Saturday, July 26, 2014

A ride to Rye.

Whiskey woke me early this morning. I know we're supposed to believe that our domesticated animals have only marginal intelligence but she clearly knows when the weekend is here. She pawed at me and hit me with her limpid eyes. "Dad, get ready," she said. "It's time to go swimming."

I complied, quickly getting dressed and quickly getting everything ready for our half hour's drive up to Rye. She jumped in the backseat of our 1966 Simca 1000. The mechanic I found, a heavyset Croatian man named Lothar, has the machine running better than ever. The engine turns over at first ignition and then purrs like a powerful tiger.

I drove out to see Lothar after work on Friday. He had said he had a little bit of work he wanted to do on the car and I could wait around his small garage while he finished it. He emerged from under the hood after 30 minutes and said to me "Patek Philippe. She will now run like a fine watch."

While I was writing him a check for the modest amount of money he asked for, he went into his ramshackle house which is attached to his garage. He came out minutes later, screen-door banging carrying a large, grey box. Wordlessly he handed it to me.

"A gift," he said, "for the love of the Simca."

I said he shouldn't have and then opened the lid of the box. Inside was the Homburg hat you see pictured above.

"In my country," Lothar continued, "a Simca is a distinguished car. No one drives one without wearing a proper Homburg."

I tried the topper on and it fit perfectly.

"Lothar, I'm flattered," I said. "Proudly. I will wear it proudly. Even to the beach."

"Yes. Even to the beach, you must," he said.

So this morning at 7AM, we were off for the beach. My wife and I in the front, Whiskey bouncing in the back, me in my Homburg.

Looking good, I must say.

Looking good.

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