1939 Ford Truck Lifted into a Senior Center Courtyard
Antique Ford truck provides a trip down memory lane for residents after decades of fire department service.
The 1939 Ford pickup shown here spent more than 20 years serving with the North Dakota Park River Fire Department. But last month, it was lifted by a crane into the courtyard of the Sterling Commons senior living facility in Victorville, California. Once on the ground in the enclosed area, it was carefully pushed under the cover of a metal gazebo, where it will now serve as a reminder of the good ol’ days to the residents.
According to the Victorville Daily Press, this antique Ford is the latest addition to the network of senior homes operated by Koelsch Communities, all of which have a vintage car, truck, or motorcycle on display.
“Having a classic vehicle at each one of our Koelsch Communities was the idea of our founder Emmett Koelsch,” said Tracy Stephens, Transportation Director for Koelsch Communities. “Our first lift was done by helicopter about 20 years ago.”
Why an Antique Truck?
Koelsch Communities has found that for some older folks, modern technology is bothersome and confusing, causing them to reminisce of simpler days. At the same time, as many people age, their short-term memory fades, making items and memories from the past more familiar and comforting. With that in mind, Koelsch includes historical-type items in their facilities that will help residents fondly look back at the past.
To bring the past to the present, Koelsch facilities have classic artwork on display and older music playing. But for many Americans currently living in senior care facilities, driving was a major part of their early lives. This truck, and the other antique vehicles at their senior homes around the country, allow residents to sit in the vehicle and recall memories of good times in vehicles from their younger years.
The courtyard of the Sterling Commons senior living facility in Victorville is enclosed, so there is no way to drive a vehicle into the gazebo where this 1939 Ford truck now resides. This means that they have to lift it over the building and set it down inside of the walls. The 3,200-pound truck was carefully cradled by the crane team and lifted over the roof, swaying a bit in the wind before being set down on the other side.
The team then had to use the crane to lift part of the gazebo so that the truck could be pushed into place. Members of the community, employees of the facility and residents all watched as the truck floated over the wall, with people ready-and-waiting to climb in for a ride down memory lane.
Images: Victorville Daily Press