Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A dose of Dan: Who vandalizes a classic car?

From page A4 | April 22, 2013 |

As a columnist routinely in search of new ideas, it’s much easier to cover a negative topic than a positive one. There is always something to complain about, and it takes far less energy to find something that ticks you off and vent on it than it does searching out a positive story.

One of my favorite topics to harp on, because it continually amazes me that seemingly nothing is done about it, is criticizing government officials for excessive salaries and pensions. Notice the rash of local senior government official retirement stories in the Mountain Democrat nearly every issue? All of those overly paid officials are escaping at relatively young retirement ages with their platinum pensions intact. With inflated pension liabilities continuing to pile up, it makes you wonder how close the rest of California cities and counties are to Stockton’s bankruptcy fate.

However, instead of choosing to frequently rant like so many other news sources out there, I generally try to write on topics that offer something uniquely interesting or socially redeeming to a degree. It can be challenging to dig up those types of stories on a regular basis, but I aim to go that route more often than not. That is until a rant-worthy topic comes up that I can’t resist venting a little steam over and hopefully mildly entertaining readers in the process.

This particular rant begins with a police report I was recently forced to file. An unknown party decided to vandalize our car as it sat harmlessly minding its own business on a residential street in a Folsom neighborhood. The car wasn’t parked unsupervised for more than an hour, but that’s all it took for someone to inflict about $3,000 worth of damage to the vehicle.

The tale is relatively commonplace and understandably frustrating for any car owner, but the fact that the car is a restored 1967 Camaro makes it sting that much worse. The vandal, for whatever reason, decided to pry the spoiler off the trunk of the car, and after being successful, then left the spoiler on the trunk with all the associated damage from the act. The damage not only requires a new spoiler, but also a new trunk lid, some related adjustments and a paint job for the whole back end of the car.

A number of questions arose when I discussed the incident with Folsom police. Was someone trying to steal the spoiler and got scared away? Did they think the spoiler might fit on their car, and when they realized it didn’t, just left it behind? Were they interested in stealing the whole car, and for some odd reason, started with the spoiler first?

Did someone have a beef with me personally and wanted to lash out? Or did a highly competitive and proud Mustang owner happen to walk by at the wrong time?

Of course, I don’t have any answers to the questions, the Folsom police don’t have any time to look into it, and the vandalism isn’t the end of the world in the grand scheme of things. Far more senseless and egregious crimes are committed every day.

Still, I can’t help but be disappointed. I thought people had respect for the classics. Many of us were taught by our parents to not even touch a classic car, just to admire from a distance. I guess I was wrong.

Dan Francisco is an El Dorado Hills-based public relations consultant to the high-tech industry. 





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