A cooler among cars
August 2, 2008
Herb Carrasco turns out of a public bathroom in Mills Park riding his motorized picnic cooler before he stops and lifts the front lid between his knees.
Ice, sandwiches and a rechargeable battery, he said, pointing to the items in the cooler that can go close to 15 mph.
“I try to race people,” Carrasco, 80, said smiling on Saturday at the 14th annual Silver Dollar Car Classic. “They don’t want to race me. It’s too hard for them.”
It was the second year he and his wife, Dee Dee, had come to the classic car show in Carson City from their home in Paradise, Calif. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly people make it one of their favorite car shows, they said.
They don’t like the food at these kind of shows, however, so they use the cooler to bring their own Italian-style sandwiches made with pastrami and other cold cuts.
No one gets to ride the cooler besides Herb, however.
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“I don’t let them do that anymore,” he said of Dee Dee and her friend, Terri Neade. “You see, it’s because I need it.”
When Herb got the cooler two years ago because of knee problems, Neade and Dee Dee took it around a camp site.
“You ought to see the pictures we got of her and I when they first got it,” she said. “Doing wheelies in it, the two of use laughing our heads off.”
While both Herb and Dee Dee like going to car shows, they like them for different reasons.
Herb, a retired commercial photographer, likes to talk to old and new friends, coming up to them with a a crutch under his arm as they sit in folding chairs.
He takes pictures of them as they pose in front of the brightly painted cars with polished chrome when he thinks the light is right.
But Dee Dee, who used to repair the vinyl on the tops and interiors of cars, gets more excited about the cars themselves.
She examined the side of a 1968 Camaro that morning as Herb, who wears a small cowboy hat and has a gray-white mustache, was talking to friends.
“This paint job,” she said, “there’s a lot of swolls in it. He needs to get it really buffed and detailed out.”
When Herb came back from talking with two friends, he asked her if she wanted to walk around the park and look at more cars.
“Anywhere you want to go,” she said.
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at email@example.com or 881-1212.
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