For the past month, I've been enjoying the company of an old friend. It came into our life in 1988, just after I had left my position as artistic director of Ballet Oregon and become a sales manager for Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo, hawking Ferraris, Alfas, Maseratis and Lotuses.
Cindy was in elected office as a State Representative. I recall that it took all of her formidable political skills to convince me that her buying a green 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider, with just 20,000 original miles, was a prudent decision during those financially challenging times for us. A year before SCM was founded, she was already spouting the lingo. "There's no substitute for originality," was her closing argument.
Over the years, her green Spider has become a part of our life. We have not always been kind to it. Winters have been spent in unheated garages or warehouses. Clutches have been replaced due to corrosion; the entire braking system froze at one point because of accumulated moisture from our wet Portland winters. An array of tiny dents, scrapes and rock chips took their toll on its original paint. A neighbor's cat decided the passenger footwell was a convenient feline urinal. The original top disintegrated.