hand built by Jim

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I met a man the other night-his name was Jim. Jim is 64 years old-and it appears he is quite a craftsman. Jim built the automobile you see in the photograph-he knows this automobile from every nut and bolt and cotter pin to axle rod,after all-he began building this in 1955 when he was just 11 years old.
I need to point out-this is a one of the kind type of car-it is not a restored antique-it is built out of parts from various automobiles and as he told me-many handmade parts.

I have a great amount of respect for Jim and the meaning of this automobile. Jim has driven the car up to the New England states-and is not going to hesitate to drive it to Utah to the great Bonneville flats where machines are taken to test their ability for speed. Jim told me the engine in this car came from a 1946 Ford-a V8 that has proved itself to keep up with the engines of today. I was told the car will reach high speeds with no effort.
As a former trucker I understand the need for a driver to know his machine is paramount-and this is a man who knows his machine. How impressive it is to be able to understand every element of the car you are driving-and if any kind of breakdown occurs the repairs are just a part of nature because every part is known distinctly by the builder operator. Everything is known by this one man completely.

Jim’s car is like the truth. When you have truth-nothing can be changed.
Many cars of today have parts that can be inner changed-sometimes a certain piece might be discontinued and needs replacing with a substitute part. That would not be the case with this machine.
If Jim’s car was to need a newer parts to replace something worn he has the knowledge to ask the parts man for the exact part number-he knows everything about this car. That is because it is in fact-there is nothing that could change it.

The truth is the same way-it is in fact unchangeable.

It is an odd sort of tragedy to live your life knowing the truth yet others believe it in another way. What bothers me is that something so perfect as the truth can go unknown.

My recent awarding of the acknowledgment that I was innocent and I had done nothing-the words  ‘no wrongdoing’, come too late. It pleases me that the military acknowledges my innocence but there is so much missing.

I am like Jim. As he is the only one man who knows every square inch of his automobile-each bolts thread type,each cotter pins size. I am certain he can pull every spot on his car up into his memory. I know every square inch of my life-my memory and my truth.

I have lived in the shadow of my short life in the Navy-short life with an eternal memory of it emblazoned in my living days. All of my life since then has been completely in line with then. As I woke up today remembering-I woke up yesterday remembering and I know I will wake up tomorrow and remember. With all of that comes the guilt that should not exist-the shame I should not have, and the misery that it always is.

Like Jim’s car-the truth is always the same. I am thankful to be vindicated. It is a relief of some measure that my military service was with out fault-I am rightfully an honorably discharged veteran. But it does not change the truth. There is a part of the truth that will never heal. There is some measure of the truth that will not allow the scale to balance. It is the parts that my father never knew-or my mother never knew…the truth was missing to them.

I wanted more than anything to be able to show my father the papers that are signed by a Judge exoneratingme of wrongdoing. Just that small part would have meant so much. It still wouldn’t have told all of the truth…it would not have told him how every day at  barracks D was met by me as a victim,although the papers acknowledge it happened-they cannot tell the truth of it of how those days crippled me.

The act of the rape 39 years ago did not end when my attackers were gone. It continued every moment since. It damaged something everyday-it took away so much, it ruined everything. When my father died last year his death was interfered with by the hand of the serpent that has held me ever since the last day of 1969. It even damaged that.

The truth? Why it has had to be so painful I cannot know. But I do know that I stood up with my truth and held somebody accountable and they agreed to the fault. And if I am to trust God as I do then my father now knows the truth and sees what happened.

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