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Barn find.... today

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by davehelms, May 29, 2012.

  1. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    #776 BigTex, Mar 9, 2016
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    It's a big step, to go from trusted USA iron, to those high strung Italian jobs...but by 1957, Ferrari was the "fastest of the fast"..and many an American made the long trip to Italy, or at least to NYC, to talk to Luigi Chinetti.

    Before long the fire roads and mountain peaks of Colorado echo'd with a sound that would be immediately recognized, were it the continent of Europe, or perhaps a small island off the southern tip of Italy.

    Joe was behind the wheel again......
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  2. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    #777 BigTex, Mar 9, 2016
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    Joe had it.
    He never lost it.


    Maybe at the end, he might have forgotten where he put it.


    But, he remembered, eventually.
    :D :D :D

    I raise a toast to an American hero...he answered when his country needed him, and was a good neighbor ,and friend to all in his path.

    Rest in Peace, Joe.

    Thanks to Dave Helms, and family, and friends.
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  3. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Maybe faded, but still waving proudly, Sir!
     
  4. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

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    Thanks for the leg up, Tex.... some of these photo's are just too good not to share! An argument could be made that Ol' Joe striking a pose on his Knucklehead was the inspiration for Brandow's 'The Wild One', by far one of my favorite photo's of his earlier years! Nothing says 'free spirited' like a photo of a returning GI on a Harley, in CA.

    Joe went from Morotai Island to some type of a diplomatic posting in China following the end of the hostilities of WWII. Things get a bit gray at that point as the stories that were told would have you believing he held a high level, diplomatic post in the far east, around about 1946-7. I have a number of photo's of his time there, some definitely worth sharing.

    Initially when the stories were being told to me, while sitting on a decades old bed of pine needles outside one of his storage trailers we were about to search, I can remember thinking how does one go from a GI to a Diplomat in a short span of time? That snap shot in time was such a relaxing moment and setting, soft comfortable seating, perfect temp, sharing a couple bottles of water in the shade with the only noise coming from a light breeze through the trees overhead.

    I can remember trying to describe this very special moment earlier in the story, it was a turning point that has stuck with me since the day. This is the very moment when the driving quest of a very fun car was over taken by the compelling need to learn more about an interesting man. There was an odd sense of contentment where 'hurry up and slow down, everything will work out fine', became the new mood. A Vintage Ferrari sitting at the shop, a storage trailer on top of a mountain, that not been unlocked in many decades sitting in front of me... everything in my being says 'Score!', yet all of a sudden there was no need to rush, my entire focus changed in the time it took to knock down a bottle of water.

    Years later I still fail miserably at putting to words the feeling of the moment, maybe I was never meant to fully understand or explain it. Either way, I have instead learned to embrace and accept what proved to be a turning point in my own life, one I am quite grateful for.

    Zenda... what a Doll! Many a jealous eye would watch her and Joe walk down the hall of the retirement home, together. She is the reason I felt compelled to pull back and watch from afar, this is when I knew Joe was going to be OK with being moved out of his mountain home.

    The 330 up on the mezzanine awaiting a strip down. It now holds the high ground, at least until the day the Smurff decides to get off her backside and start working.
     
  5. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

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    No clue how to even start that, Tex, let alone what to do with it if I had what it took. One day I might share this link with the Marine Corp folks for anyone who has too much time on their hands and a bad case of insomnia.

    No, Joe spent a number of years on the West Coast, CA and WA State, before moving to Colorado, as I remember. I have a many papers Kris, Jenni and I saved in one of his brief cases. Anything that looked like it had any importance, was thrown in a box during his move.

    You have to remember, Joe saved every scrap of paper from the last 25 years... and beyond, I have his Tobacco Rationing card from the War! The move started with each piece of paper being quickly scanned and in time changed to a passing glance being the deciding factor if it was saved. Our three lifetimes wouldnt have proved enough to review everything stashed in that house!

    These showed vague foot prints of his travels and snap shot views of his times in various places in the Country. Now with my focus redirected, one day I will find time to study this closer and possibly put a more accurate timeline together.
     
  6. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Ah well...sometimes vagueness has it own merits.

