The Dodge:
Guts, Glory, and Living at Full-Throttle

By Anne Cutter Mikkelsen and Eduard Alden Mikkelsen
Published by Willow Island Press

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A man restoring life and glory to an aging, abandoned automobile isn’t unusual.
Mystical though is the car’s, almost human, response to the man’s slowly emerging disabilities.

Their 60-year journey of reciprocity begins in a Connecticut garage. It was love at first sight. Mike, a 17-year old Lewistown, Montana cowboy, wanted to own the1941 Dodge D-19 Luxury Liner convertible. She sat neglected and alone with a bale of hay on her backseat.

He stood in awe of her beauty and vowed, “Don’t worry. I may look young and inexperienced, but I’ve been around the barn a few times. I’ll figure out a way to get you.”

Two years after driving the Dodge home to Montana, Mike left her to go to war. Eventually she found herself at the bottom of a Montana coulee. Twenty years passed, a tree grew through her body and wildflowers flowed from her glove box.
She almost gave up hope of seeing him again. Meanwhile a silent invader took root inside Mike forcing him down into his own pit.

 

On forty acres outside Northfield, Minnesota, the car/man journey of rebirth folds Mike’s lifelong passion for cars into his wife, Anne’s love of food, plants and children. While Anne, a French-trained chef, provides peace and sustenance for guests at her country B&B, Mike, a potter and sculptor, juggles a robust auto restoration business in the basement of the garage with a pottery and sculpture studio upstairs. Life at full-throttle.

As Parkinson’s disease threatens to drastically alter the couple’s lifestyle, the Dodge adds a powerful ingredient to their Quality of Life recipe. This story of perseverance, love and commitment is not just a tale of restoring a “rolling sculpture.” For Mike and the Dodge, the evolution of their magical bond ultimately provides a life-line for both.

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