Steele Drivin' Man 15/?
Date: Thursday, June 27, 2002
Anne Rose <>

Fred's feeling pretty productive these days! A little venture into the art
world is more work then he anticipated, though.

Thanks again to Lauryn for sharp-eyed editing (and videotape loaners).

Nancy, please archive.

Enjoy! Anne

Steele Drivin' Man 15/?
DATE: November 4, 1983
MILEAGE: 12,086
MAINTENANCE: Car wash and detailing

This was one of those weeks when I would have been better off with Grandpa's old red farm truck then the limo.

I mean, have you ever tried to fit a five-foot painting into a limo,
especially when you're in a hurry? I got a lot of practice with that.

But I'll get to that in a minute. It would have been nice to have something smaller then the limo when I went on an errand Tuesday afternoon. On the
way back from lunch Mr. Steele made a few phone calls and then handed me an address and a big wad of bills. He said to go see someone named Snuffy who
would give me some stuff Mr. Steele needed. I dropped him off at the office and ran my errand. I'm glad I was going to this part of town in the
daylight. This short grubby guy gave me a duffel bag of stuff, after he
looked me over real carefully and counted the cash. The bag wasn't heavy,
but it sure did clank a lot. I got out of that neighborhood fast. I'm glad
Miss Holt didn't know what we had been up to.

She found out later, anyway. I picked them up really late and they were in
their working clothes, as Mr. Steele calls them, so I knew some funny
business was on the schedule. I took them to an address he gave me, but I
could hardly find a place to pull over, traffic was so heavy.

I got to the curb and they got out with the bag I had picked up earlier.
Mr. Steele told me to come back in twenty minutes, and to "try to look
inconspicuous". I hope he thought he was being funny, because I wasn't
laughing. Here we were on a major street with heavy traffic, and two people dressed in black getting out of an enormous car with custom plates, and he
wants me to just blend in? I held my tongue, but I felt like telling him
that while I waited I was going to put up the hood and install that new horn I got that plays "Dixie".

But I made a big circle around a few blocks and was back in exactly twenty
minutes. Traffic had lightened up a bit, and good thing, too because Mr.
Steele and Miss Holt came out of there at a run, with three of the most gawd awful paintings, if you can call them that, in their hands. Mr. Steele hollered for me to open the trunk, and they obviously thought we were going to take those paintings with us. He tried to put the big square one in the
trunk, but I could tell by looking at it there was no way it would fit. I
took the smaller one from him and set it in. He looked over to where Miss
Holt was trying to shove the long one into the back seat, and I thought he
was going to have a stroke. He kept telling her to be careful, that they
were too valuable to mishandle. Well, I know Mr. Steele knows about art,
but I couldn't believe that he would think these are valuable. They looked
like stuff my brother's kids brought home from preschool to put on the

I took the long painting from Miss Holt and asked her to get in the
backseat. I angled the painting from the passenger side of the dash to
behind my seat, and she scrunched down under it. Mr. Steele was dancing
around on the sidewalk and kept looking over his shoulder. I took the big
painting from him and he got in quick. He put it over his head and balanced it on the long one. I bet his arms were tired by the time we got to
Rossmore. He took a few long, deep breaths like he was trying to calm
himself down. But Miss Holt, buried under the paintings, was giggling like
she'd just tied one on. She was having a time under there. Something
really set her off, because Mr. Steele kept telling her to calm down, and to keep her hands to herself.

She got serious for a couple of minutes while we did the whole thing in
reverse so they could get out of the car. Before they went in Mr. Steele
called a Rick somebody and told him to hurry over.

The next morning Miss Holt asked me to stop at Rossmore and pick up the
paintings again. Now that I wasn't hurrying so much Mr. Steele and I got
them in safely. But now I could see why Mr. Steele had been so uptight the
night before - these paintings inside the frames were incredibly beautiful.
He made sure they were all secure, and told me for his own personal comfort he'd rather call a cab.

In the afternoon I brought Mr. Steele and our spineless client to a major
piece of real estate in Bel Air. Mr. Steele seemed pretty calm but Mr.
Walker looked like he'd rather be in a snake pit then go to this shindig. I was sitting in the car flipping through my Street Rod magazine when I saw
Miss Holt pull up. She was moving pretty fast, because she didn't even hear me call out to her. She disappeared around a hedge at a run. About ten
minutes later the three of them were back again, and I took Mr. Steele and
Mr. Walker back to the office. Mr. Steele's mood had definitely changed for the worse.

The next afternoon the limo did its work truck imitation one more time, but now I was getting good at loading the paintings. Hey, practice makes
perfect. I haven't seen them since - I wonder what happened to them?

To Be Continued---
To Part 16