I listened to Grandpa's stories for so many years (but never enough) that I should know him better. Turns out that many of the "facts" in my head are a bit twisted.
Originally, my main focus in finding this thread was to just see some more pictures of Zeta. Problem is that once you start researching a man's life, things get complicated. Stories are seldom simply linear, at least in the telling. A quick question to my Dad about pictures turned into an hour-long trip to his childhood. He talked about things that I had never heard about before. Nothing earth shattering, just life as a 10 year-old with Romie for a Dad.
I've always had a love of machines. It was inevitable with Dad and Grandpa in my life. You know that barn that someone always talks about? The barn with the rare, old whatever that they always dreamed of finding? That was Grandpa's barn. It was literally packed (in some places to the rafters) with cool stuff. Some of it was really junk, but it was cool junk. Much of the contents was definitely not junk. In my mental snapshot of many hours spent in that barn holds: Zeta, a Stearman, a Taylorcraft, a Luscombe, parts of a powered glider, the Porsche, BMW and Norton motorcycles, tools, parts, guns, machines of all kinds...Grandpa just understood and appreciated machines.
I plan to track down those images of Zeta that I know must exist somewhere, or at least give you an idea of where to look. History will help there, and I'll get what I can from Dad.
I have seen pics of that blue Beemer before. Mine was a cafe, but not a toaster. It was a 1939 R51 that I pulled from Grandpa's barn a couple years before he died. I'll try to attach a picture of it. I've sold it on to a guy in California (back in stock form).