[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tuart is eighty-six years young.
He’s the oldest friend I have.
Stuart just bought a small red convertible for himself. Even though he already owns several Cadillacs. He crawled inside the car and smiled at me. He had to bend down low just to get in the seat. He told me he bought the car because he thought it’d look good on him.
Stuart gets his love of cars honest, his daddy ran moonshine back in Virginia. He told me his father was a rowdy old dog who zipped the backroads, always with a posse of lawmen on his tail. And, if ever the law wasn’t behind him, it’s because it was Sunday.
Of course, Stuart will tell you upfront, he’s not a car-man, but a pilot.
And by God he is.
He’s had his head in the clouds since he was a teenager. I went flying with him a few times. Lord, he babied that Cesna 172. He spoke to it in a soft whisper, like it could hear him. He flew me over my own house. I looked out the window, Jamie stood in the yard waving a dishrag. I waved back. He pretended like he was going to dive-bomb her, and I cackled with delight.
Last year Stuart finally sold his Cesna. We all knew it killed him, though he’d never admit it. He won’t ever fly again. He knows that. But he’s not letting that stop him.
Because he can still fly a convertible.