The Fourth of July, to me, usually means some find of car activity and watching what will always be the Firecracker 400 at Daytona in my vocabulary. Oh yea, and there is the fireworks as well!
I have found that as I grow older I tend to be more patriotic but also a little more cynical of our National Holidays which seem to be over commercialized. Today, many of us have become more interested in going to the lake or the big fireworks show than the true spirit of the Holiday. I can admit I am often one of those. However, this past 4th of July Katrina and I volunteered to help at Jennifer O’Neill’s Hillenglade Hope and Healing event in Nashville. This is an event to help returning Vets and their families deal with PTSD.
In addition to our love of cars and our small collection we also love miniature donkeys and maintain of small heard of 30 on our farm. We have previously sold and donated miniature donkeys to Jennifer’s organization and were invited to volunteer this year to assist with “donkey painting”. Katrina and I spend a great deal of time in an effort to make our animals as “bullet proof” as possible. That is, we want them to work well and not spook in any situation. However, we also want our little animal friends to be as out going and lovable as possible to both adults, children and individuals with special needs.
We were a little hesitant at how our four legged offspring might react to large groups of excited youngsters with paint and brushes in hand. The eager little ones grabbed their artistic tools and literally attacked the 18 month old miniature donkeys with an excitement that can only be compared to Christmas morning. Each child had their favorite color of the day and began transforming the miniature donkeys’ hairy coats into a child’s artistic masterpiece of color.
Katrina and I had the pleasure to meet Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn music fame. He was a really nice guy. He personally drove up in his 1958 Corvette. He told us he dragged the car home in the early 1980s well before the huge success had arrived for the duo. It was really rough and took a lot of work to get it on the road. He stated his wife was none too happy to see the car when he brought it home. Kix went on to state that the car is not perfect but he drives it all the time and it has went through many iterations over the years.
We looked the car over pretty closely and agree with his assessment of its condition. It is no show car but looks and feels the part of a car that is loved, used, enjoyed and treasured. It is a family member that will be unconditionally loved for ever.
It is really refreshing to meet an individual who can obviously have what ever car he wants and he chooses to not only own but drive a vintage Corvette he has owned for over 30 years. We now have another reason to be big Brooks and Dunn fans.
The day was a mixture of loving animals, a very funny clown, a great Country Music star, terrific entertainment, family games and delicious picnic food all provided to our heroes; American soldiers and their families, for free. It was a wonderfully rewarding day. I am sure we will be long time supporters of Jennifer and here great work. (If you don’t remember or are too young to know who Jennifer is please click on this link.)