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My father never attended the Woodward Dream Cruise. He lived the last three decades of his life in Missouri. He moved down there about the same time a job brought me to Michigan. He did visit us once or twice, but never on that weekend. We were more likely to meet in Chicago where one of my brothers lived, and he could see both of us. He would have loved the cars. He was a definite car guy. I swear I spent half my childhood in car lots as he would stop after a supper out and walk through the car lots to see the new models. He was a policeman, and he said he had to keep up on the new model cars and be able to recognize them when he saw them.
That was only an excuse, though. He loved cars. Had he been a billionaire, he probably would have bought a new vehicle every day. He would buy a new car, and the next day, he would be stopping at another car lot to see what they had. The main drag in our city must have had twenty or thirty car dealerships. That was on the West Side of the city alone. If he took us out for dinner, that’s where we would wind up. In one of the many car lots along Jefferson. Bill Jacobs Chevrolet. Fred Emich Ford. Burt Adams Pontiac. I don’t remember them all. There were dealers in other parts of the city, too. There was a Buick dealership downtown. The family bought a few cars there in 1978.
My father would not have liked attending the event of the Woodward Dream Cruise. Too many people. Too much traffic. As I said, he was a retired policeman. He didn’t like crowds. He didn’t like traffic. He didn’t like big cities. When he retired, he moved to a rural town that reminded him of where he had grown up as a boy.
But he loved cars, and especially old cars from his youth. The cars cruise more than only Woodward. They often make great circles around and through on some of the larger streets. I remember having dinner at a local Pizza Hut several years back on Dream Cruise weekend. It was at Fourteen Mile and Main in Clawson. Classic cars kept passing while we ate. Woodward gets too crowded for all of the cars, so many bleed out on both sides and into all the little suburbs. As we drove home that night, we were passed by the Golden Herd. I made up that name for them. It seems to be a club for owners of bright yellow Ford Mustangs. Imagine twenty or thirty yellow Mustangs from all different years cruising along together. My father would have loved that. He would have loved to sit out in our front yard and see all the classics pass by on our main road. Even being about four miles from Woodward, we see plenty pass by each year.
The Woodward Dream Cruise (https://www.woodwarddreamcruise.com/) was started as an event in 1995. It takes place on the third Saturday in August. My father’s birthday fell within this week. Some Dream Cruises were held on his birthday.
Dad died back in 2019, a bit short of his eighty-fifth birthday. Somehow, I can’t help thinking of him this time of year.
I’ll leave you with this: