AKA Greg Field
January 14, 1935 – August 16, 2002
We miss you!
The Passing of the BCA Founder and our Friend
It is with deepest sorrow that we must inform the BCA membership that BCA #1, Greg Field, passed away on August 16, 2002. Greg was the Founding Father of this great club that we all enjoy, but more importantly, he was a friend to the entire Buick Club membership. Greg was tireless in his efforts to promote the BCA to anyone he talked with, as evidenced by the fact that he won the Gerstkemper Award for bringing in the most new members in each of the first two years this award has been given. Greg’s smiling face and stories about the “old days” will be sadly missed by all who knew him. His wish today would be for the entire membership to continue his legacy, the Buick Club of America, in the same energetic fashion that was Greg’s trademark. To honor Greg Field, please go out and recruit a new member to join our club. Please pause a moment after you read this to honor the memory of BCA #1, and give thanks for the fabulous legacy that he has bestowed upon all of us….the Buick Club of America.
Mike and Nancy Book, National Office, Buick Club of America
I first met Greg on one of our Board road trips. Greg made a trip to the Tucson Board meeting hosted by Bill Schoening and Al Eichelberger. We had a great time together and it was as if we had known each other for years. During my tenure as President, Greg was a wonderful support of both our Board and policies to make positive changes. His love of cars and of people was a breath of fresh air. Two years in a row, we had the pleasure of giving Greg the BCA Membership Award designed and sponsored by Judy Leets. Greg brought car parts to Kokomo and spent many hours talking with the members about the Club. His love of the BCA will surely be missed.
Jeffrey R. Brashares, Past President, BCA
Greg Fallowfield, Classic Car Provider
January 14, 1935 – August 16, 2002
I worked for Greg since the summer of 1993 as a mechanic and property management. He was like a father, brother, partner and friend. At one time I counted over 30 cars. They were mostly classic cars and cars from the 30’s and 40’s as well. Lawrence Welk’s blue woody wagon is still in the collection as Greg went to the auction to purchase it. He also had William Bendix’s Cadillac at one time. He put these cars into the movies, commercials, the Hollywood Christmas Parade and some special events. He also collected antiques as well as movie memorabilia, toys, old magazines, books, lamps, clocks, small chrome airplanes, old stoves and furnaces, records, antique standing ashtrays, guitars, car nic-nacs, tools, old signs, old radios, neon lamps, posters, pictures of cars that were mostly Buicks, badges, Daisy rifles, Hawaiian shirts, hats and loads of Buick parts for his cars and whoever else needed them.
His house is a museum, his garages look like movie sets. He also had some cars in the Peterson Museum at one time. He worked with movie car rental companies and put some of his classics in movies like Pearl Harbor, Rainman, Mulholland Falls, Batman Forever, Godfather II, Bugsy, Apollo 13, several commercials and photo shoots. He loved to go to the movies but later in his life he would fall asleep halfway through a movie.
On August 9 he fell asleep during the latest Clint Eastwood movie “Bloodwork” and never woke up.
His heart gave out at 67 years old. He had some heart problems in the past and wore a pacemaker.
He had some titanium valves put in recently and was told he had a 50/50 chance to make it through surgery. He lived cars all his life and was even born close to Detroit.
He started the Buick Club of America in 1966. The best man at his wedding years ago in Reno was Hoyt Axton. Greg was also a singer and played a little guitar.
He jetsetted around with some known people from Beverly Hills, Bel Air to the Malibu Colony that I won’t mention.
Greg is in his final resting place in Forest Lawn in Cypress. He is now close to Karen Carpenter one of my favorite singers.
Greg Field BCA #1 Memorial Fund
A special fund has been established in Greg’s memory at the Sloan Museum. Checks should be made payable to the Sloan Museum with a note (either enclosed or on the for line on the check) that the funds are earmarked for the Greg Field (or Fallowfield) Memorial Fund. The address is Sloan Museum, 1221 E. Kearsley, Flint, Michigan, 48503.
These funds will be directed exclusively toward a special permanent display for the BCA which may be opened/unveiled during Buick’s 100th Anniversary, July 23-27,2003 in Flint! or quite possibly help fund a Buick restoration project, purchase more Buicks on the secret wish list or purchase other miscellaneous Buick memorabilia that is not in the collection at the Gallery! What is to be done will be the Sloan Museum working with Greg’s family to determine the best use of the Fund, the more they get the more they can do. So get your checkbook out now!
