A man, a Mustang and 43 years...part 1

September 24, 2018  •  2 Comments

Wow, it really has been a while since my last blog post hasn’t it ??!!!!!!......it’s incredible how time can get away from you when you’re not paying real close attention to it.

Now let me state it here, right now…there are no excuses……no earth shattering disaster that kept me away from the keyboard……it was just the crazy hustle and bustle of everyday life and it’s new experiences, some of which, will definitely find their way onto the screen in front of you.

This blog is going to be a little different to the previous two. It will be posted in two parts. Yes, it is going to be about an image…..several to be exact, hence I wanted to do Conrad, Nilda and their beautiful automobile justice and give this wonderful, touching story the time and consideration it deserves.


Image: Nikon D7100, Nikkor 17-55 @ 24mm  1/50 sec @ f8,   Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4 x2, Cheetahstand V850, Kupo Light stand


In the latter part of 2016, we had the tremendous pleasure of crossing paths with a wonderful couple from the San Antonio area of Texas. Conrad & his wonderful wife Nilda commissioned us to document Conrad’s new pride and joy, a 2016 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT California Special. Nothing new there you may say. There are many new car owners eager to document their new car, motorcycle or truck. As you are about to read, there is a whole lot more to Conrad’s story than just the purchase of a shiny new car………


Image: Olympus OMD-EM5, Zuiko 12-40 @ 28mm, 1/250 sec @ f22,      Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4    Cheetah 12x36 Stripbox

Over a few weeks organizing the photo-shoot, I got to hear Conrad & Nilda’s wonderful story of how Conrad’s life changed from one of disaster and disappointment, through to love, dedication to his country through military service and the fulfillment of a dream that started many years earlier.

Conrad’s story starts back in 1968, when a young 13 year old boy saw what was to become the car of his dreams and fell in love for the very first time.


Image Info: Olympus OMD-EM5, Zuiko 12-40 @ 15mm, 1/250 sec @ f22,      Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4, Cheetah 12x36 Stripbox

Conrad explained:

“I have fallen in love at-first-sight twice in my life. The first time was when at 13 I saw a brand new 1966 mustang parked on my city block in northern New Jersey. The second time was when at 16, I saw “the most beautiful girl in the world” get up with the choir to sing in church. That girl today is my wife of 43 years. The mustang was much harder to get.

As a young boy falling instantly in love with the mustang, I read every car magazine I could on the mustang. I stayed “in touch” with the developments by going in the evening to local Ford dealerships to see and touch, what is a cliché, but also a truism, that the car looked like it was moving standing still.

In 1973, as a senior in high school I finally was able to afford a 1967 bronze, black vinyl top, 289, 200 horsepower, 2-barrel carb beauty. I think I paid a little over $600 (that was a lot of money back then for a senior in high school saving his every penny). The engine had been abused and not well-taken care…a sin in my book of theology. I figured if I kept enough oil in the engine it would hold up until I could get it rebuilt. The engine was the least of my worries.”


Image Info:   Olympus OMD-EM5, Zuiko 12-40 @ 21mm, 1/250 sec @ f20,       Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4, Cheetah 12x36 Stripbox


“I graduated high school and went off to college. I drove my daily driver to school every day and at night to work. I worked at a construction company as a security guard. One night I parked my pony outside a high rise under construction and high winds that night tipped over a huge log being used to hold up floors. Yep, you guessed it, the log came crashing down lengthwise on top of my beauty. She was totaled and my heart broken.”


I remember my feelings as Conrad related the events of that fateful day. I could feel the pain still deep in his words. I imagined how I would have felt if that were me and my pride and joy. My emotions would have run riot. I would have been speechless, tears would have flowed by the gallon.....tens of gallons !!!!. I know that many, if not all of the petrol heads reading this would’ve shed a tear if they would have been in Conrad’s place that day. For those not so passionate about cars, motorcycles, trucks etc, it must be difficult to comprehend such feelings. To those, an automobile could seem like just a piece of metal, an inanimate object. To us, our vehicles are our pride and joy. They evoke emotions and are precious to us. There are so many deep feelings involved in owning these incredible pieces of machinery. To have it taken away, to experience the gut wrenching pain of seeing it destroyed is unimaginable and something we all hope never happens to us.


Image Info: Olympus OMD-EM5, Zuiko 12-40 @ 12mm, 1/250 sec @ f20,       Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4, Cheetah 12x36 Stripbox


** Next post..... A man, a Mustang and 43 years,
part 2 coming very soon ** 


All: Lionel is the brother of my wife Nilda. I used to take Nilda's three younger siblings on rides in my pony to the lake. It's amazing that he would remember my pony. They were all young! :)
I remember that car. It was awesome!
No comments posted.