"The first words out of his mouth were, 'Do you want me to call Cooter?'" said Matt, referring to the mechanic on the "The Dukes of Hazzard." And, of course, when the tow truck driver showed up, not only did he have to have his picture taken with the General Lee, but he had to brig it back to his shop in Amsterdam because his boss didn't believe he was towing the iconic car.
That night, after a long drive back from Utica and a fair amount of showing the car off to friends and family, Matt wondered about the fortune of finding his dream car at a price he could afford.
"What does it all mean?" he asked Desaree.
"What this means," she said, "is that we're going to get married now."
And on Jan. 7 of this year, they did just that. The ceremony and reception were small, just the way they wanted. And though the General Lee precipitated the whole thing, it was nowhere in sight.
As for Frances, Matt takes her to cruise-ins at Tastee Treat on New Scotland Road now and again in the '75 Corvette, of course.
"What a treat that is," said Frances. "It's a beautiful hobby, and these cars have brought Matt and Desaree so much joy."
"I'm so glad that God has let me live this long to see Matthew enjoy these things," said Frances, who will turn 85 this spring. "My grandchildren have given me my life."
And when she "gets down low," as she puts it, she said she thinks about the $5,300 she spent on a decades-old Corvette.
"What God has given me in life no money could ever buy."
And when Matt gets low, he thinks of the joy he brings people when they see him driving that piece of nostalgia from their childhood or hear the trademark bars of "Dixie" when he taps the car's horn.