Hopes & Dreams In Pictures

Yes, I’ve taken a ton of pictures over the years, of anything and everything, as one of the things I dreamed of being was a professional photographer. We now know that didn’t happen, still I’ve experienced so much enjoyment from photography, and gathered a bunch of great memories in the process. I like to mess with some of them… put them through a water color app, or have AI interpret them. It’s fun, that’s all. Some of my pics become something of a documentation of my life, and it’s that part, that documenting of what my hopes and dreams would have looked like, that I want to share with you here.

***** I loved cars from around six years old. My folks let me get 3 different magazine subscriptions – Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, and Motor Trend. I read those babies from cover to cover every month, falling hopelessly in love with those hot rods of the fifties. When I was 19 I bought a ’32 Ford five-window from Charles Carter in Ennis, for $300.

ThisThis actually happened to me as I was driving my “new” ’32 home. The steering got wobbly I slowed down and my left rear tire slowly passed me on the left and rolled down into the barrow pit.

It was parked in front of our bar for the summer, as I never got to it. Sold it for the same $300 to Warren Reichman that fall, for college money. That’s the closest I ever came to having, and working on, a hot rod. If I had, this is how I think it might have looked –

Truth is, if I hadn’t become a musician, I would have probably managed a gas station. And, quite honestly, it would have served me fairly well, as I knew how to change the oil and filter, grease the car, check all the vital fluids and repair flat tires by the time I was 14.

This is the old Dudley garage, where Spud Dudley taught me the basic tools of the trade back in ’61.

This is me only a few years ago, same gas station.


I managed this station the summer of ’63





This is the very same staion ( and me)  55 years later.
I could have run a station and a speed shop like this, and would have been very happy!

My garage in Montana. Aside from sitting next to the fireplace on a cold winter’s eve, this garage was my favorite place to spend large chunks of time. And yes, of course i miss it.


The Jaguar, my all-time favorite!

Our town, Virginia City, had a sports car rally every summer, and that cemented my love for sports cars as well. Several of the drivers took me for short rides and it was wonderful! My favorites were always the Jaguar XK 120s and 140s. Sounded sweet, looked incredible. Now I realize that sports cars also attracted me because they were small, and standing beside one made me feel bigger, maybe even more grown up!

I have always loved the ’57 Chevy, but never got one. Instead I had two ’56s over the years.  Finally, two years ago, I bought my first “sort of” sports car, a 2007 Mustang GT. I love that little car, and we’ve had a ball with it, bouncing around Western Washington from time to time. (note here – some of these pics are mine, and some I’ve lifted from the net and doctored them a bit. All in fun, of course!)

I test-drove several others, but opted for the Mustang GT, as it fit me in this particular time of my life, and it had a small back seat, big enough for Hemmie!

My watercolor Mustang










My Ai Mustang

My Mustang with my fave WW II plane, the PBY Catalina


From about eight on I seriously wanted to be a pilot, and it wasn’t until I was 16 that I was told my math skills simply weren’t up to the task. That was a hard hit to take, as I had seriously dreamed of flying for years. And upon learning that even the navigators needed the math skills… well, for me, that was the final nail in that coffin.

A guy can wish, can’t he?

A visit to the Museum Of Flight in Seattle was a real thrill for me, and I even found my sorry old butt in the seat of a real jet! Ah, the dreams of youth, still strangely alive, still in there somewhere!









Sitting in an F-86 Sabre Jet, right next to a Mig-15… an old, little boy’s heaven!

Yup. I would’ve loved it.


And ships! I Ioved the tall mast ships, having read about them in adventure stories while growing up. I guess that, maybe subconsciously, I thought of the vast span of the oceans, the seas, was nature’s representation of life still to be lived, the future life that waited for us… with nothing but the vast, seemingly empty expanse, giving us little to no clue as to which way to go, except for the impending weather we might be able to see.

My AI version of a tall ship in a bad storm

When I saw the movie, Captain Horatio Hornblower, starring Gregory Peck, that about pushed me over the edge! Of course I wanted to be the captain of one of those ships, probably some sort of desire to be in control of my future, to be the one to decide where to go in that vast expanse, how to negotiate the challenges ahead.

My AI version of a tall ship, sailing to… where?

Never occurred to me back then that I was not really captain material, no more than I was pilot material. Perhaps that’s one of the beauties of being a kid… we don’t yet know what we can’t do, so our dreams can be limitless. I know mine were, for a long time.

This might have been my home on the high seas, and I would have loved it!

******And so, dreams unfulfilled? Eh, depends on how you look at it. In my lifetime I’ve owned and enjoyed 22 cars and trucks. I’ve flown in many different types of aircraft, from the 747 to a small Cessna. And I’ve sailed on many a boat, from a cat in the .virgin Islands to a 52-passenger freighter through the Panama Canal. I was never the pilot nor the captain of those experiences, yet I’m not sure I enjoyed them any less.

I’m happy to observe that, these days, little girls can dream pretty much the same dreams as little boys, and have a good chance of their coming true! Except maybe for being a football player… don’t dream that one, girls. Not going to work. I know, I played football through high school, and while it was fun, the truth is that football hurts, and sometimes your bones break!

But how satisfying it is to revisit one’s youthful hopes and dreams, to remember how exciting it was to actually believe we might become the man we sometimes envisioned. My pics all spark memories of my childhood, and they also remind me of how dramatically our self image can change over the years.

It seems that if we live long enough, (and I have) that we come full circle, from childhood dreams to adult realities, and finally back to our childhood dreams again. Suits me, it feels almost as good the second time around.

Steve Hulse


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