I am now at a time in my life when hanging out with 70 year old men is more of the norm, than hanging with 30 year old men. It happens quickly, seamlessly and more strangely, as a welcome change.
I used to joke to my wife about how old men are more friendly and approachable than old women. Men always seem happier and more apt to strike up a conversation whereas women seem to busy and preoccupied with hair and nails. Well maybe not just hair and nails but it’s something that is on their minds.Â I believe it goes back to how men never really change even as they age. We actually become more like we were when we were young the older we get.
I’ve begun to seek out older guys. They always have something interesting to talk about and I always learn something from them. Old guys now have time for hobbies so many of them go back to collecting cars asÂ pastime. Sports are always on the table and if you are a diehard fan it doesn’t get better than to talk to a someone from the 40’s or 50’s. To hear them talk about a life we can only imagine. A simpler time when radio broadcasts were as groundbreaking an event as streaming video is today.Â Their colorful recap of the past is especially amazing since they only had their ears to rely on for a picture of what was happening.
I love cars. I really love the old ones especially because they remind me of my past.Â Yesterday, I took a motorcycle ride on a beautiful fall day, to seek out a 1969 Camaro that is for sale in my town. Lo and behold I found myself in a scene from one of today’s car reality shows. I arrive and as I ride down a long driveway, I am waved on by a woman who I would later meet as one of the owners of the Camaro. As I continue along, I see a huge garage, a fifty foot monster lined with doors, just behind the house I am passing, and in front is an older man directing me where to park.
In my head I am thinking that this is going to be an experience that one hears about like urban legends. As I dismount I can’t help but to laugh to myself because I am approaching a part of automobile heaven. Then I think this could go one of two ways. This man could be a really cool car guy or he could be a real pompous ass who just loves to show off his toys. Luck today, would shine as strong as the sun on me for he was a cool car guy.
Now here is why old guys rule. This gentleman and I spoke for over an hour and a half about everything from how he grew up to how he acquired the 25 or so cars and motorcycles that we toured through that day. Each car and bike had a very detailed history that he was very eager to share with me. The part that pulls me in every time is the passion you can sense when they talk about their life and how it has intertwined with their vehicles over all these years. Walking through all the cars, batteries, lifts, tools and parts you can’t help but think this man is a hoarder so we joke about all the unfinished projects that he knows will never get done. At some point I felt myself being drawn into this mans life. I envisioned spending my days off from work, helping him pull parts and shine up the cars and organize his garage which he definitely can’t do on his own any longer. Being 76 yrs old, he made it clear that he’s run out of steam and lost his motivation to see anything from start to finish. I told him he needed someone to get his juices flowing again. Not wanting to spook him, I held back volunteering to get my hands dirty after just meeting him but I will most surely return another day to drop that idea on him. Being that he has a son that doesn’t share his interest in cars, he needs someone to reignite that spark.Â I couldn’t help but to tell him how cool I thought it was that he could just come out here everyday, crank his radio up and hang out in that huge man cave of a garage he has. He laughed and agreed that it was the best part of his day to just go out there and hang around in the mess he’s accumulated for some 30 years.
When I was younger, my friends and I would gather in someones garage, work on our carsÂ and play music, laugh and break each others chops for hours, all with out a care in the world. Now as I have reached the other end of my lifeline, I can see why men find their way back to the garage. There is something very nostalgic about old age and cars that makes it one of life’s more enjoyable moments. Men don’t change. We take breaks now and then to raise children, stress over our jobs and try to find ways to make our wives happy. But that old car guy isÂ in there somewhere, just waiting for his moment to go back in time and do the things he loved.Â The things that helped to shape his life and made him the person he is today. Old Guys do rule!!!!
Just one man’s opinion..
The Regular Guy