For as long as I have known my husband, Bob, he has been working on cars in his spare time. Now that is a lot of years, and a lot of cars, considering that I met him in late 1973, and we were married March 1, 1975. Bob, his dad, and his brother, Ron have always been like that. Then when their dad couldn’t work on his cars anymore, Bob and Ron took over. When their dad wanted a new box on his pickup, they went to work to get it done for him. It didn’t really matter what his vehicle or anyone else’s vehicle needed, between the two of them, they could get it done. It’s always been that way.
For many of the years of our marriage, we didn’t have a garage for Bob to work in, so we went to his parents house so he could work on the cars he was working on. That meant a lot of time spent at their house, which they enjoyed, but it also meant a lot of time spent away from our house. We made it work, and the girls just learned to do their homework wherever we were that night. Still, it’s hard to be away from home all the time like that. In January of 1995, we bought a house in Casper. It didn’t have a garage either, but we built an oversized double garage in the back yard. Bob finally had a place to work on cars, and we could be at home. That didn’t really matter too much to the girls, because they were grown up and married by then or shortly after we moved to town, but it did mean that I could be home at night while he worked on those cars. Ron also built a big shop on the land he had purchased north of Casper, so they didn’t have to spend quite as much time in their dad’s garage. I suppose that for my in-laws, that wasn’t the happiest day of their lives, because they had really enjoyed having their family around them, but they also understood that the guys also needed to have time at home.
Bob and Ron still spend a lot of time working on cars, so I suppose that a lot of people would think that not too much has changed, and they would be right. The guys might work half the evening on a car, coming in only to have dinner. I suppose that some wives might find that annoying, but the way I see it, they could be hanging out with their buddies, sitting in a bar or something, but they’re not. They might be always working on a car in the garage, but the good thing is that we know where to find them.
While brothers have long been known to be best buddies, and most get along pretty well as kids, it seems like that isn’t always the case when a number of years separate the two. Bob was fourteen years old when his only brother came on the scene. Sisters had dominated his life from his birth in 1954 to the birth of his brother, Ron in 1968…four sisters, to be exact. I’m sure a brother was a welcome change, still fourteen years is a great distance to overcome when it comes to being best buddies. Ron wouldn’t even be someone Bob could play with much before Bob was sixteen, and then driving and going out with friends and girlfriends would be more the things on Bob’s mind.
In most cases, all the things a teenager wants to do, when they get to the point of driving, put a quick end to the time they want to spend with their little brothers and sisters. That was not the case with Bob…at least not where his little brother was concerned. They had always been close, and still are today. Bob has always had a way with kids, and his little brother was no different, and once he is friends with someone, it takes a lot to change that. And Bob doesn’t care about their age. His little brother has always been special to him. It has always been a special relationship.
I will never forget some of the dates Bob and I went on…with his six year old brother. It was not what I would have ever expected, but found to be very sweet. Sometimes, it isn’t the normal things about a person that make the person, but rather the unusual things they do that can endear them to you…sometimes forever, as is the case with Bob and me. He just had a special quality, a kindness to others. I could tell that he could no more have hurt his brother’s feelings than he could grow wings and fly, a trait I’m sure my brother-in-law also appreciated as well.
Of course, as with any boy or man, the car they drive is a big deal, and for these brothers, cars were something they had in common, and still do. It was a bonding thing for both of them. Maybe that is why they were such good friends, and still are today.