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Yuletide Ramblings, Christmas Trees and the Legend of Big Red


First of all I owe all of you an apology for my distance of late. Usually when the season of car shows and cruise nights begins to wind down so does my timeframe but apparently that's not been the case so far this year. To say vehicles are "getting the goods" is going to be an understatement…and mostly by fate.

Maybe I should stay home more. But alas………

We here along the Wasatch have been either blessed, or cursed depending on your point of view, with a mild winter so far. Recent years have brought a white blanket of snow to the valley floors by this time. Until recently the mercury outside was more reminiscent of late fall as opposed to the season of Christmas trees, egg nog and yule logs. Even my neighbors have yet to have their first sighting of me with "Big Red," my custom pinstriped snow blower, in my winter coat, shorts and festive winter hat clearing a path through the frozen tundra.

Big Red is nothing too special. It doesn't do burnouts, hop on one wheel track or shoot flames out of the exhaust. But it does get the job done so I can get out and about on those less than desirable snow days. It's a Honda snow blower with wheel tracks that my father bought new over fifteen years ago. It only was christened in name thanks to my twisted mind and the brush of friend and all around good guy Jeff Dastrup. When he was up for Carvention nearly three years ago I asked him if he had ever lent his talents to striping a snow blower. The Cheshire cat grin was followed with a simple reply…"Bring it!"

Big Red gives me one reason to exercise tolerance of the winter season as I am not a fan. My neighbors have complimented me on how it looks and, most importantly, it a great tribute to Dad who passed away a few years ago.

Mild winters here are becoming more common as the years go by. Like many of us our pride and joy rides are nestled in slumber during these cold, winter months and mine are no exception. Five years ago the winter was similar to now and another one of my bent and twisted ideas involved getting a picture of my '66 Impala SS in front of a Christmas tree lot. Because it's dark by 5pm I had to act fast but I was able to pull it off!

However it must be told that in these months "in the land of ice and snow" that I have been known to sport facial hair from time to time. In some years has been grown in significant proportions and when coupled with some sort of winter hat my former work supervisor said to me on several occasions that "you look like a guy who runs a Christmas tree lot." That became our joke until the picture above was taken and an older couple pulled over and started asking me prices on several variations of trees.At least I'm glad to know that I may have a future career to look forward to or fall back on depending on whether or not Marty McFly will give me a lift in the DeLorean.

Finally I have to leave this edition on a rather somber note. As I was putting the last touches on this writing I got word that Larry Larsen had passed away. Larry, or "Buddha" as many of us affectionately knew him, was one of the first rodders I met once my '66 and I started attending the cruises and cars shows in the Salt Lake Valley and beyond back in the early 1990's. Buddha was always there with a handshake, a smile and ready to shoot the bull. His pride and joy was a beautiful '33 Ford Vicky and I have many memories of seeing his dark colored sedan with its Mullins style trailer adorned with Buddha in large letters heading down the highway either heading to, or coming home from a rod run somewhere. In addition he had a knack for locating hard-to-find parts which I'm sure that many out there can attest to. He was able to hook me up on several occasions. The memories I have with him will stay with me for the rest of my days. He joins a growing group of folks whose time on the orb ended that sadly gets larger the further time marches on.He will be missed.

To everyone I thank you for reading these articles this year and look forward to a happy, health and prosperous New Year. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa or any variation thereof I wish you peace this holiday season and we'll see you in 2018.

Keep the rubber side down….Cheers!

​Very few of us can say we use a pinstriped snowblower during the winter months. Meet my "Honda" for which I dub three "Big Red."

​A bit of pinstriped madness on Big Red's snow chute courtesy of someone who lives where he rarely would need one...Jeff Dastrup 

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