Thursday, January 18, 2007

The strange story of my first car

Here I am leaning against my first car.
It was a 1964 Chevy Nova, which my dad purchased for $800 and gave me for a combination college graduation/wedding present.
I paid half, as I had saved $400 to buy a car upon graduation.

It had a 3-on-the-column stick shift and an in-line 6-cylinder engine that got about 18 mpg.
It had no air conditioning but did have Positraction (limited slip differential), which was very handy on icy roads.
It was our sole family vehicle for the first 3 years of my marriage.

We used to drive it to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for family vacations.
We'd leave by 4:00 a.m. to take advantage of the cool morning air and let the kids sleep in the back.
We'd stop at Williamsburg by 7:00 a.m. for breakfast, then arrive at the beach before Noon.

I sold it to a "friend" sometime in the mid 1970s.

I enclosed the word "friend" in quotes because he had an affair with my wife.
Or maybe she had an affair with him.
Either way it still hurts.
He was an ex-con.

Anyway, shortly afterwards he gave the car to a new girlfriend.
He gave her the car because she was short of money.

Her name was Ellen "Kay" Hatch, Executive Director of the National Kidney Fund,
and it seems she got pretty good at her job.

Here's a Washington Post article about her:

Frances Sauve
February 19, 1981; Page C8

The National Society of Fund Raising Executives has presented its Greater Washington Metropolitan Area Fund Raiser of the Year award to Ellen Kay Hatch, national Executive director of the American Kidney Fund. Hatch, whose area of fundraising expertise is direct mail, raised more than $3 million in 1980 for the Kidney Fund, with fund raising and administrative costs of less than 28 percent. The foundation provides direct financial assistance to kidney patients across the nation.

Four years later Kay was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Here's the Washington Post article:

Kidney Fund Sues Aide's Estate

Lee Hockstader and Patricia Davis, Washington Post StaffWriters
November 22, 1985; Page C1

The American Kidney Fund has filed suit in Fairfax County against the estate of the executive director of the Bethesda-based charitable organization, who committed suicide in June, alleging that she "wrongfully diverted" more than $1.4 million into three bank accounts she kept secret from the fund.

Ellen Kay Hatch, 44, who had been executive director since 1974, was found with a gunshot wound to her chest June 29 in an empty Jacuzzi in her Herndon home, according to Fairfax County police. About a month earlier, she had been fired by the board of trustees of the fund, which had discovered the alleged misappropriation, the executive director of the fund said.

I have often wondered about the connections between these people.


Genevieve said...

That is an amazing story. Truly very strange indeed.

We had an old junker BMW when we lived in Berlin that burned more oil than gas. Its history was that an American girl had put her East German boyfriend in the trunk and smuggled him through Checkpoint Charlie.

RunAwayImagination said...


I like your story better, because it has a happy ending.

obxbill said...

As strange as it may seem. Your story also has a happy ending. The people who really needed the kidney fund money were then able to get what they needed and that con-artist got what she deserved.

It's funny how connected we humans are to eachother. These strings of reality traveling in unexpected directions all the time and we don't even pay attention. Then we look back and observe from a distance. BOY!! There's some crazy shit that we're all connected to.

Just when you start thinking how far we are from understanding the meaning of it all, you can change one angle and next thing you know, it all comes into focus. Ususaly its just for a glimpse, but that's when it all makes sense and you can understand how tightly involved and intertwinded we all are with eachother.


BTW the answer is 42...