I was fortunate enough to have Greg invite himself on the “After the National Tour” sponsored by the Buick Driving Enthusiasts last year(2001), that I put together. We toured Mt Morris, NY, Letchworth State Park, the Grand Canyon of the East, Watkins Glen, and where Greg migrated to the loft of the old Buick dealership looking for deals, which he found a few that would fit in my GS400 convertible. The last leg of the tour was in Owego, NY, where I grew up! We took Greg and the rest of the folks on a train ride for lunch. Then took Greg to the grocery store, the Buick dealer, and to my parent’s home to hang out with my parents, and Zip, (the family’s German Shepard of 15 yrs, that was let go from this world on August 8th, we will all miss her and her Frisbees!) for a few hours before the infamous After the Nationals Tour Pizza Banquet. Greg was so thrilled with the experience of folks driving their cars, he was ready to get his car out and drive it to IN this year, which he wasn’t able to do, but he was so enthused with the group that he immediately joined the Buick Driving Enthusiasts, unfortunately we will never again enjoy the companionship and camaraderie that abound when Greg was around! We will all miss him more than he will ever know! But we need to keep his theme for the BCA alive, recruit your Buick Friends, and Greg lives forever!
Amen, We love you, Greg and we will miss you, and your legacy will live on, I will guarantee! Roberta BCA #16798, Past BCA President, Webmaster(mistress)
I will always remember the First and Only time I met Greg.. It was at Hershey 73 and he was a vendor selling NOS Buick parts.. We had talked over the phone a couple of months prior to the meet about the possibility of me purchasing a NOS set of 41 skirts he said he only had three sets left but would bring them to Hershey.. I got my set for $100.00 and passed over the other two sets (they were in the original boxes) What a difference 30 years makes I enjoyed our brief mtg and he pulled out his wallet to show me the old one dollar bill (his last one) story. I know that he will be remembered not only by his many friends family and fellow BCA members every where, and for a long time to come respectively JIM KEENAN BCA # 451 ( 1941 66 S) owned since 1970 EASLEY SC
Just a few days before he fell asleep watching Clint Eastwood and failed to wake up again, Greg spent the day showing us his hat collection, making jokes, telling stories, eating greasy food, and picking through car parts in his garages. We had a great time. The man never quit going. He had recently bought the house next to his and was hoping to put a covered garage with a hydraulic lift in the backyard. He was excited as could be about the idea. He told us a story about the 53 Buick he’d recently bought with the trunk of silver coins, gold watches and jewelry that would’ve been his (though he confessed he’d have returned them) had he not insisted on opening the trunk to see if the car still had a jack. Greg was a good, positive man. I liked him, my kids liked him, my wife liked him, and I’m really going to miss the old guy. Pleasant dreams and good journey Greg. It
was a real pleasure knowing you.
This text was spoken at Greg’s Memorial at his house while surrounded by 100 of his closest friends and all of his family members
HIS LITTLE FLOWER
Greg Field Memorial
Thank you Bill, Shawn and Lisa for this opportunity to speak on this very sad day for all of us where we will for the last time gaze upon Greg’s being
To speak about not only the man who did great things but also about my buddy Greg, Greggy or Gregoriovich as I would call him sometimes.
I have cried all this past week whenever I thought of the things he represented to me, and I am sure that today will not be any different as all of this memories will come crashing all at once upon all of us.
Greg for me was not only my trusted mechanical advisor, restoration expert, parts supplier and basically a fountain of knowledge, but through the years he had become a lot more than all of that combined he had become my friend.
So much so that it that now it really saddens me even more the fact that I will no longer have half of my life to rely upon.
He was the kind of friend I could count on to go to lunch at a moments notice, to go to the movies at the drop of a hat or to go to Mexico with a swift impromptu decision.
He lived life very large and made the most of his every waken moment (that’s because he liked those afternoon naps).
No arthritis, bone fusing disease, hammerhead toe operation, skin discoloration, pace maker installation for his heart rhythm or even a very serious heart operation was about to stop this determined man. And it was this determination about how to live one’s life as he wished that I loved most about him.
