It’s been raining for days but that doesn’t matter much to the hot rodders in town. They’ve been out playing in the rain at the racetrack and several are gathered in a parking lot. I’m out in the drizzle taking photos when an elderly guy moseys up and tells me the three coolest rods were all built by his son and are all for sale. They look like they stepped right out of the American Graffiti movie set. A younger man is wiping down each one despite the continuing rain. The colorful cars are immaculate.
“Man, I just love these, you must be having a blast,” I tell the gruff guy who’s struggling to get himself into the tiny cab of the 1932 yellow rod. “Not me,” he says, “I’m sick of ‘em.” I assume he’s joking. “No way! Really? You’re not having fun?”
“Nope,” he grumbles as he struggles with the seatbelt. “Dead serious. See? Look at this thing? I can’t even get the belt buckled. I’m just tired of it. I’m 72-years old and been doing this a long time and I’m done!” Jody gets back out of the car, locates the belt and gets it straightened out before he turns and points out his family and says it’s all their fault he’s even there. His granddaughter’s husband, carrying a tiny baby out to the ’64 Mustang parked next to us, tries to help. There are four generations gathered here, including the infant. As Jody gets back into the car I teasingly offer to drive for him if he seriously finds it a problem. I tell him I don’t mind driving cool cars. He ignores me. His wife comes out to join him.
“How about you, are you still having fun with the street rods?” I ask. She smiles big and nods. Everyone’s loaded up and the engines start. Grumpy guy’s son leads off. The yellow rod lurches out of the parking space and slides in behind. Jody drives like he knows what he’s doing. He revs the engine a bit and by the time the Colorado Springs caravan hits the highway, they’re racing each other and slinging rooster tails. Jody’s car is nose to nose at the lead. It looks to me like they’re having a blast when it dawns on me. Pretty sure Jody was pulling my leg.