Reno, Nevada 1988

I felt naked and cold. For over a year now, Tom and his brother have been busy taking my body apart. Totally apart. My upper body was separated from my under-chassis.

My old, aching bones and joints were fully exposed for the whole world to see. Lots of work to be done to restore these rusty parts. My body skin needed a complete makeover. ‘No pain, no gain’ is what I heard Tom say a lot. I still wonder if he was speaking on my behalf or that he was actually complaining about all the hard labor work he was doing….

But I should not complain too much. My skin used to be light blue when they first painted me in Abingdon, England back in 1959. My previous owner had decided to repaint me in…..dreadful dark black. But Tom had promised Sara that he would restore my skin to its original color: ‘Iris Blue’ he had said.

When Tom started to work on my body and skin, I was pretty scared. To remove all the black paint, some man who helped Tom, used some kind of sand blasting machine to clean me up thoroughly. That really hurt a lot! The small sand grains exploded hard on my skin and removed all the old, horrible black paint. the following day, another man came along and started to repaint my naked skin…..

But…but…he chose the wrong color!  He painted me totally white! I tried to scream to let him know he must be colorblind! 

‘Ok Iris…that’s the first layer of paint’ I heard the man say. ‘First you dry up nicely and then I will put on your final color! No worries, be patient…’ 

I was probably way too anxious and felt a bit ashamed. These guys were doing all the hard work to get me in top shape and here I was complaining…I just can’t remember that back in 1959 the painter in Abingdon also first painted me white…Well that was also a very, very long time ago.

A week later, the paint guy came along and checked if I was dry enough for the final paint. i was thrilled! Finally I will look like a young and beautiful Abingdon beaty again! But also now, my patience was tested. 

The painter was very careful in choosing the exact color that matched my original one. ‘Looking at all the paint colors I have, the one matching your original Iris Blue is pretty difficult to find.

The factory who originally made your paint in the ‘50s is no longer around, so I must find something from another paint factory’ I heard him say. He first painted the inside of my trunk to see if the color looked ok. He then decided the color still needed to be a little bit lighter blue and continued to paint the rest of me in the exact right Iris Blue color. The guy was pretty thorough and oh boy, was I glad with the result…

I really felt reborn: fresh skin, all the rusty stuff gone. What a wonderful feeling!

But my heart… what about my heart?

 

to be continued….