First up, my lifelong friend Brian.
We've known each other since junior high (when he first became friends with my brother Chris), ran on the high school track team together, and were always talking cars and fiddling with something under the hood. Brian was riding shotgun the day I did what I thought was a tuneup on my first car (a straight six powered '68 Camaro), and laughed hysterically when I couldn't make the thing do a burnout. I guess in all of my teenage genius I tuned it down instead of up.
Not long after that day, this is what the Camaro looked like after I hit a tree with it. I was an incredibly lucky kid, having been knocked out cold for a while but otherwise unhurt. Brian was the first of my friends to see the car as it sat in the yard after being towed home, as he happened to be driving by.
Thirty-some years later, this lifelong friend rebuilt the carburetor on the truck and helped tremendously with the first start attempt. Thanks for being there all through the years, Brian! So glad you're such a big part of this story.
Part 2 Thursday: Thanks to Jim