'It's for love': Decorated Christmas car helps driver spread joy after overcoming adversity
Decorated with bright bows, colourful lights, and Santa Claus, the 1965 Ford Fairlane Sport Coupe couldn’t look more festive.
Although it’s covered with Christmas, the car’s name is Curious.
George — the vehicle’s owner — says he named the car that because most people who approach him about the vehicle don’t begin their questions with, “what,” “why”, or “where.” They say, “Hey! Curious about your car!”
“And my name being George, everyone thought it was Curious George,” he laughs, while rolling up his sleeve to reveal an inked arm. “In fact, I have a tattoo of Curious George. So it’s a match!”
The match wasn’t made until after the day George was walking along the sidewalk, about 30 years ago — when another car changed his life first.
“[A] drunk driver hit me,” George says. “Backed up to see what he hit and ran over me again.”
While the scars from being screwed back together are like souvenirs from the years spent rehabilitating his body, George has no mementos from the decades he spent self-medicating his pain.
“I’d tried to quit numerous times and it never stuck,” George says.
“Sadly I lost a roommate to alcoholism.”
That experience led George to hit his rock bottom, so a co-worker suggested they go for bike rides.
“To help me get out of the house,” George explains. “Instead of sitting on the couch drinking beer.”
George kept track of his cycling through an app on his phone, and saw his rides increase from 18 kilometres to almost 65 kilometres a day.
“I just had so much energy,” George smiles, recalling his accomplishments. “I’m screaming and hollering, ‘I did it!’”
You see, during his months of daily rides, George got sober, which he says he’s maintained for almost seven years.
Along one of those bike rides, he also spotted his dream car for sale — that Ford Fairlane — and bought it.
“It was amazing!” George smiles. “I was so happy with myself.”
After 25 years without a licence, George couldn’t feel more grateful to be driving again.
“Every day I get behind this wheel is a day I haven’t drank again,” he says.
George has also learned that every day is a gift that you can give to others. Now he regularly drives his car to support community groups, raise money for charity, and help strangers in need.
“It’s more than time and money,” George says. “It’s for love.”
Which is why during the holidays, if you were curious, the Ford Fairlane looks so festive.
“It’s just to bring smiles to people’s faces during the season!”