This last week, I had the chance to fly up to Pennsylvania with my younger brother Scott, to catch an antique truck show. This meeting was done by the ATCA (Antique Truck Club of America) and it was their 42nd gathering. The meet was located in Macungie Memorial Park in the town of Macungie and was a short drive from our hotel room in Allentown, Pa.
I had intended on writing a story from what we saw and experienced while being in the area. Little did I know that I was going for a story, but the impactful part of it would be mostly derived from an encounter on the way there. You see, my wife and I had recently been to a truck show in our own state of Florida in April, and it was a lot bigger than this last ordeal. That show was nice, but I was hoping for something to write about with a historical theme.
Little did I know that this trip would have a lasting “historical” place in my mind for quite some time. I started out for the Sanford/Orlando Intl. Airport well before the sun came up, and as the boarding time was before noon, I gave myself more than a two hour window to get there. The trip over there in itself was interesting, as I left the truck at home, and took the Suzuki 650 scooter.
Once there, I met up with my brother, and as advertised by the media, we endured watching the flight boards refresh the flight status, showing 3 separate delays. Once aboard the plane, things went smoother (for the most part). You see, my boarding pass processed nicely, but my brother found that this was canceled earlier last month as his wife changed credit cards just before month’s end, and their points vanished with the card change. This is a public notice I’m throwing in, so if one of you readers are considering switching credit cards, beware of losing your points!
So now we board the plane, and instead of sitting close to each other for the flight north, I have a woman and her teenage son seated by me. (This is an important note in the story). Once in the Allentown, Pa. area. We take a rented car out to Macungie to case out things like parking, available diners and restrooms.
The next day we go back to the truck show, and I am overwhelmed by what is on display. After a few hours of walking the grounds, and speaking with the various truck owners, I came away grateful that I didn’t have to do my driving job in the 1920’s, with a vehicle that had no wipers, (many had no windshields as well). Combine that with wooden buckboard style seats, some having solid rubber tires, and mostly cobblestone streets if there were streets at all. One gets a vivid picture of work conditions back in the day.
The picture supplied is of a Budweiser delivery vehicle that was used up by where the show was during the late 1920’s (and that included winter time work as well)! After finishing the long walk around all the trucks displayed, we headed back to the Allentown hotel. We weren’t there but for an hour, when I mentioned that if we hurried, we could catch the railroad museum down in the Lancaster area. (This will be a “part 2” story for next week). All in all, it was quite memorable.
When I got home, I was explained most of what went on for the last few days to my wife, and I then related to her what the most memorable part of the trip was, and where I figured out the real reason I needed to make that trip.
Once aboard the plane to head north, I struck up a conversation with the woman sitting next to me. She seemed quite tense and troubled, and when I asked her if she had any kind of a spiritual anchor in her life, she about cried. During the next two hours, I told her of mine and my wife’s belief in God, and how it has gotten us through the toughest of times.
I then told her of highlights of many of my faith based articles, and showed her the photo of the “Tunnel of light and love” that was used in a past article. The thing I mostly tried to impress on her was that God is ALWAYS with you, not just some of the time. I told my wife that by the time the plane landed in Allentown, the woman seated next to me was like a different person! It then dawned on me as I was telling my wife about this that the reason for my trip was not so much to gather information of historical vehicles from the past, or even to have long talks, and reconnect with my brother.
The Lord has (again) put me on the path where I needed to be, to glorify Him by an extraordinary circumstantial happenstance that changed a person’s life. With that, my wife mentioned to me that as I had been talking with her, I mentioned that I was having trouble coming up with a fitting title for my upcoming story. She (Cecelia) just looked at me and smiled, and said, “That last bit of you mentioning the woman being helped by the Lord, through your brief encounter, THAT’S your story!”