Eight weeks ago, my editing hiatus began with joining a "Street Rodder" magazine road tour with the renown Jerry Dixey as leader. Thirty drivers traveled highways and byways in mostly modified fat fender cars and trucks. We drove from Lincoln, Nebraska, to the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, stopping along the way at various venues of interest to us hot rod, custom car, and truck buffs. Road tour attendees hailed from many states. In Louisville, I stayed at a motel with three road tour drivers and their wives from South Dakota and Minnesota, plus Larry, an Air Force veteran from Lone Star, Texas. Larry's a mechanical genius.
In past road tours, I have chosen to be a loner, (last year, I traveled with my younger brother) but this year the folks at the motel insisted I become a part of their group. I'm grateful they did; I enjoyed them immensely. Since then, I encountered a personal change of seasons and a freedom I've not known. Mornings have belonged to me, not to editing Gordy's diary entries. I finally reasoned that either Gordy's story must be finished, or I am lazy. I chose "Story finished."
Gordy left the "Crazy House," joined the Navy, and eventually rose above his anger and grief, prompted by a raging, alcoholic father and a mother who couldn't change her husband, no matter how hard she tried. In the end, the tea-totaling woman became sicker than her husband, long after his death.
Living with uncertainty, insanity, and violence as a boy, Gordy resolved as an adult that it was never too late to enjoy a happy childhood. He survived, and surviving is winning, a conclusion his editor made ever since I was held hostage in a prison riot and came out of it, alive. I was offered a second, third, fourth or even a twenty-fifth chance at life—who knows how many? But being alive and the ability to change negative behaviors into positive ones besides changing life's directions have been reward enough.
Thank you, dear readers, for being Gordy's fans. I have appreciated each of you immensely.