We always knew of his constant need to keep old cars running, so when he had his heart operation, they had to deal with his heart valves, and wouldn’t you know, they did a valve job on the guy.
Even after this life threatening episode, nothing in his psyche would let him slow down, if anything it made him even more determined, to see him with all of this problems, and to see him not only deal with them but turn it into his advantage.
Yes, a very real and a very big part of my life is gone, I really did not realize until his passing how much he really meant to me, as always you never realize how much you really value something until it is taken away from you.
And he was really taken from us, I never, never imagined that he would not be here when I came back from my trip. We were supposed to go to lunch before I left, but I just could not get it together due to the lack of time, so he called me on the day I was leaving and as always we had a very nice conversation and he wished me a great trip.
We went to visit friends in upstate New York with a friend of my husband who is a psychologist.
While there I learned of Greg’s condition and I mentioned to my friend as well, one day while we were alone I asked him the meaning of one’s life.
He said that two things were important to achieve everlasting meaning in one’s life.
First was the need to do things that made you happy, things that you enjoy doing and to be able to discern them early on in life.
The other was to do something for others, something of a lasting nature that would make their lives happier so they in turn could achieve meaning in their lives.
Well, I don’t know about what you may think, but this statements could just about summoned it up for me the lasting nature of Greg’s life.
His happiness was derived from his cars, the absolute need he had to help people keep their cars running, Yes for a Profit, but sometimes with a lot more hassle than it may have even been worth it, to find it, negotiate prices for parts, carry them home, store it (and as unbelievable it may seem to us in this day of computers) remember the location of all the parts he had in his many garages in various locations, but this made him happy.
And to complement my idea of the one thing that he did that would make other people’s lives better, was the founding of the Buick Club of America.
Yes, we all heard how he started it in his kitchen table with his wife, how the first magazines (Bugles) were edited, etc..
This may have been great enough accomplishment for some but we are talking about Greg here, he would not rest on his laurels and constantly kept articles coming to the new leadership of the club as well as continuously recruiting new members to join as evidenced by his award recognition at the Nationals by receiving the Gerstkemper Award for having signed the most new members.
Yes, the humble beginnings of a club dedicated to Buicks in 1966 have made such an impact on so many peoples lives, the many chapters in America and in the world, the many friendships extending across the globe, the many relationships and even some romances that have blossomed from this organization and its members.
All over the world people know of the Buick Club of America and of Greg, whose last name might as well have been BCA#1.
I know that this club has made my life much more complete, because it allowed me to know one man, a man that I could count on to be there for me, to listen to my ramblings and to share some of his own, to break into singing songs that he unbelievably knew all of the words to.
He very much loved his family, very proud was he of his sons and daughter, so much so that every time we got down to Mexico he would make a point of seeing at least one of them per trip. This trips to Mexico were he would display his Braille reading abilities in picking the Hershey bar with the most nuts in them thru the wrappers.
He confided in me his favorite holiday which was thanksgiving at his son Bill’s place were he would see his whole family, eat up a storm and fall asleep in Bill’s very comfortable couch for his favorite nap.
He very much loved his whole family who have recently celebrated a father’s day, a day he gloated about of how much fun he had with them all, to see them all happy and getting along, just spending time with him.
I was lucky enough to have spent a lot of time with him, and to think that it all started with this club that it’s now ours this club that represents a lasting accomplishment of Greg’s legacy to us, which enhanced the meaning to his life, a life that I hope one day will allow me to give meaning to my life.
My life that I am now forced to live without someone who would always call me “His Little Flower “my best friend Greg
G. O. O. D. B. Y. E. GREG and may GOD bless you……..
THEMIS Z. GLATMAN
B.C.A.# 21981 /1954 Skylark
Which Greg and I Restored it together
From the Buick BUGLE, October 2002
By Terry B. Dunham BCA #217
When you were around Buick people there was no need to use his last name. If you just said “Greg,” people knew who you were talking about. In 1966, after the old Buick Collectors Club in Pittsburgh folded, Greg, along with a number of other Southern California Buick enthusiasts, decided to form another club to keep the Buick hobby alive. Someone once told me that during the first organizational meeting for what was to become, the Buick Club of America, the club secretary who was then; assigning the first membership numbers, turned to Greg and said, “you’re number one.” However that first “number one” was actually assigned to him, Greg always wore it well.
