Wayne Penner Has A Dream

BY: Wayne Penner

Dream….Have you ever had a dream? We all have dreams, yet most of us do not have the opportunity to see them come true. I too have had a dream, a dream that has occupied the recesses of my mind for more than thirty years now. Wind blowing through my hair, the awe struck look of passers by, and the power under my foot that excels me along the cold concrete pavement that brings me to my destination.

After a long and arduous journey I have been able to fulfill my lifelong dream. With financial security on my side, devoted support from my loving wife, and a difficult, maybe selfish decision finally made, I have been able to realize my dream, which is now quietly sitting in its protective shelter. At last I can awake from my slumber, peek my head into the garage and finally realize my dream in full consciousness. As the vanity plate on the back end shines in the reflected moonlight, "ITZA 58" stares back at me. Itza 58 alright, a beautiful, unblemished Panama yellow 1958 Corvette, that I have dreamed and fanaticized about in my prairie homeland since early childhood for which I can now and very proudly call my own.

With the advent of the Internet my labor-intensive search for my dream had become considerably easier. After locating a number of potential prospects, I managed to narrow my search down until I was satisfied with just one, the one that I hoped had the capability to satisfy my longing and fulfill this childhood fantasy of mine. After contemplating for what seemed to be an eternity of time, I went ahead and made arrangements that would bring me to the countryside in rural Quebec, where I hoped I could step back in time to the year 1958.

When I arrived at the quaint countryside farmyard that was to be my destination I was almost giddy with excitement. "Could this be the one?", I kept asking myself, "Am I really going to do this?" As the feeling of anticipation was nearly paralyzing, I somehow managed to get out of my rental car and began what I hoped to be the last leg of my journey. An elderly fellow, whose broken English was at times hard to understand, approached me. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, yet I was barely able to remember his name due to the utter excitement and anxiousness that was overwhelming my body and mind. As I retreated my shaking hand from his somewhat clammy and damp palm I was overwhelmed with a feeling of nervousness and uncertainty. Had I wasted my time and made a mistake. Did I really need to be here? I was suddenly and most unexpectedly taken back to my childhood at Christmas time. Was the thrill of actually wanting something going to be more exciting than actually receiving it? Was it just the idea of owning the car of my dreams that appealed to me? As these questions swelled in my brain to what seemed to be an unbearable amount of time, we were already on our way to a distant barn out in the field ahead of us. The moment had approached. The big sliding barn door was before me. The Frenchman spoke, but I did not hear what he said. My hands were sweaty, my mind racing. The seconds were turning into hours. Was this the moment that I had envisioned for years? Was I doomed to bitter disappointment, or to be filled with utter bliss? As the old Frenchman's wiry hand reached for the rusted barn door handle I felt like turning around and racing back to my dingy bed and breakfast as fast as I could. But then something happened. As I was on the verge of a fast and furious sprint away from the barn, something caught my eye. I am not sure if it was the crisp, clean white walls of the original tires, the metallic shine of the spectacular chrome finish, or the unique and pristine yellow of the car itself. Whatever I saw through the initial crack in the barn house door, it was powerful enough to stop me dead in my tracks. As the door slid fully open, I was not only overcome by the smell of barn must, engine oil, and grease, but also by the mere beauty of what lay before me. Before I had a chance to catch my breath the old Frenchman in his thick Quebec accent exclaimed…" So uh… what do ya think eh?" I stood there speechless, awestruck and numb.

I had only been there for ten minutes, but in my mind I had already bought the car, it was on the train and on its way back to Winnipeg, where my wife and I were driving down Portage Avenue on a Sunday night with the wind in our hair and the approving glances of onlookers.

" So uh… what do ya think eh?" the Frenchman asked again breaking my private silence. He only had to glance at me to know my answer. Right then and there he felt his wallet get a little bit fatter. I proceeded to tell him that I was very interested, however my forced attempt at hiding my excitement was as transparent as the front windshield that was staring back at me. After some minor conversation and small chitchat we headed back to the main house to begin the negotiations. After about an hour of dialogue and futile bargaining (I would of paid any price at this point), the final deal was made. I left there with mixed feelings of nervousness and excitement.

I had finally realized my dream but still there was the matter of transportation back to my hometown that plagued my thoughts. I would only be at peace once the four-barrel, 350 horsepower life improver was sitting peacefully in my garage. I had already pre arranged the transport of my dream back in Winnipeg, so all there was left for me to was return home and anxiously await its arrival. Four days and three gallons of sweat later, my dream had finally arrived at its destined home.

It has been a long and interesting journey for me up to this point. I look at the trials and tribulations that have brought me to this point, and I can't help but ask myself, is this the end of my journey or just the beginning? Whatever the case may be, I have learnt a valuable lesson. Dreams can come true, mine certainly did.

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