January 26, 2012


Fulfilling a father's wish



I really hope you'll read this, if you haven't.

Jonathon Zimmer is an awesome kid. His mother, Marion, contacted me last fall, and, well, you can read the piece.

This is my first feature piece for the Globe and Mail, and they've made a gorgeous cover out of it for tomorrow's edition. That pic is of Jonathon and Philippe Letourneau of Canada's Worst Driver, and lead instructor for BMW.

I love my job every day, but moments like this one make me feel really, really lucky about some of the people I get to meet, and work with. Big thanks to Philippe Letourneau and Barb Pitblado at BMW.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Interesting column. It's tough losing a father at such an important time of life. To compound it further by learning to stick drive on a BMW, well, that's just tragedy. I'd have loaned him a 2003 Mach 1.

January 26, 2012 6:32 PM  
Anonymous len mc neice said...

Hi Lorraine:
This column takes me back- 15 and Dad asleep, key hidden under the seat- I open the door roll the car back so he can't awaken when it starts- put it in low, drive around the block. Repeat on many days- then try to change to second- much grinding- ask older brother- what's wrong with the car it grinds when I change gears. He asked if I used the clutch-what- oh I never noticed dad doing that. Short lesson- then on my own.

Len

January 27, 2012 1:15 PM  
Anonymous jlfiksher@powergate.ca said...

Lovely piece. Written from the heart.

January 27, 2012 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Pat Lake said...

As always, Ms. S., a work of art.

My word is tualit ..... and since I had a colonoscopy this week, a word I know well :)

January 27, 2012 9:41 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

I must learn to stop reading your work in the morning. Having to explain that "no, I just have a speck of dust in my eye" loses credibility after the 20th time.

I so remember my introduction to the third pedal. A friend's father owned a used car dealership in St. Catherines and he'd just bought a few cars at auction in Milton. I was drafted to help move them and the one I lucked-in to was a standard. I hopped in and started off, knowing that to stall was the ultimate in embarrassment. So instead that Datsun 240 sounded like a tiny jet engine as I revved it up to 6,000 RPM and let the clutch out over a 2 minute period. I am reasonably confident his dad had to replace the clutch before he sold it. And my first downshift as I crossed a set of railway tracks almost sent me head over heals as I went from 4th to 1st, rather than 3rd. Such grinding and whaling and gnashing of teeth and pistons you have never heard in your life. Thank goodness I was alone.

As always you stir not only emotions but memories with your writing. Thanks.

January 28, 2012 10:32 AM  
Anonymous B1 said...

Nice debut, Cat. He'll appreciate this lesson, because mastering clutch/shift/throttle is a satisfaction that one never forgets.

I learned about sticks with a Triumph Herald (no syncromesh first) and perfected it on army trucks (no syncromesh anything). I still miss my Bronco II.

I'm not alone in my affection. The Redhead, when it came time for her to buy another car, refused to look at anything with an automatic, so we have a five-speed Sunfire that goes like spit.

January 28, 2012 10:35 AM  
Anonymous CSJ said...

I have long enjoyed your Motherlode column in the Star -- now I spend a bit of time tracking it down each week.

Am now addicted to your blog!

Anyways as the mom of a 16 year old boy just embarking on his driving career, and fully understanding the fragility of life as my husband (his father) lacked someone to lead him on this journey as his father died when he was 14...this was particularly touching and oh so very kind.

February 18, 2012 2:27 PM  

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