When there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulations, when the legal speed limit was 75 mph, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go!

Christmas at Ed's Richfield & Other Holiday Stories for Guys

Do you know an old hot rodder? Are you wondering what to give him for the holidays? May we suggest: Christmas at Ed's Richfield & Other Holiday Stories for Guys, a collection of stories by Albert Drake.

From memories of childhood Christmases during World War II, to the teen years in the 50's, to holidays with children and grandchildren, Drake brings a personal touch to the wintry roads we all travel. Sometimes we have to endure floods, cold days and long nights. Other times it's the tantalizing anticipation of seeing family or hoping to get those 1939 aluminum heads for your '29 ford roadster.

If you remember the taste of striped hard candy, when tinsel was called "rain," the excitement of getting a new cap gun for Christmas, then you'll enjoy Christmas at Ed's Richfield. Available exclusively through Flat Out Press.

Christmas at Ed's Richfield & Other Holiday Stories for Guys
60 pages, perfect-bound (November 2009)
Flat Out Press; ISBN: 0-936892-23-4; Signed copy...$10.95 + shipping.

An excerpt from Christmas at Ed's Richfield:
I got to Ed’s Richfield shortly after dinner, and I was surprised none of the guys were around. It was already dark, and I was thinking about the impossibility of snow at Christmas, just two days away. It never snowed in Portland at Christmas, but my mother, who was from North Dakota, yearned for snow. It was just not Christmas without snow, she always said. She had a small glass globe with a farm scene, and when she shook it white flakes appeared in the solution to remind her of what she had left behind. Now, as I got out of my car, I noticed that the air had a metallic sharpness, but it was too warm for snow, almost as if the weather hovered between seasons.

I had expected some of the guys to be at the station as well as a bunch of customers, people out Christmas shopping, but the place was empty. From the office Ed saw me pull up and he waddled out the door to his car, calling over his shoulder, “Guide me on the rack.” Less than a month earlier he had traded his pristine ’53 Mercury in on a new ’55 Mercury Monterey hardtop, charcoal and salmon. As Ed backed the car up and maneuvered it into the building, the salmon paint glowed pink under the station’s fluorescent lights. I gestured him forward, guiding him onto the lube rack, although I wasn’t sure he needed help. It was typical of Ed, giving me something to do. I worked in a garage all day, but had to take a second job nights and weekends and Ed was good enough to let me work about 20 hours a week. I hoped that, with the extra money, I could buy some Christmas presents for my mother and sister.