Cannonball's on his way to show me he has exactly the right leather to fix the aging, cracked and split driver's seat of my '99 Ford Explorer which has 235,000 miles on it. The seat does too.
I tell him my children and several friends think I should consider getting a new car, but that... I'm. Just. Not. Ready.
"It's not about the money, Cannonball," I tell him, "it's cause I have the finest car in America for me, and why toss it if it ain't broken? And anyway, Cannonball, I've looked and the pansy auto makers no longer make SUVs with a standard transmission, which is a heinous travesty, in my opinion."
"Hells bells, honey," he assures me, "your car's just a teenager. A little upholstery, a new rubber mat on the floor near the accelerator will fix you right up, good as new. And while we're at it, let's build up this squashed down seat and give you a little better back support."
I like this man. He understands me. He "gets" me and my car. I joke that I've had better luck taking care of cars than a husband (except for the Peugeot diesel I blew up in 1980 when I forgot to put oil in it). He laughs uproariously.
A good ole southern boy, Cannonball is rather impressed that a former southern belle like me drives a standard transmission. I assure him that's why the car, and I, have held up fairly well over the years, thank you.
Cannonball owns and operates his own business, Cannonball's Covers, an interior upholstering and "decorating" shop in Nashville, Tennessee for cars and boats and anything else that comes with big motors and needs to be driven by restless, mobile modern man/womankind. He's a big man who has clearly found his place in the world and enjoys what he does immensely. And he knows how to deal with the likes of me.
Cannonball works on boat and car tops, auto upholstery, boat upholstery, boat covers, convertible tops, van conversions, auto and boat detailing, carpet, dash, and door panels , antique restorations, custom interiors and "headliners." (Whatever those are.)
I brought him just a "lil' job"-- a seat that needs a face lift, so to speak. But I'm tough about it. I tell him I don't want to leave the car more than one work day, and that's final.
Cannonball sees that I want out-patient surgery rather than a hospital visit. He agrees he can do the job in one day, once he orders the leather and as long as I get there by 7 in the morning. Piece of cake, I tell him. It's a done deal.
The "Day of Restoration" arrives, the driver's seat and floor undergoes its aforementioned transformation at the day spa for run-down interiors. A friend takes me to pick up my car.
"Go over there and sit in your car," Cannonball instructs me.
I do as I'm told. I feel like Cinderella suddenly sitting in a Lexus. I actually sit up high enough on the newly built seat so that--for the very first time in recorded history---I don't need to sit on an additional pillow to be up high enough. I am thrilled, really thrilled.
"Can you hear that sound?" Cannonball asks me.
"What sound? "
"Can't you hear that sound?"
"What sound, Cannonball?"
"That sound when you sit on your new built seat," then he begins to laugh.
"It's the sound of your butt giggling!"
I am momentarily speechless.
I have to admit, I've never heard of such a thing......my butt giggling?
Clearly, a Cannonball original. I realize I've been Cannonballized.
One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, can anything good come from a place named Cannonball's?
All I can say is, if any interior chassis that holds a motor you own, operate or have a long term love relationship with needs a little spiffing up, then walk, crawl or run to Cannonball's and let him put you back in business at his hospital/day spa for tired interiors.
And when you do, tell him Webutante sent you.
Wouldn't it be worth it just to hear the sound of your, er, butt giggling?
You've heard of kicking butt. Now there's giggling butt, thanks to my new best friend Cannonball White.
Thanks, Cannonball, from the bottom of my.......new uplifted seat cushion.
Above, Cannonball White in front of his shop.
Below, a Lexus-like seat in a Ford Explorer's body. A two-inch higher seat that helps me relate to my steering wheel better and lumbar support at mid-back, made and positioned just for my back. Priceless.