Owners of antique trucks aim to lift young patients' spirits
Members of the South East Michigan Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society brought seven trucks to the courtyard of hospital in the hopes of brightening up the patients' spirits.
“The idea is that the kids can have a little distraction, get a chance to get out and focus on something a little more entertaining,” member Dan Egeler said. “(But) it’s just too cold.”
Only a handful of people attended the show, and just a few children, but those that were there had only good things to say.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Joe Kolenc, who works for the children’s hospital. “Anything with wheels I’m attracted to.”
Sue McNeil of Sterling Heights took her nephews Joshua and Justin to the show during Joshua’s routine hemodialysis treatment.
“It’s really kind of fun not just to do the medical stuff, but to have something enjoyable to do,” Sue McNeil said. “After all, it’s his weekend.”
The event displayed a variety of trucks dating from the 1920s to the 1970s, including a 1922 REO Speed Wagon fire truck; a 1958 Navy truck; and a 1962 Mack truck that was featured in the beginning of the Rob Reiner film “Flipped,” due out next year.
Saline resident Roger Perkins brought out his 1950 Ford F-1, which he said he never does in the rain and rarely after summer. For the kids, however, he said the show was worth it.
“I think we need to do more getting out for seniors, kids and patients,” he said. “It’s a nice thing for the truck club to do.”Tomorrow, the society will host its annual truck show in Ypsilanti, where society president David Egeler said he expects to display more than 50 antique trucks. The show will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Riverside Park.
Despite the low turnout, David Egeler said he would like to bring the truck show back to the children’s hospital again, though next time, during the summer.
“Kids love trucks,” he said. “If just by bringing a truck here and a kid gets a chance to see it and leaves with a smile, then it’s worth it.”