15th Sep2011

Work hard, play hard

by Claire

We started here.  With this:

When Jason told me his plans to turn this beat up, dirty, rusty, nasty old electrician’s van, I have to admit I was a little concerned for his mental well-being.  Generally, I support his crazy ideas whole heartedly, but I just kept envisioning this thing turning into some kind of home-built Partridge Family van with a bunch of stickers from the Wal-Marts stuck all over it.

Luckily, Jason and Thomas both had the kind of vision that I lacked.  The van went from that mess seen up there to… Well, the only word that seems adequate is “stunning”. Over the course of the week, the crazy vents and patches on the side of the truck got bondo’ed and sanded.  The biggest of the dents were pulled and popped until they looked halfway decent. A giant paint booth was built in our warehouse out of plastic and duct tape.  And then the primer went on.  I think I’ll let the pictures tell the story for a minute.

It was a lot of work.  The craziest part of it is that we got it all done in one weekend.  It started on Friday evening with the primer coat.  Saturday morning we sanded and then Thomas layed down several coats of the two stripes.  The kids ran around in the shop yard, getting filthy and having a blast.  We broke for the afternoon to let the paint dry and watch the first half of the Georgia game, promising to return at half time to tape off the stripes and start on the garnet paint.  We were hoping we’d be so far ahead it wouldn’t matter so much not getting to see the end of the game. That didn’t really work out like we’d hoped  (Note to self:  Might need to find a good cardiologist if Carolina keeps playing games like that.)

Thomas ended up bringing his projector, hooked up Jason’s laptop and Verizon wifi to stream the game on ESPN.com and watched it projected on to the big bay door of the warehouse.  We took turns ducking in and out of the paint booth, alternately taping up the sides of the van and screaming at the door like a bunch of Bull Street escapees.  I fully admit to not getting any work done at all the last 5 or so minutes of the 4th quarter. But! Carolina finished with a W, thankfully.  Could you imagine how awful it’d feel if we lost the game and still had to finish the paint?

It took until after 2 o’clock in the morning, but the painting did get finished.  We met back up on Sunday, peeled off all the tape and paper and pulled that van out in the sunshine to see the finished product.  It looked good.  Damn good.  But we weren’t done yet. All day Sunday was spent adding details.  The bumpers had to be spray painted and details had to be painted on the doors.  Our hats off to Shelley, the steadiest hand in the west, for the amazing job on all those logos.  The block C logo on the back is especially awesome.  I can’t look at it without grinning.

Since Sunday, we’ve slowly been finishing things up here and there.  There was some touch-up work done, the logos on the side and front, and the rims to fix up a bit.  But she’s mostly finished on the outside and ready to head to Columbia on Saturday for the home opener against Navy.  As I said on Facebook, I’m so proud of us.  None of us are trained at painting or body work or design or anything like that.  And yet we have this amazing looking tailgating vehicle.  Right now it’s getting a car wash out in the driveway, and we’ve already had a neighbor stop by to see what it’s all about.

I don’t want to turn this into an academy award style speech, but we truly could not have gotten it done without lots and lots of help.  Agustin, Edgar, Phil, Justin, Oscar, Todd, Thomas, Vicente,  Bob, Jason, and Shelley–we’ve all had a hand on it at some point.  The plan is that when we do the interior, we’ll have a special wall for “The Crew” to sign to memorialize what an amazing thing we’ve accomplished.

The Roost has been born.  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to show her off.

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