He had been talking about Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic for weeks. The event really did seem as if it was made specifically for David: old car themed, dog friendly, and right next to our house. I loved that he was always finding these things and that he had enough enthusiasm to infect me and our friends and neighbors.
It was held in Golden Gate Park which is not, as you might guess, the park surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead it stretches from the middle of San Francisco to the western coast and is gorgeous. I was told once that all the plants in it were originally planted by hand and I would find myself contemplating that every time I jogged through the massive trees.
The picnic involved lots of eating, drinking, and aimless shop-talk. Also, of course, there were tons of old cars. Each was required to be pre-1970 in order to be admitted in the venue and it seemed like the kind of event that people came to year after year. These cars were their all-consuming projects and their babies.
David’s was a 1960 Chevy Bel Air. It was by no means the fanciest. It had some paint missing, the interior needed to be completely redone, and no doubt needed a long list of mechanical improvements. But I prefer that aesthetic- when the car has some character and patina. Not to mention, lots of the others were too polished and precious to sit in, let alone drive while David used his almost daily.
There was lots of ooo-ing and aaah-ing and guessing of the year, make, model. At some point, an older gentleman came by and asked David about the Bel Air. Turns out he was fixing one up as well, so they talked parts for a bit and bonded over their love of rusty metal.
Despite thoroughly enjoying the afternoon, David was restless. Even after several rounds with the cameras, nothing had satisfied his extremely particular eye. Until, that is, he happened upon his new friend from earlier, the guy with the twin Bel Air project at home.
I’m not sure how to describe the car he was in but it looked like a cross between a vintage, chopped milk truck and a hearse; no windows and super rusty, cool in a gothic way but also kind of terrifying. The guy didn’t look like a carebear either- I think it’s safe to say he’d seen some rough miles in his years.
Intrigued, David asked if he would mind having his picture taken.
”Sure” he says. ”What would you like me to do?”
”Flip me off!” David says.
At some point I wasn’t feeling well and decided to bike home- all four blocks. After a bit, I got a call from David: “I won the raffle!” he said. “I’ll show you the prize when I get home- it’ll be a surprise.” I could tell through the phone that he had a huge grin on his face.
“I have a surprise for you, too” I thought to myself.
His surprise was a free weekend for two at a historic hotel in the Marina. It was pretty great and we both immediately thought of my parents visiting.
My surprise? Well, not to be a one-upper (is there anything more annoying?) but my surprise was even bigger. On a weird and growing suspicion, I had stopped by the drug store on the way home. Three pee sticks later, it was undeniable: I was pregnant.