It Was One of Those Days - Pt VIII


Here - watch THIS!
May 24, 2001
It had been a few days since the black Shelby and the SRT-8 had ‘stopped by’ and still, neither B nor I had a clue as to who actually owned the car. We had even heard the cars were from out of town but oddly no one knew exactly who the owners were.

We were only a couple of days away from going to the track so with work and other normal home chores, it was hard – but not impossible – to finish up getting the GN and the GTO ready. Since the track wasn’t that far away, we were just going to drive the cars there. My GN isn’t caged yet and it’s not going to be so I was pretty sure that if I was lucky enough to grab a high 10 second ET, the track officials would quit looking the other way and boot me for sure. Oh well, not a bad reason to have to leave the track, right?

Just as I was finishing the last coat of wax on the GN, I heard the sounds again. It was yet another unreal March evening, with the sun setting later and later so I finally had a couple of hours after getting off work to work outside. That was when I heard it – or should I say, “them”…

The black Shelby and the Red SRT-8 came from the other direction this time… slowly easing to a stop just at the property line and this time, the SRT-8 was in front. It was pretty much a mirror image of what happened on Saturday evening… they pulled up, the cars just sat and idled, the sounds of the forced induction motors droning and whining in the cool, early spring/late winter air… then, the Shelby pulled around the Dodge and they both began to pull away with the Shelby taking the lead just as they passed my other property line, this time disappearing into the setting sun’s long shadows of the evening.

I watched the cars go by and wondered who the drivers might be… was the Shelby driver Ned’s widow? IF so, who was driving the Dodge? As I leaned against the very polished and very slick surface of the GN’s driver’s side rear fender, I heard the familiar sound of what I was pretty sure was Brandon’s car coming from the same direction that the two cars had disappeared into.

As B pulled into the drive and stepped from his car, he was shouting before the door was open.

“Did you see ‘em, Steve? Did you SEE THEM? I just passed both of them less than a mile down the road!”

“Calm down, B! Man, a blind man would have seen those cars go buy, they sounded so good. Did you get a look inside as you passed them by?”

“Nah, man… the glare off their windshields prevented that…. I don’t know... it’s weird isn’t it? Less than a week apart and they both drive by two times, yet no one has seen them in town and no one knows for sure who owns either one of them. That’s some weird stuff, for sure…”

Brandon was right. I hadn’t said anything to Kelly about the cars’ odd behavior last Saturday just so she wouldn’t get worried about some stalkers or something but she just happened to be coming down the drive as Brandon was saying his last nugget of observation…

“So, Steve… what’s up with these two cars? What are they?”

I took a couple of minutes and tried to down play it but Kelly’s reaction absolutely floored me.

“Steve, I know who both of those cars belong to – if you had told me about them, I could have told you a couple of days ago… and I think you’re going to be surprised. At least as surprised that I am that they have been coming by…”

Brandon and I just looked at each other with a “WTF?” look on our faces.

“Well, who are they, Kel?” It was Brandon who spoke first.

Kelly didn’t smile and that gave me a weird feeling… very seldom does the love of my life not smile.

“Steve, who do you THINK they are?”

“Well, possibly Ned’s widow in the Mustang but we don’t have a clue about the Dodge. C’mon, Kel – spill it. Who are they? And how in the world is it that YOU know who they are but we don’t?”

“I’ll answer the last part of your question first. I know them because my law office defended them in an insurance fraud case. I didn’t handle the case but I do know that the partners got them off on a technicality.”

“Ok, and since your office is located nearly an hour away that might explain why we wouldn’t have heard about them assuming they live near Dublin.”

“Oh, they don’t live near Dublin, Steve. They live right here. But they do ‘business’ in Dublin and Columbus. And it’s allegedly not the kind of business that would make a parent proud…”

Hmmm… Brandon’s brain was humming as much as mine was…

“I give up, Kel. I STILL do not have a clue…”

She just stared at us both for a moment….

