Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leif and Lamborghinis

Although Leif loved cars in general, sports cars in particular, and certain ones above the others, I don't think there was ever any car that could quite make it onto the pedestal he had for the Lamborghini Countach or Diablo. He fell in love with the Lamborghinis when he was quite young, before junior high, I think, but by that time he was really enamored and could tell you everything about them. He had a large poster of a black Lamborghini on his bedroom wall when we lived at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, the years from 1986 when he was 11 years old until 1990 when he was 15.

One of the highlights of our time in Chicago (of which there were many) was going to the huge car show where he photographed a lot of fantastic cars. Those that particularly caught his fancy were the concept cars and the Lamborghinis. He would have been in seventh heaven if he could ever have even sat in one. I never knew that he did, but Peter tells me that he got to sit in one at a car show in Hawaii when I wasn't with them, the same show where he met David Hasselhof and saw the "Knight Rider" car, but the surely there would have been a photo.

He took the photo of the white Coutach above at that car show in February 1987 when he had just turned twelve.

At some point (I don't remember when), I gave him a toy black Lamborghini. This wasn't a matchbox car. This one was a about six inches long, a "collector's model," made of metal. He treasured that car, the only Lamborghini he would ever get to own or spend any time with, and I found it among this things after he died and took these photos of it.

His love for the black Lamborghini also inspired me to make that a characteristic of the main character in my middle grade novel, "Imagicat," and Jeff also had the same collector's model. There were other things about Leif that went into the character of Jeff, though Jeff wasn't completely modeled on Leif but rather a fictional composite of several boys.

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