I'll save you the gory details of puberty and we'll skip straight from 1988 to March of 2006. In 1992 we moved to Arkansas and have lived here since then. The panel was left behind in California, shuffled between different storage facilities and family members back yards over the years.
In March of 2006 I went back to visit my girlfriend at college in San Francisco. I decided to drive down and check the panel out. I didn't grow up working on cars, but did know my grandpa had raced circle track. It was important to me to preserve the few things left that my dad owned. I didn't expect to suddenly become interested in hot rods, but getting my hands on the panel changed that. I decided pretty fast that I wanted to bring it home and restore it.