A New Soul: Joybug Is Being Painted!

August 8, 2019

Today has been a long time coming: it is Joybug’s make-over day!! She’s at an auto-body shop being painted from head to tow. When she returns to me tomorrow, she will be shiny, bright, joyous and looking like she’s come straight from the factory. She’s getting a facelift – she’s being made into something brand new. This paint job is significant for me in so many ways – it’s an outward sign of real change and a milestone showing how far we’ve come together since I brought her home.

Me on the day I brought Joybug home in July 2017

From this day forward, no one who meets her for the first time will ever know what lays underneath her coat of fresh paint. They won’t see the 450 hours I put into gutting, strengthening, rebuilding and readying her for this day. They wont see the cuts and scrapes, bruises and blood, tears and regret, nor the sweat equity I expended to make this day possible. They wont see the battles I fought to get her title in my hand – the two day saga with the infamous, 80-something Turkey Bob; trying to get him to run all over the countryside of Jersey with me, to obtain legal document after legal document, all so I could get a clean title.

Applying Por15 to the frame in February

They wont see the fight I fought with a well-known airstream restorer in NY who held Joybug in his hands for 6 months, breaking promises, wracking up an invoice triple what he said it would (without approval from me), illegally changing invoices after I paid them to reflect costs that were false, and not finishing the work in the time he promised. They wont see how I had to take legal action, literally go “wild wild west” on this guy and show up to take my trailer back. They wont see how he locked up my materials in his closet and wouldn’t give them to me – after I already paid for them. And they wont know that I paid for and then rebuilt my rubrail for a second time from scratch.

They wont see how the treatment of men like him, mentors I trusted with an open heart, nearly caused me to quit entirely. They can’t know the thousands of moments, and hundreds of stories that are interwoven into this project at only this half-way point.

But I will know. I will remember. 

The automotive undercoating that wouldn’t come off no matter how hard I scrubbed.

I’ll run my hand gently along her body, and touch the patches that I bucked on her skin. I’ll remember that day in November where I experimented with sheet metal work without gloves for the first time, and the way the hot water in the shower stung every micro-cut on my hands for a week.

Where the belly pan meets the rub-rail, the reinforced frame will remain hidden for the remainder of my lifetime. No one will see that I painted her with while lying on my back, in the dead cold of February during a snowstorm, or the 15 hours I spent with a wire brush taking off rust, or laugh at the image of me trying to scrub automotive undercoating from my body for two hours till my skin was bright red.

They won’t know what it feels like to itch from head to tow when covered with fiberglass insulation, have mouse poop raining down on your face, accidentally power wash your foot, or bang your shin on an exposed frame so many times that your legs look like a game of connect the dots.

The three 1/4 inch buck rivets on the back right side of the trailer, which stick out oddly against the hundreds of miniature rivets that hold the panels of the body together, will likely be unnoticeable to anyone who admires Joybug’s beauty from now on. But whenever I see them, I’ll remember how just one month ago, I was buck-riveting and decided to peer into the inside of the trailer through the back window to observe my partners work, and in that exact moment a 40 year old gasket chose to break, and a 50 lb window came crashing down onto the back of my head, knocking me out momentarily. (That concussion was why I haven’t blogged in such a long time) newzpharmacy.com/. Those 3 rivets, which I have named “Larry” “Moe” and “Curly” will always be lovingly thought of as my concussion rivets, and the 4 weeks of recovery I paid to install them will not be lost on me.

Showing off my custom made rub-rail – I cut it from alloy aluminum using a power saw like a badass.

All of this is to say: I am so ready for this moment. I am so excited to see her painted: to see the outside of her body reflect the joy that is in my heart and that has been in this dream. But it must be said – that the beauty of my Joybug, lies far beyond any paint job no matter how beautiful: it lies in these stories of perseverance and personal mini triumphs that only I can really know – yet will forever carry in my heart. I have made in somehow to this point against all odds, against all naysayers, and most importantly against the naysayer in my own head. She is physical manifestation of my own rebirth, and a labor of immense love.

Joybug was prepped with acid etch a few days ago 🙂

When I found her on the side of the road, I was just two weeks out from a mini nervous breakdown – the doctors called it a “temporary state of psychosis induced by depression.” It was an insane time to make such a huge decision, and I am sure my loved ones thought I was crazy.

But I simply felt this compulsion, this indescribable pull towards Joybug. I had to have her. She wasn’t much to look at:  musty, covered in mildew, faded paint, no working appliances or electric. But she had a good foundation, a solid frame. Truth be told, I could relate: I was in bad shape too; 80 lbs overweight, struggling with my mental and physical health. But I had a good foundation also – and a solid frame. We were both just in need of rescuing. We were just unloved, and sort of forgotten. We had both lost our way. All we needed was some TLC – and we could shine like new again.


And that’s what I’ve been doing the last 2 years – I’ve been rebuilding the foundation of my body, mind and soul, by rebuilding her. That is why I am feeling very emotional about this juncture of our journey.

Joybug is not just being painted today – today is the uncovering of the first layer of what I like to call “her new soul.” It’s always been there – I’ve always seen it – I saw it on that day that I found her on the side of the road. I dreamed of her shiny and new, and the exact color that she is being painted. And today, that dream is coming true. A dream within a dream, and the motivation I need, to continue on this path until the project is completed and the road is my home.

I absolutely cannot wait to bring her home, and show her off to all of you.

Note: This white paint is just primer – not the paint and not her final color 🙂

Joybug was primed with white epoxy primer yesterday! NEXT STEP PAINT!

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