Mother called just as soon as she had gotten home from my graduation. I had decided to stay in Newark for another week to be with Patrick. Our lease on the apartment wasn't up until the end of June and Patrick was going back to Connecticut to visit his family for a few weeks so we really wanted this last week together. I had just received my degree in Psychology and he had just finished beauty school. Brains & Beauty. Nothin' better than that. We spent most of that week inside the apartment. We ordered in for food and only went out for booze. That last week with Patrick alone together in our apartment is still my fondest memory from my College graduation. Almost.
I drove home in my old 1962 Dodge Dart push button convertible. Mother had said on the phone to drive straight to Granny & Pop-Pops. I was planning on doing this anyway and thought it odd that Mother would even say this. As I turned into Granny & Pop-Pops farm and drove down the long driveway to their house I saw it. THE CAR!!!! Granny had asked me a couple of months earlier what my favorite car was. I kinda had this figured out then but with everything else going on I had put it in the back of my mind. But now there it was. Red. Convertible. Stingray. Corvette. 1975. The last of it's kind.
With a huge multi-colored bow wrapped around it that I knew my Granny had made herself. From old clothing that Mother never threw away. This car had brains and beauty. Just as I slammed the brakes on the Dart all the family came running out of the house and the yard filled with Fringes. I had to just stand and gaze at the Vet. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I knew it was Pop-Pop. "how do you like er Thommy boy?" My reply "get in and I'll show ya". We drove all over Pop-Pop's farm and suddendly childhood memories of riding my bike with Levi and the dogs came flooding back. Dirt roads had been paved. Soybeans and Corn had replaced some of the forest. Houses had been built and were hiding in the trees. I was driving my new car and yet my brain was filled with the beauty of memories. Peddling my bike on a rode paved with only hardened dirt. Chasing the dogs thru the forest now filled with beans & corn. Swinging on vines where houses now were hidden. My thoughts turned to Patrick and how he was gonna love this Vet. I was smiling. I looked over at my Pop-Pop the wisest man I have ever known and he was smiling. I knew why. Brains & Beauty. Nothin' better than that.