    :D :D :D
     
  7. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    My mom is 90, still driving and crashing around..

    The common complaint is loneliness, caused by outliving her friends.
    She's tempted to give up the home and move to a community for the companions.

    I offered her the advice you can't store much, in a 700 sq. ft. unit!
    In the end, it's just extra stuff.

    I'm the more sentimental type, I keep the trophies, because "a win is a win!"....
     
  8. GBTR6

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    Is there some way Dave could be made a honorary member at a level to allow him to share pictures of Joe to go with the great story?

    Perry
     
  9. ///Mike

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    If anyone ever deserved it, Dave certainly does.
     
  10. ///Mike

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    Thanks, Tex, for posting the photos for the rest of us to see.
     
  11. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

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    In my youth I raced a semi (only regarded 'semi' because you didnt make enough money to take a date to a burger joint on a Friday evening) pro series of GS and Downhill... at the time when the sport saw a change from flexible bamboo poles to rigid plastic poles due to an ugly injury one of my teammates suffered at a race in Jackson Hole WY, a bamboo pole shattered in his face, costing him his eyesight.

    Just as we mastered reaching our inside arm forward to knock the flexible bamboo pole over, allowing us to cut the corner tighter for an early apex... someone decided to change those light, flexible poles to rigid plastic, that only because 4130 steel roll bar tubing was too heavy to carry uphill when setting the race course. First went the wrists, followed shortly behind by the elbows and ultimately the knees... damn good thing we were not a horse or they would have shot us all. All of the sports competitors in a short 2 season window of time in the early 70's, before they thought about putting break away springs at ground level... now FUBAR!

    This personal insight allowed me to instantly recognized the battle scars the Lexus now wore, Joe was a top level competitor in Parking Lot Slalom competitions. I believe we have forensically matched the drivers RV mirror with the middle drive in teller station at the Boulder Wells Fargo, the passengers door skin with the orange concrete post at the grocery store on 30th and the LF bumper wound coming from a hard fought battle with the power pole at my old shop. I am not certain which competition claimed a hit on the sunroof or holes in the RR fender but one can be sure, Joe was an all in, never say die, win at any cost, competitor! Anywhere Kris parks that thing now, there are always empty spots on either side of her upon her return to the car... I can only imagine the looks she is given!

    She would Love it, Tex. I had a lot of concerns about how Joe would handle his new surroundings but the friendships he made, those were quite special.

    "sentimental type"...... WHOA..... I have not tried that angle yet, be sure I will have the delivery practiced and mastered before the weekend is out! A trait both Joe and I shared, little is discarded as one day you never know... "Dave, I might need the 30 ton bottle jack in the Lexus, I want it there, the grease and oil stains it is leaving on the carpet and leather, will clean up". That was one that both J and myself worked on... and lost... yet another 'choose your battles' moment.

    Kris booted all my "special stuff" to the garage loft (...and part of the hay barn she doesn't know about, shelves are hidden from her in the maze of bales... sure I now run a wee bit short on hay in a hard winter but those over sized lap dogs were getting too fat anyway), wait until I move in semi trailers like Joe did... I'll show her! Her legendary Honey-DO novel... a result, she claims it is her method to keep my focused in a constructive direction
     
  12. GBTR6

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    Kris booted all my "special stuff" to the garage loft (...and part of the hay barn she doesn't know about, shelves are hidden from her in the maze of bales... sure I now run a wee bit short on hay in a hard winter but those over sized lap dogs were getting too fat anyway), wait until I move in semi trailers like Joe did... I'll show her! Her legendary Honey-DO novel... a result, she claims it is her method to keep my focused in a constructive direction

    Hold your ground Dave! You can't lose that fight for where you keep your most valued possessions. I have been relegated to the basement and garage for my 'car' stuff. Over 500 model kits, a couple of replica helmets, posters and some Packer stuff all reside proudly in my basement that finally got finished into a proper space. I can't call it a man cave, I hate that. It is a relaxing club atmosphere if I do say so. Not large, or fancy, but comfortable. And it's mine.

    Perry
     
  13. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    #788 BigTex, Mar 11, 2016
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    I really did note his "wall it off" idea, in the containers that was great!

    Turn the page, it's over.

