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As the garage door slowly closed, shutting out the west wind, we paused beside the rusting hulk that sixty years previously had been a sleek sports car.
"Every time I walk past this thing, my feet start to go numb from the memory of riding in that pile of junk," said Uncle Billy.
I starred at the mottled body of the once proud beast. "I have to admit, it was a tad uncomfortable."
"Uncomfortable? I think Cherokees were more comfortable on the Trail of Tears."
"Oh, come on, Uncle ... you're going to compare your ride across country in the Jag to what the Cherokees experienced?"
Uncle Billy smiled slightly. "Okay, okay, maybe it is an exaggeration ... but it was damn cold."
I nodded. "Well, that's one of the things we can correct when we restore it ... speaking of which, when are we going to start on it?"
Billy took a step back. "You keep saying we ... this is your project."
"Hey, we drove all the way to Minneapolis because Bernie willed a car to you ... a car you dreamed about since you two were in the army ... and you don't want to expend a little elbow grease to restore it?"
"I'll admit I was excited to get the thing ... but once I saw it I figured it was a lost cause," said Billy.
"I've seen cars in a lot worse shape restored to show-quality on TV all the time," I said.
"So, why don't you send it to one of those guys?"
"Come on, you know that's not possible ... besides, I thought it'd be a fun project to tackle together."
"Well, I don't see you jumping on it ... when were you planning to start?"
My face flushed. "Soon."
"I hope it's not today ... I'd like to see the game."
I nodded. "We will ... I just have to finish a couple of things on the computer and we can turn it on."
"A couple of things?" Uncle Billy frowned. "I know what that can turn into."
"No, it'll only take me a few minutes ... ten max," I said. "Hey, speaking of the game ... I thought you said you hadn't told Clara about our gathering at Reggie's last week."
Billy looked puzzled. "Why do you bring that up?"
"Because I saw Clara over the weekend and she told me she knew about it."
"Yeah ... she said you told her but that she had a meeting with Alex Heath and couldn't go."
Billy rubbed his chin. "Well, I suppose that's possible."
"But you told us at Reggie's that you didn't tell her about it."
"Yes ... as I recall it was something like '... she didn't ask and I didn't tell'."
Now, Billy's face reddened. "I said that?"
"Yes, you did."
"Well, as I recall, she didn't ask."