I once thought The Karate Kid was nonsense. Paint the fence. Sand the floor. Wax on, wax off. Daniel-san thinks his time is being wasted, only to learn that mastering chores is the key to earning a Black Belt. A good movie, but it’s pretty clear that in real life the only way Daniel-san was leaving the All-Valley Martial Arts Tournament alive was if he’d brought a gun.
Then, on a balmy evening in lower Manhattan, I was visited by the ghost of Mr. Miyagi’s long-dead and longer-lost English cousin. He came in the form of H.F.S. Morgan, founder of Morgan Motor Cars, and he came bearing instructions:
Bend the leg. Clutch in, clutch out.
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No one wants to see their mother cry. My mother grew up in Communist East Germany. She fell in love with James Dean. She also fell in love with his Porsche Spyder. She dreamed of escaping to America. And she did, where she fell in love with my dad, who drove a silver 356. He sold it when I was born. After he died, she dreamed of owning such a car. She couldn’t afford it, so for her 66th birthday, my siblings and I decided to fulfill her lifelong dream. We bought her a Porsche Boxster. In silver. Just like James Dean’s. And my dad’s. She thinks of them, and her sons, every time she gets in the car. She’s 75, and insists on washing it herself. It’s the best maintained Boxster of all time.
At least it was. Until she called me in tears. Someone had keyed the entire right side, down to the metal. The money was one issue, but it was the other that broke her heart.
Who would do such thing? And why?
Here’s who. And here’s why. Continue reading