    He knew intuitively what it cost me $125 an hour, after divorce, to learn.
    OTOH I had an old flame from 30 years gone flare up last year, so I would have been cutting back in for the High School yearbooks..

    :D :D :D
     
  14. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

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    #789 davehelms, Mar 12, 2016
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    Well..... I am going to have to stumble around and find a semi tasteful way of describing how Joe worked his way into the position we found him in, re: his mountain home.... lets start by saying on his last round, Joe held a completely paid for Doctorate Degree on failed relationships, financed at high double digit interest rates. To date I have held back a number of the troubling facts that surrounded this time as I felt this an obligation to Joe. Some things will never be spoken about just because it wouldn't be right to do so, yet there are a number of things that can be shared now, those lending some sort of explanation to what we dealt with.

    Skip the early years for the time being because on that there is only vague knowledge of verifiable facts. The last round isnt much better but does have some supporting evidence of the stories told. I will preface it all by saying that long ago I learned not to pass judgement on any situation based solely on one side of a story but DAHAMN, Really?!!

    Any sense of reality as we all know it had long ago faded from Joe's life, he had his own sense of reality but it didn't match up with any acceptable norms that we would understand or recognize. I guess the best I can describe it is a heart stopping roller coaster ride coming in and out of Alzheimer's... the 'out' being only a squinted eyes view of the real world, and that only for brief moments. Ripe for the picking of a con would be an understatement, not that I feel this is necessarily the case in this situation, more so a description of the situation at the time my family joined J in the quest to help steer an old mans life back onto a map able path.

    No longer with the means to support any of this in pictures, I will only describe it as best I can, starting with the end result and working backwards. The result: a very high six figure reverse mortgage was put on Joe's house some years back, one individual walking away with high six figures of cash and the other left short on enough money to buy a new pickup truck, this we all saw the paperwork on.

    How? Why? Was he of sound mind when he signed the papers? Was this deserving of a prior arrangement? My opinion swayed back and forth on those questions, Joe's mental condition and his ability to even conceptualize what was happening at the time this all went down. Joe never expressed any anger over this but I will state that it infuriated me enough that I had to put it out of my mind at the time (knowing full well there are two sides of any story) and instead just deal with the hand we were dealt and the facts of the moment.

    Someone was left quite comfortable and someone was alive in the winter Only because of the generosity of folks around him. Joe's mental state at the time we became involved..... I could have purchased his car for less than $1,000 if I had paid it in dollar bills, a big stack of cash on the table was his reality, not what the bills said in the corner of them. My purchase of his car involved the current market value at the time, the costs involved in putting it back on the road, finding and purchasing all of the missing components... all of the normal numbers that can be calculated when entering into a purchase of this nature, albeit with great difficulty due to the marque and the age of the car.

    What had to be guessed at and added to the above equation, what made this the most difficult for me.... how much is it going cost to keep this man alive and well with only the proceeds of this sale and his monthly SS check, that calculation doubled, then tripled... and in time became a simple multiplier of the sales price the car. The end result, I hold the title of paying top Auction results money of the day, for what at the time was essentially a parts car. Now..... who is "the crazy one"? A good business investment given the current market numbers? Hell NO, I wont live long enough to see those market numbers, this surge or the next!

    What in time I learned from Joe and Dad from this journey when its all said and done, it really has nothing to do with money or a material object. All the formula's and calculations known to science cant answer or justify ones actions in a situation like this, that can only come from something far more complex, your gut.

    'MasterCard' missed the boat before ending their old ad campaign! Parts car, $XX,XXX, Tetanus boosters for all involved, $X,XXX, Snake boots and gloves, $X,XXX, Recover time from diseases yet to be identified by the medical profession, $XX,XXX, Joe's final ride home, $XX,XXX, My times with Joe, Dad, Jenni, Kris and J, the lessons learned and the memories treasured, a number of which completely altered the direction of my own life, PRICELESS!

    With no question an over simplification of the story, yet an accurate portrait of what we, both J's family and my own, had to deal with at the moment. The end results now known, the ride getting there.... That is where the fun lies, only brief moments of which have been spoken of at this point, you really couldn't make this shlt up!
     
