“And I think to Myself, What a Wonderful World.”

Posted on 6-02-2022

By Darrel Burnett, Executive Director of The Automobile Gallery & Event Center

I was reminded of those lyrics from that great classic by Louie Armstrong this past Friday night. The Automobile Gallery & Event Center had long since closed for the day and the Memorial Day weekend was already underway for most when I was leaving the office to go home at the end of a very long week. Just as I was reaching my car, I noticed two people at our front door turning to walk away. I greeted them and asked if they could come back tomorrow when we were open.

The gentleman politely shook his head no and it quickly became apparent that they weren’t from the area. As he tried to explain, I quickly realized they weren’t from America.

Martin and Marie Zimmermann had traveled more than 4,400 miles from their hometown near Munich, Germany to visit elderly relatives they had never met, one in Green Bay and the other in Marquette, Michigan.

This was their first time in the U.S., and I wasn’t about to disappoint them!

Their English was much better than my German but, together, we managed to piece together a conversation. As I unlocked the doors and turned on the lights to The Automobile Gallery & Event Center, suddenly something truly wonderful happened. We began fluently speaking the universal language of automobiles.

Martin and Marie’s eyes danced as they soaked in our collection and read every storyboard.

I learned Martin is a mechanical engineer who loves cars, but his real passion is trucks…and not just any trucks…..the Mercedes Unimog.

If you aren’t familiar, you aren’t alone because Unimogs aren’t sold in the U.S. Martin owns four of them including a 1951 Unimog, the first year Mercedes took over production. 

Unimogs are the most rugged trucks on the planet. Not opinion. Fact.
Unimogs are famous for working in places no other equipment could survive including holding the world record for climbing to 21,692 feet on the Ojos del Salado volcano in Chile. 
As they left with big smiles on their faces, Martin and Marie kept thanking me for what I had done for them. What they didn’t know is what they had done for me.
We don’t save lives or cure diseases at The Automobile Gallery & Event Center. The Memorial Day weekend was a reminder of that as we honored the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom and safety. To the best of our ability, we simply try to make people feel good, rekindle memories, and most of all….smile!
That’s why those lyrics from What a Wonderful World washed over me as I left the Gallery Friday night. Louie Armstrong was a great trumpet player. He was a great entertainer. He was not a great singer. Louie Armstrong is proof that words that come from the heart are far more important than those that come from the mouth. From the heart I want to tell you how much you mean to us! Get ready to enjoy an incredible month of June with us at The Automobile Gallery & Event Center!