Monday, December 29, 2008

Well...we did it!

We did it...

My brother and I sent the car in for the collision repairs back in October. After straightening the frame and aligning the front bumpers, the body shop outsourced the fiberglass repair for both fenders. The fenders were returned to the body shop a few weeks ago and we had to decide on the new paint.

I was here in Chicago when Mario called from the shop. They needed our decision within a few days and there wasn't any time for me to travel back to Michigan. The Clenet-approved DuPont paint specifier happened to be with Mario at the shop, so I made my decision by memory.

I truly value and appreciate the advice and thoughts from a few friends who suggested keeping the paint colors original...

The paint chip I liked was located in the center section, right column about midway down. A deep lustrous red that wasn't too tomato, nor too burgundy. However I did not know the shade name, nor paint number. I had to trust Mario as he described the shades to me. The shop owner told Mario that he'd have a card painted for us by mid-month so that we could make a firm decision on the new color for the fenders.

Last weekend I was in Michigan, enjoying the weekend prior to the Christmas holiday week. I mentioned getting the painted card sample from the shop to Mario. He was busy the prior week and did not hear from the body shop. We had a few free hours on Saturday and I was hoping to drive to the garage where the car is being stored. As the weekend ended, I headed back to work in Chicago on Monday morning. It was difficult getting back due to a horrible blizzard in Western Michigan, however I finally made it to the office just after the noon hour.

As I was getting caught up with many e-mails and voicemail, I picked up a call from Mario. He exclaimed that the body shop called and needed the car to reinstall the fenders. They went ahead and painted the fenders without giving us the option of seeing a card. There was an obvious communication error and misunderstanding.

Mario immediately drove to the shop to give approval and was very happy with the color and the application. He retrieved the Clenet and drove it back to the body shop (yes, in the blizzard) where the car is now getting reassembled.

It's been a week since this all went down and I have yet to see the car...just some poorly lit and very fuzzy pics from Mario's cellular.

I'm preparing for a new year (today is Monday the 29th) and for a new look with our beloved Clenet. Let's hope I too like what he saw!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Annual Holiday Letter...

Christmas 2008

Dear Family and Friends:

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season and a magnificent new year! The past year brought many fond memories of family, friends, gatherings and happiness...

We sought sunshine and solace from the cold Midwestern winter last February and enjoyed ten days of relaxation in Pie de la Cuesta,
Mexico. The small hotel: La Villa Nirvana is located in the small fishing village just outside Acapulco. A few excursions and many lazy days spent under the palupa mere yards from the Pacific surf were perfection.

In late May, I jumped on a plane bound for Dallas where I purchased a 1979 Clenet Series I, something that fulfilled a dream since Mario and I were sixteen. I have published a blog that can be found on Google. The Clenet is a very limited production, hand-built car from Santa Barbara, CA, mostly driven by celebrities of the day. We own #229 of 250 built.

Our distant "relatives" from Italy came to Chicago for a ten-day visit in early August. Gianfranco and Suzanna (who are seasoned world travelers) were quite impressed with our fair city and all it has to offer. The visit cumulated with a weekend barbeque at Mario's home in Michigan. They will return in May of 2009, as Daytona Beach will host the Zarantonello reunion; The first time it will be held in the USA. All "Z" descendents must attend.

The fall season was somewhat hampered with my first ever hospitalization from diverticulitis. Three solid weeks of intense treatment coupled with permanent dietary changes should keep further symptoms at bay.

Thanksgiving was held at Mario’s home in Michigan with most of our family and a few friends. Cesha and Phil will host Christmas Eve at their home. I will co-host Ken's family at his home in Three Oaks the weekend prior to Christmas. There are numerous holiday parties on my social calendar this season, let's hope I can fit them all in.

The upcoming year may present new challenges and perhaps changes with my service at GSP. As of this writing, we are renegotiating contracts with my entire client base. They all want top-notch work for pennies...go figure! In any case, I am preparing myself for change, including my own business venture. I keep saying the glass is half-full.

Enjoy the season and everyone dear to you!

Ron Z.

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