Blodgett Family & their '72 MGB

In 1970 my wife and I had just begun to date when I came upon a 1958 MGA with the motor and transmission sitting in the hayfield next to the car. In the trunk I found a pile of miscellaneous parts along with the windows while the windshield resided inside the car. It was a hardtop and had awesome lines and even though I had never done much of this kind of automotive work or restoration before; I just couldn’t resist it. So I bought it and began to put it together. It reminded me of an E-type Jag a friend’s father owned. After a while I got stumped on a few things so I went to a former teacher who also had a MGA for advice. He didn’t do any of his own work but he was kind enough to loan me his manual. I got the “A” together and tried time after time to get it started. Occasionally it would backfire and spit out a big plume of smoke from the tailpipe. If memory serves me right, that’s when a friend of mine and I finally tried to tow it so I could pop the clutch in a last ditch effort to get that thing running and still it wouldn’t start. I went home that evening and started to go through the ignition part of the manual when I realized the darned thing was POSITIVE ground! I had never heard of such a thing at that time. The next day it jumped to life with a simple shot of starting fluid and the turn of the key.
Having it mechanically sound I moved on to some body work and prepped several dents making them ready for some body putty. I mixed the putty up and began to apply it to an area while my by then steady girlfriend, Janice, watched. Having an interest in the car and me she wanted to help so she took a large screw driver and dipped it into the bucket to retrieved some of the body filler and gently allied a large glop of it to a dent and preceded to smooth it out. I later removed the axle grease from the prepared dent and cleaned it up. Memories. That MGA is the source of countless memoires of us dating. Memories of having the A & W Root Beer carhop hanging a tray on the tiny driver’s side window to cruising around listening to Cosby, Stills, Nash and Young on the eight track tape player I had mounted behind the seats. When we’d travel she keep a look out for road signs and watch the map so I dubbed her the “Navigator” and I the “Pilot.” 
I proposed to Janice later that year but unfortunately, I was only eighteen at the time and even though MG’s weren’t that expensive to maintain it became too much for me so I sold it, an act I continue to regret to this day. About two years later, in 1972, we were married but I never stopped getting the catalogs and all too many times I would be going through them while she and I tried to catch a little quiet time while sitting on the sunporch while the kids were busy playing or whatever. On countless occasions I would inevitably say, “Someday I’m going to get another MG.” The years flew by and other things like ball games and dance lessons took precedence over that dream but still I’d mutter, “Someday I’m going to get another MG.” My wife enjoyed that dream because the “A” held a special place in her heart and mind too. 
Fast forward thirty years to 2002. My oldest daughter was married and the youngest was in college and Jan and I had settled into a new empty nest; quiet and relaxed lifestyle. One Sunday while sitting on the sunporch Jan was reading the Sunday paper while I again browsed the MG catalogue and again I muttered, “Someday I’m going to get another MG.” Janice let the paper drop to her lap and in the sweetest most understanding voice she said, “Honey, our 30th anniversary is coming up and I found an MG in the paper. I think you should either get it and fix it up or never mention the letters MG again.” 
That afternoon I went to look at that MG. It was a “twenty footer”, meaning it looked good at twenty feet, but, all in all, it was in pretty good shape for a ‘72. I bought it and began to strip it down. It took that whole summer and most of the next year to get it to where I thought it was at least a “five footer” and I was proud of it. I kept everything stock including the color and paint formulation. I did all the work myself including mechanical, painting and I even made my own interior door panels. The one thing that wasn’t stock and what I didn’t do myself was the embroidery in the upper part of the door panel. The passenger door reads, “Janice ~ The Navigator” and the driver’s side says, “Bill ~ The Pilot.” 
Memories of an MG isn’t just of the car. They are the memories of a lifestyle. Memories of the places you’ve gone, the things you did and the people who you’ve met. Memories of a complete stranger throwing up his or her hand to wave hello as you pass by while on the road.