Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Posted by: Peter Gariepy
Cadillac Bob’s story
At one of the first car shows I attended with my just-restored 1955 Caddy Coupe de Ville, I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that said: “I LOVE CADILLACS”!
I thought, I might as well introduce myself to this guy, who turned out to be none other than our past Treasurer, Larry Lesiger—the year was 1979, and we have been great friends all these years.
Larry introduced me to both the CLC and the Valley Forge Region, which I joined immediately.
I attended all of the Valley Forge Region car shows, and, in 1985, the Grand National they hosted.
My job as VP and office manager of a company that sold classroom furniture precluded me from attending most summer functions, as that was the busiest time of the year.
In 2001, I started attending the CLC winter board meetings with Larry (who was my mentor). In 2002, I attended the 100th Anniversary Grand National in Detroit and have attended every GN since (I suffered afterwards with work left in my absence, but it was well worth the price).
In 2002, The Raritan River Region-CLC was formed, and I was asked if I would take on the job as their National director (which I have been and still am). I’m also the secretary of the RRRCLC.
Also, in 2002, Bill Edmunds asked me to become a member of the Publications Committee, taking over as chair in 2009.
This entails working closely with the editor and the art director on matters of content offered in the CLC’s the self-starter and working with the other members of the Publications Committee.
This is a very rewarding and demanding job, and I am extremely pleased that we are blessed with an award-winning editor, Steve Stewart, and No. 1 art director, Tim Coy!
In 2006, Glenn Brown became president of the CLC and had to relinquish his job as Chapter liaison. Glenn asked if I would take on the task.
This entails making sure the current 13 Chapters are performing in accordance with Club rules and regulations, filing the required reports at each board of directors meeting on the well-being and goings-on of the various Chapters and being available to assist in any and all situations which may arise.
My love of cars goes back to a young kid, growing up in Weehawken, N.J., always curious about cars—what make, year, model, so, after a few years of questioning older adults, I knew my cars!
As for Cadillacs, well, my mother had a wealthy Aunt Ada, who lived in Kansas City, Mo., whom I visited after I got out of high school. Little did I know she would be driving a baby blue 1952 Cadillac Fleetwood! Not brand-new, but what a beauty, well cared for by Greenlease Cadillac.
Wow, what a thrill, and then she asked if I’d mind driving her and her sister, my Aunt Margaret, around the country to visit friends—yes, of course, I’d be happy to!
My current collection of Cadillacs includes a 1955 Coupe de Ville (purchased in 1977), a 1955 Eldorado Convertible (purchased in 1996), and a 1993 Fleetwood Brougham (all original), purchased in 2001.
Over the years, I have had other Cadillacs, including a 1974 Coupe de Ville, 1966 DeVille Convertible, 1967 Fleetwood Brougham and a 1955 Fleetwood. Of course, I wish I still had them, but in many ways, they made way for the other Cadillacs that I have today.
Being a member of and working with the Cadillac & LaSalle Club has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my life! We are indeed fortunate to be part of this fantastic organization.