I just love this photo of my parents and brothers. It takes me back to happier days, in fact even before I was born. They are all gone now, and as the last member of my immediate family, I am left with boxes of souvenirs, momentos and photographs of the legacy of my father and his lifetime achievements. These are the feelings that motivate me to continue to chronicle the events of his lifetime and bring the story to light. Not only did he help to create a great American business, the impact on the nations prosperity through the benefits of trucking are profound.
One of the pages I have created, this week, were to highlight some of the wonderful comments, which we have received from readers. I chose to create a page dedicated to the readers--"old Fruehauf'ers" as they have dubbed themselves. These comments mean the world to me and I'm sure my dad would have loved to read them.
Dad was a "regular guy" and our house was filled with people from all walks of life. My mother, a beauty from Kentucky, wasn't exactly a sorority sister, and I think my dad appreciated her simple down-home Kentucky charm. When they were married he moved out of Grosse Pointe, the tony suburb where dad had lived with his first wife. They moved to the north-eastern county of Detroit, which was then country and offered the new couple a fresh start. They acquired a farm, rejecting the Grosse Pointe "society life".
We were taught to value and appreciate all people. My mother's poor Kentucky relatives, our staff as well as the business colleagues and peers who were frequent visitors of my dads. Mostly I remember laughter, fun and conviviality at our house. Dad loved to sit around a card table playing cribbage with one of his closest friends, an Armenian dentist, named Kegham Chutjian. "Chuty" as he was called, was quick to laugh and you could see in his cherub face and twinkling eyes his affection for my dad and mom.
Looking back on my unusual childhood, I appreciate the things that I was taught by both of my parents. My mother was generous and inclusive to everyone no matter their station in life. Holiday dinners and events always included those friends who had been recently widowed, divorced or could potentially be alone. We never knew who would emerge from the guest bedrooms in the mornings. Dad, who subscribed to those old German ethics of his dad, August Fruehauf, taught us about hard work, good sportsmanship and the value of friends. Also incredibly generous to staff, friends, charities and civic organizations, I saw first hand how he was respected and loved. He played fair and people knew this. His death at a young age was a great loss.
The advancement of transportation accelerated the economic growth of all industries in the industrial booming United States. The Fruehauf Trailer Company contributed to the advancement of American industry.
Ruth Ann Fruehauf and Darlene Norman have dedicated hard work, determination and intuition to bringing this project to life. This is the ongoing investigation and reporting of their efforts.
Click on the names above for biographical information on our authors.
We are Social
An organization dedicated to the preservation of the history of Fruehauf Trailer Company and the Fruehauf family legacy.
The society has created historical books and a traveling exhibit rich with Fruehauf memorabilia and archival materials. Our next book, “Fruehauf, the First Name in Transportation” an in-depth analysis of the company’s history will be published soon.
Copyright © 2013 -20 by
Ruth A. Fruehauf and Darlene Norman.
All rights reserved.
The Fruehauf Trailer
PO Box 5008-164
Mariposa, CA 95338