Earlier this week was the first classic car cruise night for Tinley Park and it didn’t disappoint. When my 4 year old son told me he wanted to go, how could I resist? The two of us went to downtown Tinley Park to be amazed at more classic cars than we could imagine!
We started at 171st Street and walked down Oak Park Avenue where all of the cars were parked. To our amazement, everywhere you could park a car, there was one. My son was like a kid in a toy store. These were life-sized Hot Wheels cars to him, after all. He was respectful enough not to touch, but you could tell how badly Noah wanted to climb in every single one of them and drive — I wouldn’t have blamed him if he did either. Thankfully, a couple of owners saw my son’s excitement and let him in their cars. You can see Noah giving a thumbs up from the driver’s seat in a blue 1928 Ford.
Trying to capture shots of these amazing cars wasn’t easy. There were plenty of people admiring these cars as much as we were. The local VFW was selling drinks, burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, and T-shirts outside for everyone to enjoy with the cars. An artist was painting children’s faces (Noah picked a watermelon for his cheek). Most challenging, though, was keeping up with a 4 year old. He was so much in awe that he couldn’t wait to see everything that was there, so he’d look at a car, circle it, then move onto the next. Those moments he paused were my moments to frame my shots and that didn’t happen often.
Classic cars were everywhere down Oak Park Avenue, but they didn’t stop there. We walked from 171st Street until we were at the VFW. Classic cars were parked down the side street at the VFW. After looking at those cars, we continued further down Oak Park Avenue to where the police roadblocks ended — at the Metra train station. This wasn’t the end either. More classic cars were parked in the Metra train station parking lot. Once we reached the end and looked at all of the cars parked there, I asked Noah if he was ready to go home yet. He said “no.” Two hours had passed already by the time we had seen all of the incredible classic cars parked at the Tinley Park Cruise Night and my son wasn’t done yet. We walked back along Oak Park Avenue towards our car and stopped to look at the cars my son wanted to see again. Little did I know Noah had his favorite already picked out and that’s really what he wanted to see again. It was a green 1929 Ford with a beautiful white and green interior (pictured above). By the time we had gotten back to this car for the second viewing, it was starting to get dark. We didn’t know earlier that this car had green lights strung throughout the engine compartment and under the fenders. These lights lit up the car at night in a special kind of way. this car glowed green as if it were a firefly on a summer night. Noah was even more in love with this car. The following morning, he desperately looked through his collection of Hot Wheels to find a matching car and he found one. He hasn’t let hit green hot rod out of his sight since.