Car parade rekindles seniors’ memories of the rides of their youth
By Romi Herron For The Courier-News June 9, 2012 5:30PM
A vintage Ford draws onlookers at Riverfest in St. Charles on Saturday | Erin Sauder ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 11, 2012 10:33AM
A parade of antique cars made their way through Elgin Saturday morning, as the Fox Valley Model T Club hosted its annual Nursing Home Tour.
During the event, members made one-hour scheduled stops at facilities throughout town, including Apostolic Christian Resthaven, Rosewood Care Center, Manor Care and Tower Hill Healthcare Center.
Steve Thoren, coordinator of the event, said the nursing home residents enjoy getting up close to the cars they once used to drive.
“And we love to hear their stories,” he said. “Earlier today a 101-year-old woman said she learned how to drive a Model T on a farm when she was 12. Another woman said she remembered kissing a man in a rumble seat. Then she said, ‘But I won’t tell you anything else.’”
During the stop at Manor Care, former Fox Valley Model T Club member and nursing home resident Bud Loek got to say hi to old friends and enjoy the cars.
Loek was once the owner of a 1925 Model T Coupe.
“I got my car out of an old hayfield for $1,100,” he said proudly. “I restored it to like-new condition. My son still owns it.”
About 13 cars were a part of Saturday’s event, ranging from a 1922 Model T to a 1940 Buick Special.
Schaumburg resident Bob Stauffer, owner of the 1922 Ford Model T, enjoys his old car.
“It’s a hoot drive,” he said. “And I get a lot of fun out of showing it.”
Barry Danielson, owner of the Buick Special, said he has owned more than a handful of Buicks in his lifetime.
“My wife said I can have as many antique cars as I want — but I can only have one at a time,” the Elgin resident said with a laugh.
Manor Care employee Daniel Bollman said the residents look forward to the event.
“These are the cars from their childhood,” he said. “They’re happy to see them.”
Thoren said some nursing home residents with dementia may not remember the day before, “but they remember these cars.”
“It gives us gratification to see the smiles on their faces and rekindle memories,” he said. “Seeing them smile brings a smile to us.”