August 22, 2014

Elyria
Mostly sunny
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Have you driven a Model A Ford lately?

80-year-old gets a dream ride

ELYRIA — Rodney Lind turned 80 on Friday, and it ended up being a pretty special day: He got to indulge in a longtime dream of taking another ride in a Model A Ford.
“I couldn’t have been anymore surprised,” Lind said from the window of the polished red-and-black 1930 car. “You never know what can happen on your 80th birthday.”
Lind and his wife, Joyce, live at the Wesleyan Senior Living Center in Elyria, and for weeks Joyce has been in cahoots with Dawn Prokop, who leads a group called Second Wind Dreams that tries to find unique ways to treat the residents. They wanted to plan the perfect party for Lind. And here’s the surprise: They all managed to actually keep it a surprise until Friday.
“This is for you,” Joyce said, leading Lind into the party.
“You’re kidding,” Lind said, prompting all of his guests to laugh.
But that wasn’t all — holding hands, Joyce escorted her husband outdoors, where Lind quickly was taken aback. There sat the beautiful car — a car like the very first car he ever owned.
“I can’t believe all this,” he said, looking it over and pointing the familiar setup on the dashboard. “It’s exactly the same.”
Lind bought his first car for $65 in 1944 from a neighbor who never drove it, Joyce said.
Lind certainly did.
 “Drove it for 10 years and made 10 bucks on that thing,” Lind laughed.
Joyce added: “There’s one rule his dad gave him — he wasn’t to drive it to school or a bunch of kids.”
When Lind sold his Model A for $75, he upgraded to a Model B Ford. In 50 years, he owned a total of six Fords.
“He drove a Ford for all his working years,” Joyce said.
Through mutual friends, Prokop found Ron Wallace, owner of the 1930 Ford. The Elyria resident thought Prokop’s request was one he couldn’t refuse.
“I thought it would be a nice thing to do,” Wallace said.
Pamela Koutsaftis, Wesleyan Senior Living’s vice president of marketing, said the Second Wind Dreams committee was happy to arrange to make Lind’s dream come true.
“We try to make dreams come true for our residences whenever we can,” Koutsaftis said. “To be able to relive something again, it really does fulfill something in them.”
Contact Rania Shakkour at 329-7127 or rshakkour@chroniclet.com.