Imagine for a moment you have a car that almost caught fire because of a wiring issue. You stick it in the garage and, before you know it, it’s been 25 years and the car hasn’t moved—not an uncommon occurrence, right? Sometimes life gets in the way of a project.
But sometimes cancer gets in the way of life too. A Nebraska resident, former Marine staff sergeant, and Vietnam veteran, Mike Kimmons had the misfortune to be given several months to live due to liver cancer. When discussing with friends what he’d like to do before the disease takes over his life, one of the things Mike said was to take his wife for a cruise in his 1964 Corvette. One of those friends, Dave Rusk, texted another friend, George Hoellen, and asked for help. George not only responded in the affirmative, but he got the wheels (pun not intended) in motion thanks to being president and part-owner of a tire company. The folks working for him at T.O. Haas Tire rose to the occasion, secretly attending to the Corvette’s needs including a new gas tank, new brake system, a new exhaust system, radiator, and turn signal switch.
On March 8, 2014, Mike was reunited with his car, surrounded by friends and family. Six days later, cancer took his life.
According to journalstar.com, the project involved nearly $3,000 in parts and $6,000 in labor donated by T.O. Haas. Said Rusk, “Mike is gone but will never be forgotten. He was a true Marine.”