To Love and to Perish - By Lisa Bork


“LOOK AT THAT TR3 … and that Porsche 914-6. Awesome!”

I grabbed Danny’s elbow and steered him from the path of an oncoming golf cart. “I know you’re excited, but please watch where you’re going.”

“I am, Jolene. I am.” He yanked his arm from my grasp and darted over to a nearby Datsun Bluebird, bending down to get a closer look at the dashboard. “Ray, come look at this! It’s right-side drive.”

“Be right there.” My husband, Ray Parker, shook his head in mock dismay. “Our boy takes after your side of the family, darlin.’ He’s got the fever.”

Danny most certainly had the fever, but I suspected he’d come by it from his father, a wanted car thief of considerable skill and talent who had relieved me of a pre-owned but pristine F430 Ferrari Spider at the end of last year. Of course, I was forever indebted to Mr. Phillips. Not only had the Ferrari been tainted by the dead man found in it, but Mr. Phillips had left Danny behind with us when he took off with my unsalable car. Perhaps he’d known living on the run would be no life for his son. Regardless, Danny had filled Ray’s and my childless void and brought us new joys daily.

I continued to follow Danny and Ray down the main drag in Watkins Glen as Danny shouted out the names of the vintage and classic sports cars lining both sides of the road, which was closed to all but golf cart and foot traffic. We had driven an hour and a half southeast from our hometown of Wachobe, New York, in order to see this Vintage Grand Prix Festival. Danny had revved his engine the whole drive here and the moment Ray put my Lexus in park, Danny leaped out and raced toward the cars on display. Ray and I had to hustle to catch up.

I understood his excitement. My father used to bring me to the Watkins Glen racetrack to watch all different kinds of cars race. It was our special time together, and one of the many reasons that added up to my opening Asdale Auto Imports, a boutique that sold pre-owned but pristine sports cars in Wachobe, our small but popular upscale tourist town located on the western edge of the Finger Lakes region. I hadn’t thought twice about hanging the “Closed—Gone Racing” sign on the shop’s front window for a three-day weekend. This race always drew a huge crowd from not only all over New York State but from points all over the country … even the world.

The dark clouds overhead spit raindrops on the crowd, but no one seemed to mind. We passed by the beer tent where a crowd was enjoying the Miller Lite, Yuengling, and Samuel Adams offered. One light-haired man in a Binghamton sweatshirt stepped from the tent and off the curb right in front of me. I gave him an irritated glance. He looked to my left then my right, his dark eyes vacant, and made no move to get out of my way. I decided to go around him when it occurred to me that he might be too drunk to move any farther.

The scent of Philly cheese steaks and the tang of pulled BBQ pork made my stomach rumble. It was close to five o’clock, and we were supposed to meet my sister, Erica, and her husband, Maury, for dinner at the food tents in front of the courthouse in half an hour. Meantime, I’d spotted a sign for the Girls Varsity Soccer Bake Sale across the street by the store that sold Carhartt. Maybe a little brownie would tide me over to dinner. I started to move toward the treats.

“Jolene, come on. You’re missing all the cars. Look at this three-wheel Morgan.” Danny grabbed my forearm and dragged me away from the delicious cakes, cookies, and Rice Krispies treats. “Isn’t it awesome?” He pointed to the dark blue, open-top race car with two wheels in front and one in back.

“Very. You know this is the 100th year anniversary of the Morgan. The company switched to manufacturing a four-wheeler around 1950 when no one outside of England really wanted to buy their three-wheeler. This is a rare car in the U.S., but Morgans have been racing at the Glen since 1954.”

“Cool. Oh, wow, look at that Camaro.” Danny crossed the street and disappeared into the throng.

“Hey, wait up.” I looked for Ray, who was always easy to spot at six-foot-three, 220 pounds of