A different point of view







Many members, both local and national, have mentioned they would like to see and visit “Walt’s Workbench.” Actually, it is kind of a Shangri-La that can be whatever you want it to be, depending on your point of view and who is looking at it.


As for me, well, the “Workbench” is a part of my garage where big problems are solved with little tools and parts. It is a sanctuary where all other problems disappear except for the restoration of ’37 to ’48 LaSalles and Cadillacs. It is also the home of our beloved ’40 LaSalle, affectionately known as “Sally.”


There is a huge mental archive where solved problems of the past are stored to refer to when present or future problems present themselves. It is always a place where friends who also love these old cars can come and share in the pleasure of seeing these cars receive the TLC they deserve and to share experiences and problems. To them, they have a point of view that can be anything from a panacea of parts and solutions to pleasurable recreation. It is often a sanctuary away from the pressures of everyday living.


I have asked my sons their point of view about “Walt’s Workbench” and to them it represents pleasant memories of the past, including the many LaSalles of the past that were around as they grew up. They also see it as a haven for Dad to finish out his years doing something he loves. One of them referred to it as “Dad’s Happiness Factory.”


My grandsons, which many of you have met, have different points of view. They look at it as an inexhaustible source of tools, parts, help and advice for working on their cars. It is also a place to work and earn money while learning mechanical skills. From this angle, I see a chance to pass on what I have learned and what my Dad taught me.


We still have major differences of views when it comes to evaluating and judging the desirability of a car. They have failed to convince me that the ultimate measure of a car should be the amount of stereo equipment the car can hold and how loud it can boom out raunchy music. Aside from this, they enjoy the learning experiences they are getting as well as pride of workmanship. To them, they see a school they can understand.


As for my dear wife, Phyllis, her point of view is probably the most understandable that many wives can relate to. First of all, it is a place she always knows where to find me and know what I am doing. She has been a real gem over the years in sharing the pleasures of these old cars as well as my enthusiasm. She consoles me when things go wrong and praises me when they go right.


We enjoy our “Sally” together as well as club activities. She also sees the “Workbench” as a place that repairs household appliances and keeps her car running. It is a source of supplies for her craft work (or vice versa she will probably never get her heat gun back.)


Probably the most controversial view she has is that it is a source of various types of dirt and grime that seem to get into the house and ends up on the wash basin, shower, towels, and of course, the carpet. This is kind of hard to understand because I never complain when she cleans up the messes I make.


All in all, I guess my description of Walt’s Workbench would be to call it my “Little corner of heaven.” You have all heard the saying “You can’t take it with you.” Well, if I can’t take Walt’s Workbench with me—then I just won’t go!


See ya next month.





My two cents worth—I like the saying “Share your knowledge…it is a way to assure your immortality.” Walt is a good teacher and his young protégés have gained a wealth of knowledge working at his side. It seems the “Workbench” is always open to help solve problems with old LaSalles and Cadillacs—I think we need a 900 number.