  15. kerrari

    kerrari F1 World Champ
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    But, hell, the provenance on this car when it is finished will be worth squillions!
     
  16. Julia

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    Oh...that's too bad. I had wondered what happened to the mountain cabin. I'm sure whoever conned him out of it will get what's coming to him/her.
     
  17. davehelms

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    #792 davehelms, Mar 14, 2016
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    Doubtful, Julia. Joe is now gone and with him went any facts/details of the real story there. Early on there was some contact between her and J and it became evident there would be no help from that party. Any judgement on that front will be sorted out at a far later date....

    Joe had built a small but incredibly complex, single room octagon home on the highest rock outcropping on his land, this was His home. As told to me by Joe, the log home was a demand of his last wife, one I believe became so by time, not a marriage, "she wanted a proper and fitting house". Connected by a hallway, each was a completely different structure and feeling from the other.

    Following a trait that seemed to work for him in the past, by the time I started discussing his car with him, with the next to last Lady in his life (not counting the..... Oh, never mind, I lost count) now gone, Joe had already retreated back into his original home. Bed sheets covered everything in the log house as that was all that was on hand... his truck was destroyed earlier in a shunt with a tree so plywood was not on hand to build another wall. A leather sofa, a leather chair, a kitchen table and three chairs were all that was left in the log home. This was the area were Joe and I spent an afternoon just chatting with one another, discussing near everything but his car.

    Literally years worth of mail sat unopened on the kitchen table. A dinner from a number of years back sat on the kitchen counter, something completely unidentifiable being found in the microwave and a pot of... what ever it once was, was left on the range top with the burner turned off before simply walking away.

    Everyone has seen TV shows of some folks living in a manner that was unfit for a human being, multiply this by double digits and it approaches the conditions we were met with in his octagon house, I will simply leave it at that. Later trips to the house to fetch some trinket that Joe thought he wanted.... surgical gloves, two thick, left Kris and myself still feeling vulnerable.

    Heart breaking to an extreme I had not witnessed before, it was instantly obvious that we needed to get him out of this place and into a stable environment where he at least had a chance to thrive once again. Once an incredibly grand home he built by his own hand, this place had become a dungeon keeping him captive. From the outside photo's I shared early on, this was a mountain dream home, inside......... eventually I would learn what that held.

    This was the point where J and myself started discussing the absolute need to evacuate Joe into town. We could buy a month of planning time with the heat back on but that was only a temporary solution to a problem in desperate need of fixing very quickly. Being that J had already rescued him once after he laid alone for days the winter before in the octagon house with a broken hip, given the conditions there it would only be a short time before the same or worse happened again.

    No food, no phone, no TV, no transportation, no company, what needed to be done was not an option, it was a simple necessity of life. There is sound reason that I am so overjoyed at how Joe's life turned around in the last few years. The PD and Health and Human Resources folks had accused me of taking over an old mans life...... something that at the time was Very fresh in our own minds as the same had just happened to Kris's own brother a year earlier in Minneapolis, that ending with his murder after the bank accounts ran dry.

    A bit of a different spin on this whole adventure once hard facts are added to the story. Heart breaking sad at points, fist pumping rejoicing at others, the story would not be whole and true had I not taken this moment and shared what compelled us to take the path we did. Yes, I guess we did take his life over for a short time by moving him into town, but..... it saved on a lot of plywood and Joe took back the reins from there! Looking back, would I have done some things differently had I known where this would lead? No... far wiser now, I dont think so, I might have missed an important lesson along the way.

    Now we can get back to a car, Joe's car.... and throw in fun stories that celebrate his life along the way. This part has as good an ending as I could have hoped for, not great by my own judgement but in Joe's eyes... "not too damn bad"!
     
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  18. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
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    Geez. It's hard to find words....
     
  19. George Vosburgh

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    This is a very sad tale Dave. You did a wonderful, humane thing with Joe.
     
  20. Julia

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    Yeah, that's kind of what I meant. ;-)
     
  21. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

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    I felt it was, we think alike!

