Woman rides to surprise party in Model A
By Mark Wineka
Rose Freehoff had a Model A birthday.
To celebrate her 80th birthday, granddaughter Michelle Allen surprised
Freehoff by showing up at her apartment off Statesville Boulevard in
John Lingle’s 1931 Model A Ford.
Lingle gave Freehoff a true “Antique Roadshow” tour through Salisbury
in his vintage car on jUne 27th.
“She thought it was all a joy ride,” said Travis Allen, Michelle’s
But it really was just a ruse ó a way to transport Freehoff to the real
surprise, a birthday party for her at Gospel Light Baptist Church.
Michelle and her 12-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, were riding with
Freehoff in the Model A when Michelle said she wanted to stop at her
church to show Freehoff some of the artwork she had done for vacation
Inside the church, Freehoff walked into the fellowship hall where about
40 friends and family members were waiting. “We’ve got a perfect
picture of her, totally shocked,” Travis Allen said.
The day’s biggest surprise remained.
Waiting for her at the party was her son, Harry James Vaughn, a West
Virginia coal miner. She hadn’t seen Vaughn in about two years.
“I think that was the biggest shock,” Freehoff said. “It was nice.”
Daughters Linda Deal and Charlene Crisp arranged the birthday party and
made sure Harry could attend.
Lingle’s Model A was recently used in George Clooney’s movie
“Leatherheads,” parts of which were filmed in Salisbury. Freehoff
thought the Model A jaunt was a birthday present from her granddaughter
and the extent of any celebration.
“I went out there and couldn’t believe it,” she said.
Otherwise, Freehoff thought any recognition of her birthday was going
to happen July Fourth in her daughter Linda’s back yard.
“They really pulled that over on me,” Freehoff said.
To cap everything off, the birthday party featured an Elvis
Who could ask for anything more?