Barn find.... today

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

  1. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2004
    Full Name:
    Dave Helms
    #801 davehelms, Mar 16, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
    I surely hope so Byran, but my own families life experiences show clearly there are big holes in the herding pen leading there. My wife Kris's brother, David, was one such victim. Gentle as a lamb, quite and subdued, a Vietnam era Vet, he became a victim of a person that preyed on the mentally handicapped.... and once his and Kris's mother's bank accounts were run dry, he was brutally murdered.

    Unable to hold a regular job due to his battles with mental illness, he volunteered daily at the Red Cross as a van driver/delivery person, played guitar at his Church every week and visited Kris and his Mother at the nursing home every other day. With only his SS and military pensions providing income, he wasn't a valuable score to these folks, only an easy target. ATM video's, eye witnesses, even interrogations of those involved, all showed an air tight case against the person responsible, but David was not important enough a person to justify a murder case against this individual, he was let go to destroy yet another life a few years later. Roseville driver blind, son says; long recovery for soldier dragged, family says ? Twin Cities

    Amended charges for man accused of hitting and dragging Army recruiters with SUV |

    I guess there is just a point in everyone's life where they become proactive to what life has presented them, rather than solely reactive. Some lash out, I actually purchased a plane ticket back to Mpls when he was released on bail from the above atrocities.... thankfully at the time Joe needed my attention more.... I wouldn't have been around for him, or my family, for a very long time had I boarded that flight, at the time I was hell bent on fixing what the legal system didnt! Some withdraw, simply not an option for me as that would not have honored my late brother-in-law one bit, David had no choice in who he had become due to his illness.... I did. Some get off their self centered ass and say 'enough'. One day I will be forced to contact that soldier and share this story... one day....

    Who helped who? I am not an overtly religious man but I have been led to strongly believe that things happen for reasons we are never meant to fully understand, this was timed too well for it to be fate alone, Joe was brought into my life to help me. My one big regret I refuse to let go of, I never made a conscious decision to lend Joe a hand, he made it for me. Early on in this story someone made the statement "when the student is ready, the teacher will come". One day I will have the time to re read this and thank that person for words that took on entirely new meaning on near a daily basis over these last few years! A humbling realization? Ya think? I cling by my finger tips to the lessons learned from Dad and Joe regarding regrets being justified only when no actions are taken. Thanks to Dad and Joe I am left with only one regret... and a host of lessons learned.

    I wasn't smart enough at the time to make a decision for myself, I surely wont be caught short again! I consider this a gift to me from two of our Greatest Generation!
  2. JWeiss

    JWeiss Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Nov 18, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Pardon me while I reminisce...

  3. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2004
    Full Name:
    Dave Helms
    #803 davehelms, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016

    I will join you! I didn't want to go back and face difficult times we shared but without doing so it only left a vague understanding of the trials we faced together. Some were challenging times but face and deal with them we did, together with Joe as Family.

    Joe's father took his cocky kid and decided to pull him from the public school system and instead had him attend school on an American Indian Reservation in Kansas. To that point Joe grew up somewhat privileged due to his Grand Fathers position in oil companies, by his own admission he was a hand full and then some. The Great Depression of the 1930's was an equalizer where even those above the norm would learn to do without, Joe's family being no exception.

    That cocky attitude presented some challenges in an area where he grew up and was comfortable in, away from home and in a setting where he was considered the outsider back in those days... Joe was left brushing dirt off his trousers quite a number of times. "I knew I was going to get knocked to the ground at least once a day, the only question was when and under what conditions it would happen!"

    Joe entered the War like many young men of the time, earlier than was allowed by lying about his age, and with a pretty big chip on his shoulder. Growing up to be a man on an Indian Reservation, the famous "Code Talkers" serving with the US Marines in the South Pacific, they were his hero's and his incentive to join the Marines himself.

    Joe entered the War in the South Pacific towards the tail end of it. At the signing of the armistice he was transferred from the Soloman Islands, a small island chain off the south east coast of New Guinea, to a post in China where he stayed until the end of his Service. By my understanding, based in part by the way Joe spoke of these times, the obvious passion in his voice, this was a special turning point in his life.

    Joe's bare knuckled problem solving approach, one which had garnered him at least a minimal amount of respect and acceptance "back home on the Reservation" as he would say, ... well... that didn't fly with the local population, "I was flattened to the ground and there wasn't a punch thrown!". Joe was introduced to the Chinese Martial Art of Tai Chi in a rather direct way, in the Country where the Art Form was born, practiced and handed down from one generation to the next.
  4. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Just came from a Bank Lobby and in the adjacent cubicle a guy was repeatly admonishing an elderly lady:

    "Sign your, better then that....sign your name...."

