It's not my intention for this blog to become a deeply personal account of my travels, but this weekend my personal life and my show-going life are inseparable and indistinguishable. My wife has been having a really tough time getting around lately. She's had a hard time walking, and hasn't been able to stand for long periods of time on her own for a while now. We recently started seeing a neurologist about it, and she's been going through pretty intense treatment for what we learned was an inflammation of her spinal cord because of lesions on her brain. Its scary stuff, and not something to be taken lightly. She's been knocked down for a few weeks, and really hasn't left the house, aside from coming to the shop, for about a month. I stepped up and with the help of a few friends we've been running the shop in her absence. The past week was particularly tough, because not only did she have to deal with the side effects of some pretty harsh medicine, but also because we've been waiting for a blood test to reveal what life-long condition we'll be up against. Well, Friday's doctor appointment revealed that she has MS, a yet uncureable auto-immune disorder that's going to require long term treatment, but the fact that we now know what we're dealing with has been surprisingly comforting. Also, the harsh medicine seems to have worked, because after a few weeks of being house-bound Josie's feeling much better and is back on her feet again. Saturday was her first full day back at the shop, and since she was feeling pretty good we decided that we'd drop by Stoney's Third Annual Pre-Strangers Show "Stoneypalooza" on Saturday night.
Stoney's street was packed with a gathering of cars so top-notch that they would make any automotive outing worthwhile, and it was really great to get to meet the owners in such a laid back and casual environment. Not only were there amazing cars and great people, but Stoney's wife Brooke cooked up some killer food, which for me, put this shindig over the top.
It was really great to get out again and to be greeted with open arms by both friends and complete strangers. I was busy stuffing my face and avoiding some heinous creation called a "Blanco Basura", but Josie managed to step out and take a few pictures out front under the streetlights. The lighting didn't allow for great full-car shots, but enjoy this tasty sampler of the Stoneypalooza awesomeness:
Stoney's Cadillac, hours after having the front end air-bagged, tucking Tru=Spokes like it ain't no thang.
The Starlight Crew made it. Hopefully next time we'll have more time to talk!
Starlight under streetlights
Some killer endless line by Phil:
We had a really great time, but had to head out early so I could get up early to set up for the Strangers show. Thanks again to Brooke and Stoney for their incredible hospitality and generosity, it means a lot.
I woke up the next morning and headed South to San Jose for the Strangers BBQ at an ungodly hour. I met Josie's Mom and Uncle down at Kelley Park to set up for the show, where we took our usual spot on the grass. I didn't get to stick around too long because I had to pick up Josie and open the Berkeley shop, so I only got a few pics as cars rolled in. I headed out around 10:00, and there was still a line of cars into the parking lot. Here's what I got, and a huge thank you to the Strangers Car Club for hosting this excellent event:
The roof on this wagon is fantastic:
That's all I got. I wish things could have been different, and that I could have stuck around and hung out, but that's just not my life right now. Josie and I are really optimistic about the future, now at least we know what we're up against, and we've got a plan to treat it. Tomorrow is promised to no one, and things could be a whole lot worse. Not everyone gets to have what we have, and I'm the luckiest guy in the world to have her. It's also great to know that we've got great friends and a great community of like-minded people out there to fall back on when we need someone to talk to. Thanks for reading.