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.