    Mental illness, it is such an insanely devastating thing and so very little is being done about it in the medical field today. So many very close friends have tried to deal with and help a loved ones problems and in time, lost the battle. This is a very big issue that is very near to my heart... try as I may, I too have failed to find the help that friends have needed but I simply refuse to give up, with each failure my resolve grows.

    Joe had issues beyond the Alzheimer's, something we tried to get treated but again failed. Finding help for young folks is insanely difficult, for 80+ yr olds..... you might as well be tasked with stopping the sky from falling. Joe was not an "easy keep", I made a lot of apologies to random people over our years together.

    What Joe was....... he was worth the efforts, what ever those amounted to, for no other reason than he was Joe. A gracious old man that never asked for anything from anyone but Never missed saying "Thanks" when a simple kind gesture was thrown his way. "My father taught me to be a man, my mother taught me to act decently with a kind heart towards others", this was stated more than once by him.

    Joe honored his folks properly, at least in the last 14 years that I knew him. One must remember, until the last few years when J, Kris and myself were taking care of him, I only knew Joe as a Ferrari customer who would come into town for a day, once or twice a year.

    Others would argue the above point but... that would only be one side of a story, something worth listening to, noting and taking in, but falling short on enough to pass judgement on. These days too many are expecting an immediate return on investment from a relationship... sometimes one has to turn over a lot of muddy rocks before the rewards are clearly identified.
     
  22. davehelms

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    #797 davehelms, Mar 15, 2016
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    Frankly George, I am not sure who did more for the other.

    Sad... yes, in our eyes and by our standards, it surely was... in Joe's, I am not so certain he shared the same views as he never complained about what life had handed him, exactly the opposite in fact. He would carry on about how fortunate he had been through his life. When I say 'carry on', I'm talking about an hour when left to babble on his own without interruption. Sure the one sided conversation would jump in and out of the topic.. to the point J and I would stand there and look at one another with a "WTH, where did that come from" glance shared between us.

    It was the time sitting outside the storage trailer that I spoke about earlier.. this was the first time I just let him carry on without stopping to ask a question or diverting his thoughts back toward the topic I had in mind. I was exhausted, hot, and very comfortable, I dont remember a time where water (without a cheap Single Malt tinting it) had ever tasted so good and just relaxed and let his thoughts flow. As witnessed by how completely jumbled up this story is, maybe I found comfort in the fact that I shared similar traits with the story teller seated in front of me. Had that water been cut with a splash of Scotch... I shudder thinking that we might have understood one another perfectly!

    When I state Joe was "crazy", I use that term in a most compassionate way, with no negative connotation intended. He had no say in the matter, he was dealing with an illness that he had no control of but was making every attempt he could muster to guide it as best he knew how. One could go down a check list of personal traits that were not something anyone would want to face head on... with each box checked in red... but under that muddy rock was a heart the size of the Heaven's. Once this was recognized I remember wondering if the traits in question were simply a survival reflex he had subconsciously developed over the years.

    "Crazy" rambling stories, Hell Yes..... But, if one took the time to intensely focus and listen, to the point of needing a notepad to quickly jot down single reference words so nothing was lost.... a later review of those notes would show not only did he answer your initial question, he had predicted a host of follow up questions, and had answered all of those as well.... without wasting the time to allow an interruption of his story. The answers were presented in the form of a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle but if one took the time to arrange it all in proper order, they were clear, to the point and brilliant in their own special way.

    Was the man so complex that those of us that are always in a rush, never took the time to try to elevate our intellect to the point of understanding him? Oh Hell, I sure hope that isnt it or I will have to put another check on my own Hall of Shame 'failure list', Instead I choose to think Joe was just crazy in his own special way.... that showing my own survival reflex hoping that I am not further out there than he was himself.
     
  23. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie

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    There is a special place in hell for those who prey upon the elderly/mentally infirm. At least I hope so. Bless you, Dave.
     
  24. andy308

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    WOW, what a thread. Thank you Dave for all you have done! God Bless.
     
  25. ///Mike

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    Yikes-- I've read this thread all the way through and I've never considered Joe to be crazy, just a man intent on living life on his own terms. Now I'm wondering what that says about myownself...

    You coulda been a writer, Dave. Thank goodness you aren't though, because the Ferrari world would be poorer for it.
     

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