Albert “Al” is a 93 year-old resident of the Park at Golf Mill in Niles, IL. Al’s Wish of a Lifetime was to go for a ride in a Packard convertible like the one he owned over 70 years ago.
Al’s father used to own a body shop, and Al grew up around cars his whole life. Al and his father used to chase down cars that had been in accidents, buy them for cheaper prices, and then fix them up to sell. Al has a story for every car he has ever driven, but his 38 Packard convertible his father found for him was his pride and joy. Depressed after having lost out on a bid for a 1937 Buick Roadmaster at an auction, Al’s dad kept his eyes open for a special car. He was able to find a 1938 Packard that was an absolute wreck. Al bought it himself and fixed it up to be a beauty. As Al said, “This car had great pick-up…Blondes, brunettes, redheads…they all loved it.” Regrettably, Al had his brother sell the car while he was overseas during WWII. He sold the car for $1,100 (they sell for upwards of $70,000 now).
While Al is a “classic car guy”, he is better described as just a “classic”. He served in the Army Air Corps in England for four years during WWII as a crew chief, working mainly on B-24’s. Al also happens to be one of the more likable people you could ever come across. He is extremely positive, has a great sense of humor, and tells stories that you could be turned into books.
Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale were happy to make Al’s Wish come true with the help of a couple of local volunteers. On May 12th, Al turned 93 and finally got his ride. John, a member of the local Chicago-Land Packard Club and owner of a 1939 Packard Super Eight convertible took Al for a scenic ride on the lake with his three children, Ruth, Linda and Stewart. John’s wife, Jackie, was also kind enough to make cake and cookies for Al. John and Al finished the day swapping stories and rode back to the Park at Golf Mill where they met the rest of Al’s family and friends for a birthday celebration.
Wish of a Lifetime extends a special thanks to John and Jackie for their contributions and to Rich Grosse of RFG Concepts for donating this photography session.