John Lindback 

Mancinis, 2005                   John's 1975 6CD49 Coupe DeVille on the Spring Tour 2005

                                                          & Alan Clark, Tour Host, doing his rain dance

       

                                                             

 

 

 

 

John w/his father's '66 Chevy at '04 Spring Tour    John Lindback’s 1975 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

    A Tribute to my Grandfather

   My name is John Lindback.  I am a 21-year-old college student who is new to this club.  I would like to tell you about my Cadillac, and more importantly my Grandfather, Duane Schillerstrom.  My Grandfather was the father of six kids, 12 Grandchildren and soon to be 11 Great grandchildren.  Growing up I remember going over to my Grandparents house and being able to have fun and listen to stories.  For such a big Family we were close.  There was always an uncle, or a cousin, or some other family there.  I had a love of cars from a very young age.

   My Grandpa, being born in 1915, witnessed most of the evolution of the automobile.  He loved to tell stories of the past, so I loved to talk about cars with him and he loved it too.  He had a great big yellow 1977 Cadillac Sedan DeVille d’Elegance, and when he would take me and my sister places I would feel like we were rich, but as with a lot of cars from Minnesota this car was pretty rusty by the time I can remember, although it had really low miles.  On mother’s day 1992 we were at their house in south Minneapolis painting the window jambs and doing other maintenance like the family did every mothers day.  My uncle had to run to the hardware store for something, so I tagged along (anything to get out of work in those days).  We passed a 1975 Cadillac Coupe DeVille freshly repainted in the original Cerise Fire-Mist color.  My uncle had his eye on it for some time and on that day there was a for sale sign in it.

   I don’t know what it was about that car but even though I was only 10-years-old, I couldn’t take my eyes off it,. I knew it was special. It has a reproduction 1941 Cadillac hood ornament. It was fully loaded with the d’Elegance package and a 500 cu. in. engine. We took it for a test drive and drove it over to let my Grandpa see it. He agreed to buy it. My Grandpa and I, already had a special relationship, but that car brought us closer together I remember making my mom drive us to his house just so I could look at it.  I don’t know how many hours I spent in that garage looking at that car.  He would take me for a ride in it every time I asked and I asked a lot.  He took it out to Fargo a couple of times and it never let him down.  He still drove the ’77 around town, because it was smaller and more maneuverable, until the bumper fell off one day on Hiawatha Ave.  Then he sold the ’77 and just drove the ‘75.  A couple of years later, with his sight getting worse, he chose to quit driving so it just sat in the garage.  He always kept it maintained and in running order.  He enjoyed talking about the car with me and he would enjoy backing the car out of the garage so that I could take pictures. 

   He inspired my love of cars, as an example, when I bought my first car when I was 17, I didn’t look for a sports car or a fast little Japanese import like all my friends were.  I bought a large V8 rear-wheel-drive 1992 Buick Roadmaster, and when I got the car, I got my Grandfathers approval when I took him for a drive in it. In January of 2000, my grandmother passed away; it was a really rough time for my family and it devastated my grandfather.  I was just 18-years-old when my grandfather surprised me with the Cadillac; I was honored, not by the gift, but by the fact that he thought the time we spent with the car was so special.  I would go visit him at my uncle’s house, and he would look forward to a ride in the car.  He would talk about the fine memories he had of traveling with Grandma and the kids, and he would smile.  I really enjoyed those drives.  I looked up to him and admired him.  On the day of his last ride in our car in late fall 2001, afterwards we later sat in the sun on the deck of my uncles’ house talking about me enrolling in college and he said he was proud of me.  The fact that the man I admired so much said he was proud of me that meant the world to me.  Just after Christmas he started to show signs of illness, and in early 2002 the doctors discovered a brain tumor and he needed nursing home care.  I had a tough time going to see him because I didn’t want the man that I loved so much to be suffering, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t.  He hung in there until he passed away on February 18,2003.  It was one of hardest events I have ever gone through I not only lost a Grandfather, I lost a friend.  I learned a lot from my grandfather, he is part of the reason I have the love of cars that I do.  He taught me to work hard, stand up for what I believe in, and that family is the most important thing in life.  I still have that car, and I will have it the rest of my life.  I wouldn’t trade that car, or the meaning that the car has come to embody, for a Million dollars.  He has given me many gifts in my life including the love of Cadillac’s, but the best gift he gave me was the love of a Grandfather, and even though he never said it, he always made me know it was there.

John Lindback, Club Member

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