I would like to make a quite overdue statement of appreciation and gratitude to the Dream Machines Car Club for their great demonstration of camaraderie and compassion to my father, Vernon John Ulrich, over the years. Special mention needs to be given to Wendy and Bob Brown, as well as Glenn and Russ Dall, for their persistence in ensuring that he was able to enjoy car events. As my father’s health faded, attending car shows became more and more difficult for him.
Despite this, when his “good days” were aligned with a car show day, Dad would ride shotgun to participate in his longtime favorite pastime. He, no doubt, would much rather be in the driver’s seat, but he still enjoyed getting out of the house to ride in one of our beloved classic cars or hotrods.
As it became more and more difficult to transfer him into and out of a car, my mother would express concern about how he was going to get out of the car, once we were at the show. I’d always ease her concern by telling her, “Don’t worry, Ma, the Dream Machines are there.” You see… from the very beginning of Dad’s need for assistance in getting out of a car, his old friends would rush to assist him, without any request being needed.
In June of 2018, my father attended the last car show that he was able to attend. His health had failed him to the point that he was barely able to remain seated in a car.
When we arrived at the A&W in Aurora, Bob and Wendy saw our car enter the show, and made their way over to where we would park.
Once the car was parked, they were there, immediately at the ready to help my father transfer from the passenger seat and into his wheelchair.
Once he was in his chair, Wendy made it a point to secure a picnic table for us. Once Dad was at a table, his Dream Machine friends sat down to chat with him.
Despite the fact that he had little ability to follow a conversation and respond, at that point, his friends persisted and did their very best to include him, as they had always done.
My father had always enjoyed ice-cream, so when Wendy surprised him with an Ice Cream Sunday, after dinner, his eyes lit up. During a time where he typically ate little, Dad finished off a cheese burger, fries, and most of an Ice-Cream Sunday.
Being in his favorite element, around his old friends, not only gave him delight, but also added a little life to his day.
On the day that my father’s memorial service was held, despite the fact that there was rain in the forecast, members of the Dream Machines Car Club arrived in their classic cars and hotrods, to say goodbye to their old friend.
Our family was quite honored and grateful for the respect, loyalty, and compassion that his friends had demonstrated on this day, and the many prior occasions.
The Dream Machine’s Car Club is a shining example of what this great hobby is all about, friendship and camaraderie.
We, the family of Vernon John Ulrich, wish to give you great thanks and hold you in high esteem for your kindness and compassion towards our beloved father and husband!