    While I was trying to focus on my own business, I was thinking:

    "If that's a relative, it's elder abuse...if it's a lawyer, I am looking at a crime in progress."

    It was all I could do, to ignore it, and drive away.
    I'll discuss it with a manager next time I'm in, but "Privacy Protection", and all that jazz.
    Mean people suck.....

    She got a lollipop, in exchange for whatever it was, she was signing away.....
  5. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2004
    Full Name:
    Dave Helms
    Armed with a fresh education on that very subject, I now notice it daily. Maybe its because I was always in too much of a hurry to notice the obvious... maybe I didnt want to accept it was happening and turned a deaf ear to it....

    As long as the approach is measured, it only takes a moment to lend a hand, the results of that prove more rewarding for those giving it than those receiving it.

    Awh Shlt.... maybe I am really turning into the Soft and Fuzzy, new age Boulder Milktoast Dave, that would terrify me! CANT. LET. THAT. HAPPEN. No good can come from that! Futureman stops by often enough... he damn sure wont let that happen to me, unless of course that is who he is becoming himself.... I need to run from this topic, it is scaring me
  6. bergxu

    bergxu Formula 3

    Aug 16, 2005
    Full Name:
    Wow, wow, wow. Jesus, what a thread. I started reading it at 8am when I got in today, and now here we are at lunchtime and thread finished. Better than any material possessions or money, Karma will always be in the bank. Good on you, Dave. Good man.
    kerrari likes this.
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  8. merstheman

    merstheman F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 13, 2007
    São Paulo, Brazil
    Full Name:
    I love this thread, nice to see it back.
  9. GBTR6

    GBTR6 Karting

    Dec 29, 2011
    Titletown, USA
    Full Name:
    Perry Rondou
    Dave, where are you at currently? How have you been? Can you give us an update from your perspective? Would love to hear from you. Update on the car?
    kerrari likes this.
  10. GS Scott

    GS Scott Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 12, 2015
    Boston North Shore
    Full Name:
    Scott R
    It took two sittings to get through this thread, in less than 24 hours. That was about a year ago - what an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing it. Any updates would be greatly appreciated.

    Most sincerely,
    ArtS likes this.
  11. kerrari

    kerrari F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 22, 2004
    Coolum Beach, AUSTRALIA
    Full Name:
    Karen H.
    This is my all time favorite thread on Fchat - would love to have an update!

    On a similar note, anyone remember the British guy (I think Darren?) on this forum who was trying to build a 330 from scrap - he hand fabricated some amazing bits; I wonder what happened to him and the project?
  12. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2004
    Full Name:
    Dave Helms
    While old Joe may now be gone, his influence in all of our lives seems to have legs to this day. I make it a point to speak to him daily, each time I walk past his 330, sometimes thanking him, sometimes questioning him "Why Me?" I picture Joe sitting back in a recliner, feet up, directing things that happen in our lives, that in a way that only Joe could do, that at first looking semi well thought out... until a herd of squirrels stampedes by and complete chaos ensues all over again.

    Long story, short... I had a Corvair owner stop in the shop a few weeks ago and asked a favor for us to help him out. His mechanic had recently passed and he was stuck finding anyone that would fix it for him. Jim was a very humble, soft spoken, mid 70's gentleman who carried himself well for his age. I gave him a tour of the shop while in the process of talking about his cars needs. Jim was wearing a Vietnam Marine jacket at the time of our meeting and I couldn't help but ask if he himself had served. "Yes, 1966 to 1970".........." Walking back in the shop after his departure, "Dave, say you Didn't......"

    A few months earlier a good friend / customer called and asked if I might be able to lend a hand to one of his neighbors, a recent widower who was now stuck with her late husbands car and motorcycle collecting habits taking over her entire house, basement, garage, backyard and numerous sheds on her property. Cindy was a terribly shy, highly reserved, petite gal who had obviously had a hard go of it in the last few months time. One would think I would know better... they also say you can lead a horse to water......

    Another Nam Marine Vet stops by and asks if I would take over finishing his restoration, putting his car back together and once finished, share what ever sales proceeds were left over with his EX wife. "This will make her extremely angry but I will be gone by then, my cancer has returned and this is my way of ensuring I get the last word... for at least once in my life". No contracts, no paperwork, just a handshake, a set of keys, a title and his Ferrari sitting on a trailer............

    You cant make this stuff up, Joe is making sure that his story was just the "Foreword" page of a endless novel that is now unraveling on multiple fronts, daily. One would think by this point in my life age is supposed to create a certain degree of wisdom while life's experiences are supposed to point a well defined, trouble free, maybe even profitable path forward. One would think.... until Joe took over writing and directing the storyline. Like Elvis, 'sanity' has not only left the building, it left the hemisphere!
    kerrari, merstheman and kens like this.
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