Several Joys, One Headache
Next to his wife, Joan, and daughter, Stephanie, Philip Parker had two great loves: music and his green MG convertible, which he bought in 1977 when he and Joan were dating.
By day, Mr. Parker, 53, was a senior vice president of Aon Corporation, which took him frequently to Aon's office on the 99th floor of the World Trade Center. But on weekends, he was transformed. He became a D.J., at least in the privacy of his home, mixing CD's to entertain friends, or just his wife. He played banjo and guitar.
And then there was the car, his constant joy and headache -- "a mechanical nightmare," Mrs. Parker said. "He said he was going to either give it up or have someone restore it." In the end, he couldn't bear to let it go, and had it restored.
Mrs. Parker could never drive it because it has a standard transmission. Now she plans to learn.
"There might be a few thunderstorms up there," said Mrs. Parker, imagining her husband looking down from heaven as she struggles to drive the thing. She can just hear him yelling, "'Don't burn the clutch!'"
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 15, 2001.