FORT COLLINS – Stack up all the gadgets and gizmos that sat under the Christmas tree this year and Gary Rohs will say his gift tops them all.
Tuesday morning, after hearing the roar of an engine, Gary walked outside his Fort Collins home to see a blazing red 1965 Corvette waiting for him in the driveway.
With a stick of butter and knife still in his hand from some early dinner preparations, Gary stood there, in the blistering cold, speechless.
The shock rushed in partly because he couldn't believe he was now the owner of this classic car, but mostly because the car belonged to his brother, Dave, who died of Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, on December 27 of last year.
In his will, Dave had given the car to his father, Hank Rohs.
"He marched to the beat of a different drummer," Hank said of his son, Dave. "He was a neat kid."
After a few dings, though, Hank realized the Corvette was a little too much for him, so he decided to make the car a present.
Getting it shipped from Michigan to Fort Collins and keeping it out of Gary's sight until Christmas morning was a tall order, but with the help of friends and neighbors, Hank found both success and stealth.
When the revving of the engine died down, Gary found his words.
"This is really cool," he exclaimed.
Of course, that wasn't all.
"We always used to call (Dave) 'Red', so the car is red," Gary said, "It's a good legacy, good memory."
A memory Gary will carry with him every time he gets behind the wheel.
After Gary, Hank and the whole family went back inside, there was quite an ironic moment when Gary handed his father the Christmas gift he had gotten for him.
Hank tore away the wrapping paper to reveal... a book on Corvettes.