“Steve, they are Ned’s twin sons… and they are not nice boys…. Why don’t you put the GN away and I’ll tell you what I know.”


After Kelly filled us in I don’t know who was more surprised – her or us. She was shocked to learn that the twins apparently were checking out our home and then she shocked us with more detail.

She told us about how Ned and eventually his sons had been under investigation on some life insurance payment-related investigation that resulted in charges being filed. Seems that Ned’s first wife (and we didn’t even know about her!) had died of some ‘un-natural’ causes, that Ned as well as the boys were listed as beneficiaries on the five million (yes, that is a 5 with SIX zeros behind it) policy, and that the autopsy showed the possibility of foul play. Supposedly, she had killed herself but the autopsy also showed suspicious marks on her wrists and other parts of her body that brought in a suspicion of homicide. Neither Ned nor his boys could corroborate their alibis at the time of death but the cops couldn’t disprove them either so the D.A. barely got the case past the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury wavered about even sending it forward based upon so much circumstantial evidence.

Then, the hot shot lawyers in Kelly’s firm got them off on some paperwork technicalities resulting from a poorly executed search warrant and failure to give at least one of the suspects their Miranda rights. Oddly, while ‘grieving’ the death of their mother/wife, Ned and the boys (Jeremiah and Jonah) had a good ol’ time of a shopping spree, buying up a lot of toys and real estate with their newly found tax-free wealth, all the while waiting for a trial that never came.

Then, Ned died with the boys inheriting their father’s cash – rumored to be nearly another two million plus one of his life insurance policies of another million split between them with Mira getting the cars, yet another million dollar policy, and all the real estate he owned. All of this happened in a matter of days with all the paperwork being handled by Kelly’s office since her firm’s corporate legal office (in another building) also represented the insurance company. She definitely had the details…

We also found out that sometime recently Jeremiah bought the Shelby from an eBay seller and Jonah picked up the SRT-8 from a big Chrysler tuner on the west coast. This was all brought out in the depositions. Ned had bought his Shelby last fall and of course, it was gone. But Kelly did mention one thing that didn’t quite add up – the SRT-8 that Jonah had bought was listed as being black in color – the one that had been passing by the house was a bright, liquid red. And, it was hard to imagine that someone would have changed colors but we all agreed that anything was possible. Either way, there was a lot to think about given the information that we all had.

However, we didn’t really have time – nor reason – to dwell on it. In the end, we agreed that the weekend was upon us, that we were going to the track, that even IF the two cars that had been by the house were Ned’s boys that it didn’t really matter because no harm was done. Ned was dead; some hot cars drove by and seemed to be sniffing around but again, nothing really out of the ordinary.

And still, no one knew what I had in the East Bay of the garage…

After Brandon left, I walked out in the garage and past the first three bays. On the east wall is a walk-through door that takes you on into the other garage which is really a big two bay set-up that also has the main shop/lift in its east side. This is the part of the garage that never has the doors open during the day. This is where my ‘special’ projects have come to life over the years. And this is where ‘it’ sat…

I had actually come across this car several years ago. A guy had it advertised in Hemming's; he was close and on a lark I gave him a call. He didn’t have a price listed nor would he give me one on the phone. He simply said he wanted the car to go to someone who he felt would appreciate it for what it was and also sign a contract to not sell the car for a minimum of 15 years – IF he even decided to sell it to the prospective buyer.

Well, all of those conditions really piqued my interest so Kelly and I took a drive to his house one day. I think it was around 1990 or so…

It was one of those typical hot late-August days that Ohio is famous for – humidity that was off the charts and a temperature trying to break into the 100’s. We were thankful that the air conditioning in the Impala we were driving back then worked because even having to get out of the car to pump gas put you into a full sweat. And then, there were the darn bugs…

The previous winter had been exceptionally mild. Not much of a freeze and that had the farmers grousing about the ground not working right that spring as much as the merchants were moaning about all those unsold Carhart’s and RedWing boots that still were languishing in the aisles along with snow-blowers that gather dust for at least one more season. So, the bugs had a fairly easy go of it – and they took to biting and annoying humans with a vengeance.

