Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Transforming an old, donated Fiat into a gem

When I was a student in a seminary, preparing for the priesthood, in 1966, I had the chore of washing the priest's cars. I didn't mind because it gave me an opportunity to drive.
 
Fr. Martinez, who wasn't Irish, like all of the other priests (or so it seemed) had been given an old 1959 Fiat.  Its paint had weathered to a very faded light green with an equally faded yellowish trim.  


I decided to wash it with Ajax and scrub off the top of overly weathered paint.  Generously applying Classic Car Wax, I transformed that old "left over" into a sparkling gem. 
With its new lease on life, I drove it into the school's dining hall before dinner.  

Fr. Martinez was taking his turn, sitting at the head table along with the assistant dean.  He asked the students, who were sitting closest to him, who's car was parked in the school's dining hall.  Observing the interrogation, I got up from my assigned table and told Fr. Martinez that the Fiat, in question, was his car.  

He adamantly denied that it was his car, stating that he had an old beat up, Fiat.  He wanted to know whose shiny Fiat was parked in the school's dinning hall.  I requested him to follow me.  Looking inside the car, his face expressed confusion and delight.
 
God played the trickster after dinner.  Fr. Martinez was unable to drive his newly polished Fiat out of the
school's dining hall because one of its tires went flat.