Al met my father through his brother, Gerald Jr. 
 
In order to spend time with his girlfriend, Gerald Jr. walked many blocks.  It was a distance people today would not likely walk, but back in the 60’s, not even thought about.  
 
Along his travels, he came across horse stables, still graced with their accompanying horses.  How charming to think that people once rode these massive animals down the grassy, center median of Peninsula Boulevard. This may have proved a pleasant stroll... back then... Today this notion would prove a catastrophe.  
 
Located on the same street was Pacer's. 

The friendship developed between Dad and Gerald Jr., set in motion another relationship... one between Pacer’s Auto and Albert’s Plating Works.   This was a family business, and Gerald Sr. ran it with pride.  He ~ along with 120 employees ~ chrome plated everything... from furniture fabrication, boat parts, to various parts on cars... ashtray covers... to grills for 1955-57 Fords... They even did electroplating for General Electric.  Many times Gerald Sr. handled projects personally, as he took great measures in the work at hand and for the relationships he had with his customers.   Al rubbed his hands as he told this tale, remembering the many thousands of pieces he completed... his joints still bearing the brunt of the work.

 

When Pacer’s began building the Dune Buggies, the bartering between the two companies - and moreover the relationship - was forged.   “Charlie had this idea.  Why should they buy the roll bars?  My father could make the roll bars and plate them ...and whatever else they had to have plated.”  It was a win-win solution. {Dad was always bartering!  Always.}


It was fun listening to Al reminisce.  He described some of my own memories... For example, how the shell dune buggy bodies, much like odd shaped bathtubs, were stacked inside each other.  They lined the loft shelfs to the back of the shop.  It was as if you could feel them waiting... just waiting, for their turn to come alive.  


In fact, one of those ‘odd shaped bathtubs’ did come alive for Gerald Jr.  He ended up with a stunning, pimped-out ride of its day.  A silver flaked body, and ~ of course ~ every bit of chrome bling you could muster.  Al lit up as he thought back,  “It was beautiful.”

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Bartering for Charlie was hallmark.  Talent and capabilities afforded him many win-win situations, solutions... as well as long term relationships.

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Charlie