Ginger Bear’s Garage

I came into Grandview fully defeated and ready to make a drastic change in my life. On the morning of January 6th I was hesitant to get into the car, afraid of the unknown. However, my sister was there to bring me in for my intake, and I knew I had to surrender and accept her help.

I originally thought I was coming in for a 30-day program, but I soon realized it was 60 days. This was a shock to me but, again, I needed to surrender to the process. As I began to dry out and develop a clearer perspective on my situation I knew that even 60 days was not going to be enough to put me on the right path of recovery after a 26-year obsession with alcohol. I knew I needed to extend to 90 days of treatment.

Shortly after my extension, we went on lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus. This was hard for me to handle because I knew I was not going to be able to see my son and girlfriend until the beginning of April when I finished my treatment. However, I knew it was the best decision for me. My last week before hitting 90 days was exciting.

I was really looking forward to seeing my family again. Then 3 days before my scheduled departure the news hit. Groups, including outpatient groups, were getting suspended due to the virus and social distancing guidelines. I had a world of emotions racing inside me. I knew that if I went back home, isolated, and had no groups or AA meetings to attend, I would relapse into my old way of thinking and that bottle would be back in my hands. After talking it over with my peers, the director of Grandview, and my family, we decided that my best course of action was to extend to 120 days and stay connected to the program and my sober network.

During this time I continued to work on my coping skills and attend all wellness programs that were offered, including yoga, book club, and drum circle. We were also given the opportunity to work on model cars to occupy our time when there was no group. I was immediately brought back to my childhood when I loved to work on model cars. I remember how happy and at peace I was while crafting them at my young age.

After completing my first car at Grandview we were allowed to choose several different models from a catalog. I was even able to venture away from cars and selected a boat. This sparked my passion for fishing and inspired me to own a boat someday. I ended my treatment at 120 days and decided to continue with my recovery journey when I was offered a spot at Grandview’s RBH sober living house. I would continue to work on my models every day since it helped reduce my anxiety. Working on these models has become one of my coping skills. Using my creative side has also helped me re-discover my passions and reinvent myself as I work through my recovery.

I have loved creating stained glass windows since the 7th grade and I have completed and designed some great pieces throughout the years. My parents always said that it was just a hobby and that I could never make money at it. Because of this, I put my equipment away and focused on schooling in search of their approval. I majored in accounting, which, in a way, was like stained glass – putting pieces together to create a balance.

As I continue to move forward, my sobriety will always come first, but I am no longer going to do things to please others. I am going to trust my heart and go after my dreams. Today 06/23/2020 I am 170 days sober and feeling more optimistic than I have ever felt before. I am ready to be the greatest father, son, and companion that I can be – the one that was always inside of me.

Cadillac Escalade

This was the first model I completed since my early childhood. It brought back memories of joy and happiness that I felt when I was building models as a young boy. My work was a bit rusty on this one but, as I progressed in my building at Grandview, my skills began to sharpen.

Back to the Future Delorean

The Back To The Future movie series was one of my favorites growing up, so I knew I needed to choose this model for my next build. This was a snap to fit model, but it allowed me to focus on painting details with the flux capacitor, wiring, and rear time machine mechanics.

Ghostbusters ECTO-1A

Sticking with the movie theme, I decided to go with another favorite – Ghostbusters. The top luggage rack of the ghost fighting equipment required intensive detailed paintwork that I was able to patiently complete. The decals also took a lot of patience and precision.


Volkswagen Westfalia Camper 1980s

I have had a passion for the VW Westfalia line for a long time. When I was a little boy my parents bought an Orange Westfalia when we moved to Italy from Maryland. My dream is to someday fix up a 1973 Westfalia, the year I was born, and drive it around the country, running marathons.

Datsun Off Road Pickup

My first car was a Datsun/Nissan truck, so I just had to work on this gem. Sticking to an orange and brown scheme was so much fun during this build. It really brings out the 70’s groove and is a color reversal from my previous dream van with a brown exterior and orange interior.

Chrysler Hydro-Vee Boat

This one was an absolute joy for me to complete. I have a huge passion for fishing and being on the water. Someday I would love to have my own boat. I started this model while still in residential and completed it in RBH during lockdown quarantine. I came up with a new technique while working on this model using two paint colors to create a wood grain look. The feedback on it has been great and I’m very pleased with my creativity and getting out of the box.


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