It was 1951 and I was a freshman at Albion college. My father was Chief of Gynecology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He had interned and taken his residency at the same hospital during the depression. One of his mentors was Dr. Roy McClure who was Chief of Surgery at Ford. My father worshiped him as the \”ultimate\” surgeon and spoke of him often.
One of my Dad\’s patients was a women named Mrs. Van Dyke and in doing so became a friend of her husband. Van Dyke street was named after a member of his family. My mother had invited Mr. Van Dyke over to our house for a bowl of her superb lentil soup which was a favorite of his. I was studying upstairs and looked out my window. There it was, parked on the street, a 1937 Ford Deluxe V-8 Coupe. It looked as if it had just been driven off the showroom floor. There it was, a beautiful color gray with a red pinstripe. I fell in love instantly and ran down stairs and met Mr. Van Dyke\’s chauffeur, Frasier. He had a blanket on his lap for Mr. Van Dyke who was coming to the car to go home. The car was immaculate and we talked about it at great length. The next day I returned to college, but the picture of that Ford roamed in my mind.
The next time I hitchhiked home was at Christmas. My Dad said he wanted me to go to Grosse Pointe with him to pick up something. On the way he told me Mr. Van Dyke had died. We arrived at a hugh house and brought some flowers for the remaining house staff and then he took me to the garage. We opened the door and I looked at a large cadillac sedan, but what I saw on the other side was a 1937 Ford Deluxe V-8 Coupe. with new tires and a full tank of gas and with only 46,000 gentile miles on it. That dear man had willed me that wonderful car. I learned later on that Mr. Van Dyke had tried to give the car to me on the lentil soup day, but my Dad said absolutely not. Mr. Van Dyke had foiled him, much to my benefit.
That Ford was driven many trouble free miles and as time went on I found out much more about my first Ford. It had originally been purchased by none other than Dr. Roy McClure my father\’s favorite surgeon. It was purchased from him by Mr. Van Dyke so he would have a good car during the impending WW11.
Time went on and my fiancee, Carole, affectionately dubbed the Ford \”the Grey Ghost\”. Sadness came into our life when my Mother passed away from cancer. My Father was crushed and vowed he would never marry again. As it turned out, however, he did wed again. My wonderful stepmother\’s maiden name was Mary McClure daughter of Dr. Roy McClure a name I knew very well. My 1937 Ford Deluxe V-8 Coupe had traveled in a very tight circle of people. I think it knew all along.