Fred Fabre, left, circa 2002
Talking to the car guy at dinner, and we got on the subject of Rolls Royce automobiles. Back in Louisiana, I said, we used to live next to to a Rolls Royce mechanic.
And Richard looks at me and says, "Fred Fabre?"
Geez, Louise, twenty-five hundred miles away, forty years since I've seen Fred, and you know the guy?
Yeah, turns out they were both members of a British car club ...
I hadn't thought about Fred in a while, so I poked around on the net and found out that he had passed away. Had a stroke, in 2006. I found the obituary in the Baton Rouge paper, and while I know we have photographs of Fred buried in a box somewhere, I found one on the web, wherein Fred is giving an award at a care show.
Fred was funny, always named his cats "Sam," and the best mechanic I ever knew. He had a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, a Bentley or two, some old Mercedes and smaller Brit cars. Collection of electric trains, one of which I gave him. And a Luger Parabellum collector's item that was a 1920 German Police Issue overstrike, with matching numbers throughout that was probably worth what most of what one of his cars cost. He told me a story once, said a serious collector handed him a blank check and said fill in whatever you want. But he kept it.
Adiós, Fred. Sorry I missed your passage.