Why Clyde Place Garage?
Rich suggested we use the garage at Clyde Place which was almost empty at that time to restore a military jeep. He planned on working on it one evening a week, “Jeep Night.” He thought he would spend additional time as his schedule allowed and I could work on it whenever I wished. We usually have a sandwich before Rich puts on his work clothes for the evening’s activities. This also provides an opportunity for enjoyable conversation. Weekly conversations that I still enjoy.
In about two and a half years the Jeep was restored. As time went by, Bill came and helped some nights; grandsons have helped as well. I purchased an MGTD which required work. Rich started the restoration of a BMW motorcycle with a sidecar. I couldn’t crawl under vehicles anymore, and we installed a lift. So, “Jeep Night” like other things has evolved. Bill had shirts made and Rich hand painted a huge sign, each of which broadcast, “CLYDE PLACE GARAGE.” To be certain the name was ours, I formed a shell company, Clyde Place Garage Ltd. Bill brought his Porsche over and rebuilt the transmission. Rich brought his MGBGTV8 over to use the lift to put the catalytic converter on and off its exhaust system. Bill brought his Buell motorcycle to find out why it’s not running. It has become a true garage where vehicles are restored, repaired, maintained, and serviced.
“Jeep Night” and its evolution “Clyde Place Garage” is not a time or a place to me. It is a marvelous experience, a bonding between individuals where traditional relationships such as father and son are forgotten. Relationships are established based individual abilities, including mental and physical, and at times feelings; working individually or as a team; and doing whatever is needed to solve a problem or complete a task. It’s a sharing of tools, but more than sharing tools: it’s a sharing of knowledge; it’s a sharing of efforts; it’s sharing of experiences; it’s a sharing of successes; it’s sharing of failures; it’s a sharing of satisfactions when a project is complete; it’s sharing a passion; and it’s knowing that the others enjoy the sharing. I love it! William Sr
For me, Jeep Night started simply as a way to spend more time with my father. Why restore a military Jeep? Several reasons: (1) I know it would take a long time, (2) The restoration was within our abilities, and (3) I always wanted one. Dad’s initial outlook of the project was reserved, but gained enthusiasm over time. What started as a Jeep restoration turned into a 1952 MGTD, a 1976 MGB GT, a 1972 BMW R75/5, a M416 1/4 ton trailer, being members of three car clubs (i.e. MVCC, MGCC, and the MG-T Club) and ultimately the place we call “Clyde Place Garage”. What does “Clyde Place Garage” mean to me today? A place I can go to work with my hands and temporarily ignore life’s distractions; a place to connect with the past by building, or more accurately rebuilding, something new; and a place to spend time with family and create memories that I will have long after “Clyde Place Garage” is but a memory itself.
My involvement in Clyde Place Garage started after my brother Rich, asked if I was interested in doing some body repair work on an old army jeep that he and dad were restoring. I said yes, and have enjoyed the time there ever since. Clyde Place Garage to me is a place where I can be “just me” and enjoy quality time with my dad, brother, and others who happen to come by. It’s a place where conversations about life, family and past struggles have found a way to be heard and healed.
Clyde Place Garage has a way of stopping time. When you hear the door close behind you, it seems to stop time and personal demands for just a little while. Just long enough to roll up your sleeves and get those hands dirty.