My father called me with the news of his passing that morning and it still hasn't sunk in..
"Dave" as I always called him, has a very special place in my heart and just like he was to many of you, he was a great mentor to me. I was born and raised just down the street from him and he was one of those people that I always knew. The fact that he was a neighbor and my fathers passion for VW's is surely what started this relationship.
As soon as I was big enough for my parents to let me take off on my bicycle, I would have to go see what Dave was working on.. Often times he would sit me on top of his tool box and let me watch what he was doing while I asked a million questions. He always answered my many questions and "fueled the fire" at the same time- knowing that I would just come back the next day to ask a million more. It eventually got to the point to where when it was dark and I wasn't home, my mother would call his house looking for me. Aside from all of the neat mechanical things that he always had going, he also had one of the greatest dogs ever- his Golden Retriever "Evan" and since my mother wouldn't let me have my own, I adopted his and have many fond memories of him as well. Just like VW's, this is exactly why I have such a passion for Golden Retrievers and have two of them right now.
Needless to say, I was always intrigued and inspired by his attention to detail and ability to restore anything mechanical. He always inspired me to take the next step and to take the time to do things right. Later on I was fortunate enough to work with him at Lockharts VW where I got to experience all of these things first hand - including his can of "bus be gone"
I will also never forget the last time I went to him when I was at a mechanical "dead end". I had decided that I wanted a transmission rebuilt and really didn't know anyone who could rebuild my watercooled 5-speed trans the way I would want it done. He basically told me that after all I had forced myself to learn, why would I want to stop with transmissions?.. and If I wanted it done to my satisfaction, I would have to do it myself
In his words transmission rebuilding was the "final frontier". Needless to say, I am very glad I did do it myself and transmission rebuilding is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
I could go on and on with the memories...