the past 12 years she has been relaxing in the garage. With retirement almost upon him, Tom knew it was time to reconnect with his MGB and prepare her for a more active future!
Thus, in the early spring of 2011 we loaded the MGB on a truck and followed it to Indianapolis where it would rest in the repair garage of Bob Connell and Floyd Miller for a total make-over and restoration. Bob and his crew do nothing but work on MGs and they are fastidious about the ones they choose to work on. Tom’s MG sparked Bob’s interest because it is rare to find a man that buys a car right out of college, and then stays true to his promise to keep it forever – the next 37 years!
Here are some pictures loading B onto a flat-bed truck for the ride to Indianapolis.
The two year process didn’t totally exclude Tom – the restoration process called for many phone conversations with Bob to discuss options, along with a trickle of money to keep the restoration funded,
and even a few on-site visits to check for progress.
A short few months after she was dropped off, I was in Indianapolis and traveled to the garage to take some surprise pictures for Tom for Father's day! Indeed, all stripped down to the bare metal and completely exposed, the pictures were a surprise! I don’t know if it was the good kind of surprise, or the "OMG what have I done" type of surprise.
As painful as those pictures were to look at, it also established that the only way B could go -- was UP!
The next visit showed remarked improvement under the hands of body work expert Floyd. He doesn't rush, and he doesn't skimp; he treats every car as if it were going to be his own. Here she is all painted and looking much better with some fancy new chrome on the front!
Throughout the whole process contact with Bob and Floyd was constant, as decisions had to be made and money had to be sent along the way. Credits to Tom for making decisions to go first-class as much as possible.
Then it was time to go . . . ON THE ROAD AGAIN. I'm sure Tom was singing that song to himself as he pulled out on the road!
I don't think words are able to describe Tom's feelings.
But this picture does a good job!
It was indeed, a Mighty Good Day!
Less than a year ago I cultivated an interest in learning to crochet (Thanks, Lou!) but have been admittedly slow in making any progress towards productive output. Like Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man, I have spent a lot of “think time” in the past few months, practicing basic stitches, watching videos, studying patterns, and . . . . thinking about putting everything together for some finished creations. Believe it or not, all this thinking has left me with a sudden spurt of products flying off my hook based on one small facet of crocheting – felting!
Felting is the process of mashing, matting, squeezing and squishing 100% wool fibers together into a solid piece of fabric. Felting can be done with loose wool fiber and several different techniques to mold them together – or it can be easily accomplished by crocheting a simple product and then running it through a process to beat it up and felt it. This winter I have seen tantalizing little felted accessory pieces in boutiques, and have developed a taste for the look; but oh the price! Little fuzzy mittens, hats, decorator bowls, and (my favorite) purses! There is just something about the felted look that I appreciate.
Lucky for both my crochet and my felting fascination, the internet provides me with all the detailed instruction that I need, including an unlimited supply of free crochet patterns and directions for felting. And, friend Lou also dug deep in her archives and sent me a wonderful how-to book all about felted crochet. I’m set for as long as this felting interest has a-hold of me!
Here are some pictures of my finished projects.
It leaves me wondering how long this phase will last! For now -- It Felt Goooooooooooood!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown