Saturday, August 7, 2010

Village vintage car evening

Schwab Tip It was getting to be past five and I was moving from closing the books to paying the bills.  I dropped into Schwab to check an account balance, and was greeted with their latest Helpful Tip for my retirement accounts.  Honestly, there’s little in this squib that' makes me feel good about saving, spending, aging, or working, which pretty much confirms that it’s time to log off and call it a week.

Fortunately, village life in rural England means that the local pub (here, the Royal Oak) is only a short walk away, ready with a warm selection of local ales to chase the financial demons.


And this week, it was also the setting for the monthly meeting of the Barrington Vintage Car Club.

The dusk lighting does no justice to these lovingly restored automobiles.  They have all been restored (not, I was told, conserved), with original or re-machined parts to original specifications.  The engines were simple affairs, every spiraling condenser tube and lug connector big and understandable, and not a processor or wire harness in sight.  The interiors smelled like boats, all wood and leather, and the chassis glinted with brass accents and crystal lenses.

All of the retired folks who make this their passion were clustered around the open hoods, sipping beer, puffing pipes, and making quiet, timeless suggestions and comparisons.

These are former university folks, civil servants, businessmen, none worrying about their accumulated retirement savings, position on the career ladder, or what the boss things about them.  They’ve got a summer evening, some classic cars, a group of friends, and time for trading tips about something they think is really important. 

And shouldn’t that be the real goal of anyone’s retirement?

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