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Life Arts

"Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives"

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Headlined to H2 7/17/13
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You can read about the car company online at

some recent projects by courtesy of the author

JB: Your website describes your business as "sales and service of fine used European and exotic automobiles". When Cubby was growing up, your Rolls Royce played a role in enabling the two of you to gain access to places ordinary citizens don't have access to. Can you talk about that a bit?

JER: I sure was proud of that car!  I lost all my money the first year I ran my new business.  Three years later, I'd turned the corner.  I was well on the way to pay off my debts and I was making a profit.  I had the chance to buy that car for $10,000 in a bankruptcy sale and I grabbed it.

It's true that car was an entree to many places and things.  We attended Rolls Royce Club events and car shows, and began building the substantial Rolls Royce service business we have today.  We also toured all of New England in the car, and it's true what I wrote in the Cubby book:  You can never be a trespasser in a Rolls!

If I were to pick one car to drive somewhere I should not - like the big rail yards in Selkirk, New York - it would be a grand old antique Rolls, or maybe a Cadillac or Packard.

And I've still got that car, by the way!

a beauty! by courtesy of the author

JB: Cool! What year is it and how many miles does it have on it? Is that the car with the interesting history or was that another Rolls? Tell that story too, please.

JER: The car in the story is a 1976, and it has about 45,000 miles on the odometer.  It's not driven much anymore but when my son was small we drove it every weekend the weather was nice.  

One of the interesting cars from Raising Cubby is Chairman Mao's 1972 Mercedes 600 limousine.  We restored that car for a client when Cubby was young, and I have a funny account of our trip to the Newport Car show one year.

We seem to have an endless procession of interesting cars here . . . it's what we do.  

JB: Sounds like fun! What can you tell our readers who might be interested in learning more about autism and Asperger's, John?

JER: Well, if they want to know more about autism in general, they can go to the websites of the Autism Society of America and Autism Speaks.  One of the best online communities for people on the spectrum is  

If they want to know what happened after Raising Cubby ends . . .  check out NY Times reporter Amy Harmon's excellent ebook - Asperger Love.

They can find me at and on Facebook and Twitter and my blogs on Psychology Today and Blogger.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
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