My first exposure to old cars came from a close family friend – Don Kizziar. At the time, I was between the ages of infancy and 5 years old and my family lived in the small town of Altus, Oklahoma. Don epitomized the word “success.” He ran a number of very successful businesses to fuel his family’s growth and his passions – old shit. While Don loved all things old such as signs, toy trains, etc… He was mostly obsessed with automobiles.
Today, Don’s passion is one of the largest privately owned collections in the world. It includes hundreds of cars from the 1920’s through the 1960’s and all of them are perfect representations of their make and model. Don was nothing if he wasn’t a perfectionist.
I can remember when I was around 4 years old and my mom had errands to run. Rather than drop me off at day care, she would take me to Don’s Garage and they would stuff me in some 50’s era Oldsmobile while Don and his boy’s worked away on their latest restoration project. After an hour or so, I would know what every switch and knob did on that big old dash. Once educated, I would get out and move to the next car and start the process all over again. Quite literally, I grew up in those old cars of Don’s… and it was that very upbringing that lead to this site.
Don died yesterday. And while it’s certainly a sad thought and I feel horribly for his family, it was also time. Everyone has an expiration date and I guess Don’s was yesterday. Fortunately, he was able to pass in Altus and was surrounded by family. In a weird way, I’m happy for him.
His funeral is today. As you read this, I’m all loaded up in my ’39 Ford sedan and headed north to Altus. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a road trip like this by myself, but somehow I think Don would appreciate it. In a way, this mini trip (around 1000 miles round) is very much inspired by the Brian Bass World tour posted a few months ago. It’s just me, my old car, my thoughts, and my camera. Lord help us if I break.
With any luck, I won’t have any trouble at all and ya’ll won’t hear from me until Friday. Until then, please be patient with me… I’m already behind on emails and private messages due to the Round Up and it looks as if I’m gonna get a little further behind. I will stamp Alliance tags and ship merch just as soon as I get back.
Thank you fellas.