When passions are followed, the world receives the gift of enjoying someone’s calling. Art, language, music, cooking, research, whatever it may be, when someone does what they love, we benefit collectively. I guess that is why a synonym to talent is a gift.
Erwin and cars is just that.
Growing up, he wanted to be a mechanic, but the cards didn’t work in his favor. Instead, cars and motorcycles were left for the few spare moments he had while managing his business. It wasn’t until he retired that his workshop became his haven, and people from around Haag, Bavaria (and beyond) started to enjoy his talent .
If a day goes by where he can’t be in his shop, he is likely a big grump. Luckily, those days are very rare. It is not easy to keep him out of the garage. Endless phone calls, door knocks and backyard visitors from near and far come to him with projects, and often with chocolate (or even a chicken or two) to say thank you. He’s a bit of an engine whisperer if you will. This man was able to fix a car that even Mercedes itself couldn’t get running.
When this family opened their home to me as a sanctuary to recover from illness without hesitation, I knew I wanted to find a special way to thank them. For this man, there was only one present I could think of that could potentially help express my gratitude. There was an issue though. The subject of the photo I needed to make the gift was usually tucked in one of his garages behind a row of motorcycles.
One morning, in my last week in Haag, I came outside and his red Mercedes was in the driveway. In simple German, and hand gestures, he explained he was going to take me for a ride to Muldorf in his ’66.
My first thought was ‘camera!’
With the sun setting over Haag, I got the photo I wanted. With the magic of Digitaldruk Fabrik, it was at the front door printed on aluminum just in time for my departure.