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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:41 pm    Post subject: Great story Reply with quote

Cancer takes a back seat
Jerry Dahl first spotted the 1933 Hudson parked along Aurora Avenue in Seattle. For Sale. Sold. Just months before, in March 2009, Dahl, 63, had been diagnosed with kidney cancer. After surgery, he was cancer free.


Nicole Brodeur

Seattle Times staff columnist

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Jerry Dahl first spotted the 1933 Hudson parked along Aurora Avenue in Seattle. For Sale.

Sold.

Just months before, in March 2009, Dahl, 63, had been diagnosed with kidney cancer. After surgery, he was cancer free.

He had a new lease on life. Why not a new car project?

In October, though, the cancer was back, and Dahl's trips to buy parts at Dreamers Rods & Pickups Northwest in Everett became less and less frequent. Finally, he left the car with Dreamers' Jamey Leckner to finish the job.

Two weeks ago, Leckner got a call from Dahl's family: It's bad. Jerry has weeks to live. Can you get the car road-ready and bring it over for one last look?

Leckner not only got the car close to finished, he did it in just 10 days on his own time, sometimes until 2 in the morning.

Last Friday, he told Dahl's wife, Stephanie, that he would be at the house by 3:15 that afternoon. With friends.

The noise came around the corner first, and then there was Leckner, behind the wheel of the Hudson, followed by a dozen other hot rods driven by members of The Thursday Night Garage Association, a local car club that shared Dahl's passion and understood his pain.

It took four men to carry Dahl out in his wheelchair and set him down in front of the house. When they did, the men who had come to see him strangers, all clapped long and loud.

"Dad's a quiet crier, but you could see the tears," said Kerry Dahl, 32.

She and her sister, Tracy, 29, ran back inside and collected "every beer we could find" for the car-club members, who stayed for about an hour. They found that three of them went to Edmonds High School at the same time as Jerry Dahl.



"I couldn't believe it," Kerry Dahl said of the day. "It was one of the first times in I don't know how long when Dad knew what was going on."

I visited Jerry Dahl the other day. Not so good. But he's still grateful.

"Nice group of fellows," he said of the car-club members. "Made my week."

It could also do something for the rest of us: Remind us that even when things seem wrong or broken, there are people like Leckner, who know the right thing, and then do it.

"Jamey is my hero," Kerry Dahl said. "How many people in the world take time out of their busy lives like this? "He's only known my dad a few months, but he made some of my dad's last days very memorable ones," she said. "We didn't know what to do to thank him."

So they called this newspaper. And when I called Leckner at his shop the other day, it was clear he didn't know what the big deal was.

"It was something that anybody should do," Leckner said. "It was nothing. It was nothing I wouldn't do 10 times again."

It took a bit of prodding, but Leckner admitted that he had "dropped everything" to work on Dahl's Hudson.

"Full-steam ahead," he said.

A little more prodding, and I learned that Leckner had lost his grandmother to cancer. At home. Slowly. Then a fast decline.

So to do this, he said, "was no sweat off my back."

"You don't get a lot of chances to do something like that," he said. "And when you do, it feels good."

Those were a lot of hours in the shop. Late ones that cut into the moneymaking ones.

But that one hour in front of the house, with all those cars, will carry Dahl and family through his last ones.

Nicole Brodeur's column appears Tuesday and Friday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or nbrodeur@seattletimes.com.

Let's just say she could relate.

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Roger
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Bee Keeper
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are plenty of good people in this world, you just have to know where to look.


...and the automotive hobby is an excellent place to start. Wink


Thanks Bro.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome story Roger. Good find, thanks!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanx for sharing
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