Over 40 years ago, when JFK was president, we joined Orange Co Model A Club. We met at the Isaac Walton clubhouse in Santa Ana & the kids couldn’t wait each month to look at all the stuffed animal heads, mounted fish & play outside on the golf course.
We were all young raising kids, but felt really mature when this young kid joined: the kid with the “grin”, Jon. He had a girl friend Pam, & Pam had a father “Hoak,” who had not only a Model A, but also a Model T. He was quite the guru, though the term was not yet used.
Life was simple then, with orange groves & limited people. A good group, including Jon and Pam, attended the popular Idyllwild campout. One year, we were treated to a thunderstorm which flooded Jon & Pam’s tent & resulted in Pam fainting. She gave us all a scare, but fortunately it wasn’t serious.
About then, the draft board caught up with Jon. He was lucky to get sent to Germany his entire hitch instead of Vietnam. He was even luckier that his wife Pam was able to join him in Deutschland the country of polkas & beer.
Upon returning to civilian life, Vintage Auto Parts & Jon became synonymous. Two locations in Santa Ana, a long term in Stanton & recently Fountain Valley with 3 different owners & always Jon. Behind the counter or in a parts trailer at the Turlock swap meet, there was Jon.
The Heiland family grew to 3 children. School, church & family made it hard to attend OCMAFCA, however, Jon found time to be president in 1986 & was ever present at the meeting to greet & introduce visitors & new members. It never failed, when it was asked, “Is there any old business”? Jon would reply, “Yes, Vince Mariola”.
Santa Claus: Year after year Jon donned the jolly mans suit, called children’s names to come up, sit on his lap, give them a present & produce the mandatory, “ Ho! Ho! Ho!” The last couple of years we had a children’s Christmas party, Santa was there, but with only a few grandkids & a couple of “borrowed” kids. Santa finally packed away his suit & retired.
While we will all miss “the grin” & won’t be greeted at the meeting or Vintage, we know Jon is now with our other friends who have taken their last tour.
Jon has joined them in the most prestigious club, “The Heavenly Model A Ford Club”. Picture them touring heaven in their 500 point Model A’s: never a flat tire, bad condenser, rust in the fuel line, blown head gasket, boiling radiator, rain, fog, wind, traffic jam, broken over drive or running out of gas. Having Henry Ford along for the ride isn’t too bad either.
Jon, tell them that joke you told us last month.
Prepared by: Jeanne and Richard Parrish
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The Special Poem Read at Jon's Memorial Service
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on his tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted first came his date of birth and spoke the following date with tears,
But said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all that time that he spent alive on Earth . . .
And now only those who loved him know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own: the cars . . . the house . . . the cash .
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard . . . are there things you would like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile . . .
Remembering that this special dash may last only a little while.