As we pulled up the long, dusty lane at Bill (“Just call me ‘Dollar-Bill’ because I’ve still got the first one I ever earned!” – and he must have said this 10 times if he said it once) Davis’s farm, we could see swarms of bugs swirling in the hot air above the hood of the car. Dust rolled and hung behind us. The few cows he had were trying to find shelter from the mid-day sun under the lone Oak tree near the fence, their long tails trying unsuccessfully to swat away the million or so flies trying to have a warm blood snack at their expense.

Getting out of the car, Dollar-Bill came out of his house along with his dog. Well, we weren’t really sure it was a dog at first - until it barked. It looked more like a small pony with a hair-growth problem.

And big, white teeth.

That shined brightly as it growled with one of those deep, guttural growls that sends a wet chill down your back. Even on the hottest August day you can imagine.

“Shut up, you ol’ flea-bag!” yelled Dollar-Bill. “Just ignore him – he’s all bark and no bite. Shoot – Ringo ain’t bit no one for nearly a year now so I’m sure you’re ok.”

We exchanged pleasantries, my hand (which isn’t small) was immediately engulfed in Bill’s meaty ham-fist – a fist that was more sweat and grease than it was anything. Kelly looked down at it as I did and then grinned a bit, knowing that I was dying to wipe the crud off.

“So, ya wanna see the car, do ya?”

I nodded, fearing that even speaking would either get me bit by Ringo or make me sweat even more. At that point, I would have rather been bitten than sweat any more – I was sure we were dehydrating at an alarming rate.

“Then follow me…”

Ok. We had foolishly hoped that ol’ Dollar-Bill might have stored this car in a cool, shady garage but no such luck. We had to hike out across a stone farm machinery-laden lot that I’m sure had to an annex parking lot for a Wal-Mart because it seemed so huge. By the time we got to the dilapidated looking red barn with the faded red paint and a barely visible “Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco” logo on its side, we were soaked in a miserable, shirt-sticking-to-your-skin sweat and our ankles hurt from turning them every other step in the loose pea-gravel he had for stone.

And did I mention the bugs? We must have looked to the bugs like the finest meal they had ever seen (actually, looking at Bill, his dog and his cows, we probably DID look pretty tasty as an alternative). Regardless, our swatting one only invited the attacks of at least three more mosquitoes or horse flies (think small sparrows that want to pierce your flesh with a biter the size of a McDonald’s straw) that had absolutely NO fear of us.

To say we were miserable would have been the understatement of the decade.

And we hadn’t even seen the car yet!

Thankfully, Bill got the door open quickly and we stepped inside. The first thing we noticed – was that we could hardly see. It was so dark inside and our pupils were so downsized due to the hot sun’s glare, the darkness made us blind as – well, as the bats that surely lived above our heads and that Kelly was just SURE were going to swoop down upon us and bite our necks.

Not that we would have been able to differentiate between bat bites or those of horseflies. My guess was that IF a bat did attack, it would only be to try and drink some water that was pooling and running down out backs. They had to be as thirsty as we were!

“Now, y’all just give your eyes time to adjust and I’ll go over here and open the side door. That’ll let in the light. I brought the keys out in case you want to try and start her up but I haven’t had it running for a couple of months – well, since the time the other guy came down to look at it. He wanted to buy it but I didn’t like him. I knew he would take this car and sell it and I ain’t sellin’ my girl to just anyone, ya understand me, boy? I’ll let her stay in this barn forever before I sell it to some snobby boy who wants to drag my girl off to that fancy auction out there in Arizona or something…”

Again, I nodded. In the general direction I heard his voice coming from since I still could not see him.

