A Man, His Dog, And A Woodward Avenue Love Story

By Christy Strawser

FERNDALE (WOMC) Just about everyone of a certain age has a favorite story about Woodward Avenue and the role it played in their lives — call it the Avenue of Dreams.

And what better way to celebrate Woodward Dream Cruise than to recall them?

The most pivotal moment of his life is what brings Robert Jones, 80, of Ferndale to Woodward every year to join Ferndale’s festivities, which include Mustang Alley, a display of classic police cars, kids area, and more.

If you’ve been in the area you probably recognize Jones, even if you’ve never met.

He’s the guy on the electric scooter with a big basket out front that houses his floppy-eared gray and white dog Lacey. Jones wears a Korean War Veteran hat and the scooter has two large American flags hovering above. He stops periodically to pour sips of bottled water into a tiny bowl for Lacey.

“Do we have fun at the cruise? I don’t know Lacey, do we?” he said laughing when questioned about what brings him out every year.

The real answer is he loves cars, especially the old ones.

“Keep that brand-new junk out of here,” he said. “That’s not what this is about.”

His first car was a 1932 Model A bought with $5 earned the hard way — harvesting corn in the fields sun up to sun down. He loved that car.

He also loves telling stories about the price of gas in those days: 10 cents a gallon.

But what exactly is special about Woodward Avenue that brings the 63-year resident out  on his scooter with Lacey every year?

“See that spot right there?” he said, pointing at the jam-packed corner of 9 Mile and Woodward.

“That’s where I met my wife, at the Federal Department Store, 59 years ago,” he said. “It was the best moment of my life, I saw her and that was it. We were married three weeks later.”

Mrs. Jones died a few years ago, leaving Robert and Lacey to visit Woodward on their own. “But she’s always with me,” Jones said, tipping his hat and crossing his heart on the way to check out another car — A classic car, as sweet as a classic love story.


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