Ford F100 Pickup
Fathers Day weekend….a weekend to show our Fathers how much we love,appreciate and respect them,a time to give back when they have given so much.My Dad passed away suddenly in 2007 and I know if he was here all he would care to do is just for him,me and my boys to be together and chances are he would be the one that invited us over for a cookout with him doing the cooking,for me it’s the same with my boys I would arrange some special plans something we all like to do…just be a Dad.
This year Paul Miller Ford & the Bluegrass Mustang Club teamed up for a show here in Lexington,Ky The Annual Dads and Grads Car Show benefitting local Charities,once again Shelby’s Way & Shelby’s Hot Rod Roundup was invited to set up our booth sell a few Tshirts,share our message of Suicide Awareness and present a Shelby’s Hot Rod Roundup Award.
Cody and I had the opportunity to fellowship with some really good folks and also be quick to listen to them share some individual stories of tragedy and hardship with in their families,for us these events is a chance to give back to our community and hopefully offer words of encouragement and prayer to the family.
This is also a Car Show and we are here to give out our Shelby’s Hot Rod Roundup Award Bringing Awareness to Suicide Prevention and at this years show of over 250 cars a pair of Ford F100’s really stood out one a really sweet 72 F100,a shade of Jade Green really clean simple Hot Rod kinda stance a set of American Racing Torque Thrust wheels & the other F100 with a stand out look at me…Grabber Blue.Both pickups had me wishing I had brought two awards not to mention after I had introduced myself I find out that this is a Father & Son with a shared passion for Ford pickups,but Sorry Dad I had to pick one and looks like his son Brad Dennis was our choice.
Brads a really humble person,but is quick to tell you that he has always had a interest in Hot Rods and like most of us grew up listening to the stories his Dad would share about the cars he owned along with the memories they left behind,leaving Brad more excited for the time when he could have his own car and the memories that owning a Hot Rod can bring.
Brads been married for 20 years to his wife Jenny who’s shares in his passion and they have two children Kayla and Brandon,Brad works has a metal fabricator at Trane in Lexington,but shared with me that if he had any regrets at all he wished that he would have been able to work in the Hot Rod Industry….Brads a Father and Husband he knows supporting and loving his family is a wonderful Blessing in life and owning his own Hot Rod Shop can stay a dream for now.I love to write and share these personal stories,but at times they can tell the story a lot better,so I would like to share with you Brads own words:
The truck you took pictures of has been with me for a long time. I bought the truck in 1986 at the age of thirteen. Working any odd job I could get after school, and in the summer, I saved my money and begun to piece the truck together. With the help of my dad we located and installed a later model 302 and transmission. Dad wired the truck up to start and we both had fun taking joy rides through the neighborhood. My dad’s cousin did body work on the side, so he agreed to fix and paint the truck for me. I choose a lighter blue color than it is now, but anyway another cousin of dad’s finished the trucks wiring. We did all the other work ourselves, and by the time I turned 16, I was almost there. I needed tires and wheels and some interior work, but it was all coming together. Unfortunately for me and the truck just a few short weeks later, my dream took a major blow ( literally ). We had moved the truck outside to finish up some brake work, and left it for the night. At 1:30 a.m. May 16, 1990 my family and I woke to a strange sound. Although it was never officially confirmed, our neighbors said a tornado passed over our house. My truck was in the way of two large trees that could not stand the wind. I still remember the awful feeling of that morning. Time takes away some of our memories, but some of them are burnt in our minds forever. In the days that followed, my dad and mom gave me a choice. Put Old Blue out to pasture and buy me something else, or try to find enough parts to put it back together. Well its clear the choice I made. I just couldn’t give up, something wouldn’t let me quit. To be that close, and have it taken away, made me feel like a failure. Over the next year we put the truck back together. A family friend came to the rescue this time Bo Arvin. He must have just felt bad for me because he fixed and painted the truck for a very reasonable price, it was a big job. It was at this point I decided to change the color to its current shade of Grabber blue. Almost a year to the day later, I finally got to take it out for my first cruise. I drove the truck everywhere I went for the next few years. I made a lot of great memories that I will never forget.
My future wife Jenny and I went on our first date in old blue, I guess she liked me and the truck. After Jenny and I married the truck started to sit more and more. Starting your adult life takes a lot of your time and money. I did start attending the F-100 supernationals in Tenn. in the mid 1990’s. After having our daughter Kayla and building a new house, I was ready to give old blue another face lift. In 2002 I started my 3rd go around with old blue. My dad was there to help again but, it was different this time. I talked him into restoring his 72 F-100 that he had bought at the local FORD dealer in September 1977. It had been the work horse for our family for many years. So together over the next seven years we worked on both trucks at the same time. Shortly after we started the builds dad was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease. Requiring a kidney transplant but, before he could have the transplant. He first had triple bypass surgery for his heart. After the recovery of the bypass he then under went the kidney transplant. My younger brother was a match and was able to give our dad a kidney. Due to the high doses of steroids given for the transplant he then had to have a hip replacement. All of this took place in the seven year time frame. He came to the garage a lot of days that he really didn’t feel like it. I love my dad very much just like everyone in my family it was very difficult for all of us to see him stuggle with his health. We believe that the time spent working on the trucks was good therapy for him. It kept his mind on moving forward and it helped him not to focus on all he was dealing with. I really enjoyed the time we spent together. All of the part runs, Saturday junk yard trips, and the time together in the garage. After finishing both trucks in early 2009, I realized that half the fun had been the journey.
I owe my dad and mom a thank you for letting me buy the truck, and giving me support all these years. I’m sure they must have thought my enthusiasm would ware off, but quickly realized I was serious. Also a thank you to both my grandfathers. One who located the truck for me, and helped with some of the fixing ( Thanks PAP!). The other grandfather who gave me what was left of a 1955 truck he owned and dad drove in high school (Thanks POPIE!) They are both gone now, but are still a part of my life today. Another thanks to my wife Jenny and my kids Kayla and Brandon. They have been a BIG help and great support over the last few years. Also my heavenly father for his love, grace, and mercy. May God bless you Mark and your family.
Fathers & Sons….I miss my Dad & I miss my oldest son Shelby very much,but being able to share with everyone the stories of others lives is a great Blessing given’ to me by Shelby.Brad Thank You for sharing your story God Bless you my new friend & God Bless every Father and Son today.
Please stay tuned in for more really Kool stories for 2013!