Then, with a dusty and rusty-sounding creak, we saw another big door begin to swing open and a slowly broadening beam of brilliant light pierced the darkness. A breeze was stirred up and the smell of musty, old hay and straw began to fill our nostrils. Years of dust that had not seen rain or water since before Teddy Roosevelt was president was stirred up and billions and billions of dust-particles floated lazily in the shafts of light now pouring into the darkness, dancing and moving like the tiniest of stars in the night sky... Somewhere deeper in the bowels of the barn we could hear chickens clucking and moving about, occasionally we could hear scratching in the dirt... It was almost as if we had stepped back in time at least a hundred years…

We watched Dollar-Bill walk back our way and motion for us to follow him on over into a corner. As we got closer, we could see the outline of a car beneath a big, green tarp. My first thought? The paint has got to be shot sitting out here in this dirty old barn beneath a TARP…

But as our eyes grew more and more accustomed to the lighting, we could see that the tarp was only over a very, very nice car cover apparently to protect the cover from the aerial bombardments of the flocks of pigeons that we just noticed staring down at us. At least they looked like pigeons – Kelly was sure they were bats but when I pointed out the tail feathers, she had to agree. Still, she kept a wary eye out for the killer vampire bats she was certain were waiting to pierce her jugular.

We moved around a bit to get a better view of the car’s profile. Long hood, short rear deck…a moderately sloping backlight-rear window area… dual sport mirrors… Dollar-Bill began untying the gathers that kept the padded cover from moving on the car when he put the tarp in place.

He began to pull back the front of the cover. Black paint that looked to be every bit as good as it was new came into view… we could see the quad headlights…

He pulled the cover on back over the long sloping hood and the small scoop came into view… the gold stripes were now visible on the passenger side fender that we were standing by looked to be as new too… the cover slid on up and over the windshield, the two big wipers sitting there gleaming in all their glory… the small sport mirrors now uncovered and we watched as more and more of the gold swooping side stripes came into view, the shiny black paint they overlaid looking as if it was wet… how was this possible? We wondered…

Dollar-Bill pulled the cover from the rear… we walked on back and watched as the wide blocky tail lights were exposed, the gleaming chrome bumper shining above the dual exhaust pipes that were now exposed… then, a rear spoiler came into view, the gold striping swooping up off the fender and on across the spoiler…

Then, with one swift and coordinated tug, Bill pulled the cover completely off the car which stirred up some more dust and old-barn smells. The tires looked to be Goodyear’s (Polyglass?) and the wheels looked to be original vintage...

It all looked good. Especially the big blocky letters on the black fenders…


We were looking at what Bill claimed to be a one-of-one car – an honest to god, BLACK, 1970 Buick GSX Stage 3 car… And we figured he ought to know – he claimed that he helped hand-build this car as a prototype in 1969 and that he had all the documents to prove it was the real McCoy…

Suddenly, the day wasn’t as hot as it seemed… another chill seemed to creep it’s scaly hand up my back, the cold being real and lingering... the drops of sweat becoming tiny liquid droplets of ice...

In my head for some odd reason, George Thorogood’s notoriously famous “Bad to the Bone” guitar riff started to play…

And the name of the car came to me... it had to named exactly what Bill had told us it was on the phone a couple of days earlier.... it fit so well... just like the faded Ohio vanity plate said...



To be continued…
Good job Raven. Thanks for the update. It's amazing how many views you've had between 3:00am and 6:30am.
O baby it's getting good....hmmm...The suspense is a killer. Keep up the great stories man!

Post it up...I'll proof read it..haha I guess I will have to wait until morning...Can you tell us this..How many chapters left?
Post it up...I'll proof read it..haha I guess I will have to wait until morning...Can you tell us this..How many chapters left?

Who knows? Ahh... but the Raven knows....

The answer? Just enough...

PS: I'll be posting Part IX in less than 30 minutes... you might want to wait up...
Im glad I havent been on here for a while....

Now I dont have to wait with suspence, I can just go to the next stories.