My dad served in the military at the end of the Korean War and in the beginning of the Vietnam War. After he got home from the war, he saved up every penny to buy this MG. When he served in the military he got a really sweet placement as a chauffeur to the generals in London. For one thing, he got to drive these amazing British cars that he just fell in love with. For another, they told him that he could sit and read when he wasn’t on duty. So he sat in the car and studied his books; later on, he became a pharmacist.
This reliable little British sports car was his daily driver. He drove it to work everyday, even in the rain and snow in the North Carolina winter. We had four kids in our family, my younger siblings and me. There’s no backseat in this car, so we would all sit in the back on top of the battery. At my dad’s funeral, the neighbors described us as a small circus act getting out of that car. Nobody could understand how we fit so many kids in this tiny little convertible. Trying to balance a checkbook with four kids and a sports car must have been really challenging for my dad, but he was so humble and generous. He just made it work to do what he loved.
My dad was a Freemason. There are two ancestral lines of Masons on both sides of my family. Being a Mason is not all they make it out to be in the movies. In the beginning, being a Freemason was like one of the first trade unions--the Masons joined together so they could protect their craft and take care of their own. Now it’s really about fellowship within the Lodge, preserving the traditions and taking care of the community.
The Masons do have a lot of cool secret traditions, but for the most part it’s very community oriented. They quietly do a lot behind the scenes for the underprivileged. From what I know, my dad was pretty high up as far as Masons go. His father, who was the only doctor in Davidson County, helped start the lodge there. We keep the Masonic badge on the car to honor him and the incredible community that supported him his whole life. When people see the Masonic badge, they get nostalgic not only about the car but also about a member of their family who was a Mason. Every time I drive this car I feel connected to my dad, his legacy and the lifetime he spent loving this little MG.