I first met him on the 16th of September 1967. It was a bright sunny day in Los Angeles and we had just driven the 400 miles from San Francisco to attend one of the first all Buick car shows ever held in this country. It was a pretty big deal at the time, and it drew attendance from as far away as Oregon.
We had spent the previous evening with another Buick Club of America founder and early the next morning we were on our way to Greg’s Los Angeles home where several more Southern California members had gathered.
Greg was busy. People, organizational questions, and the final preparations! for the Buicks he was going to take to the Buena Park show swirled around him like a small tornado. I was in awe at what was going on. Newly arrived in California from the Midwest just weeks earlier, my interest in Buick had already spanned nearly a decade. But what was taking shape at Greg’s home that morning in 1967 was something I had never seen before mid to late 1930s and early 1940s original, unrestored Buicks that looked like they were brand new. And they had survived all those years without any rust! I literally did not know that such a thing was possible. And to top it all off, we were headed for an “all Buick” car show. I had never even been close to one of those.
I was given a tour of Greg’s garage, his home and, his driveway, all of which looked like they had been set up as personal testimonials to his love for the Buick automobile. Thumb tacked to the walls in the house were the full line, full color foldouts and the big dealer wall cards Buick had printed for its 1938 and 1941 model years. Greg always enjoyed his “Buick stuff” immensely. Why put it away in a drawer when you could hang it on a wall and enjoy it maybe ten times a day?
And then there were, the Buick parts. Boy did Greg ever have the parts. Some pretty exotic stuff actually. Over in one corner was a 1941 five-band short wave radio, one of the rarest of all Buick accessories. In another corner lay several 1940 and 1941 NOS steering wheels. Back then there were no reproduction steering wheels and NOS wheels were extremely difficult to find.
You almost never saw a car trailered to a show back then and Greg had lined up six or seven people to act as drivers so he could get his cars to and from the park where the meet was going to take place. There were twenty-seven Buicks on display that afternoon; a total of forty had been brought to the meet. It was all pretty exciting.
After that pioneering show in 1967, our paths would eventually cross many times in the coming years- the first National Meet at Flint in 1971, regional meets, phone calls, more national Buick Club shows. And then there were the swap meets. Greg was a regular fixture at the Harrah swap meets in Reno. He also traveled around the country a number of times searching out Buick dealers with ancient parts inventories that he would purchase for his own use or to “help other people with their Buick restorations.”
Greg once told me that like many of us, he had first become interested in Buick through an early association with drag racing. The faster he went with his Buick-powered race car, the more interested he became in the Buick automobile.
He was probably the best ambassador the organization has ever had and he traveled extensively. During the early years of the Buick Club he was very active in club affairs. During the past few years he took great pride in personally signing up new members. In fact, he was presented with The Gerstkemper Award in 2001 and 2002 for having brought in more new members than anyone else in the club.
“The Buick: A Complete History” is scheduled to go the 6th edition in time for Buick’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2003. Co-author Larry Gustin personally met with Greg on several occasions and has written about Greg’s contributions to both the Buick Club of America and to the Buick hobby. Greg’s picture will appear in the 6th edition of the Buick book along with Larry’s write up. Fortunately, Larry was able to show everything to Greg and obtained his approval shortly before he passed away on August 16,2002.
Greg was looking forward to attending Buick’s 100th anniversary celebration in Flint next summer. As a matter of fact we had talked about it several times and he spoke about the event with an open excitement. However, fate sometimes steps into our lives and fate isn’t always kind.
But let’s think about all this for a minute. Does any- one really and truly believe that the Buick Club of America’s first member, “old number one,” could ever possibly miss out on anything as special and as unique as “The Buick’s” centennial birthday party? Of course not. Greg will be there in Flint next summer right along with all the rest of us. Count on it.
One of the last photos taken of Greg was at the 2002 Meet. Here past President Jeff Brashares presents Greg with the 2001-2002 Gerstkemper Award for recruitment of the most new BCA members.
On April 14, 2002 Greg hosted an open house where many of the early BCA members were honored for past leadership, Left to right: Bruce Collins BCA #3651, Helen Hutchings BCA #9972, Greg Fallowfield BCA #1, Ken Pfeil BCA #2966, Sid Munger BCA #2257, Mrs. John Spilka BCA #12.
Greg and James Willingham reminiscing over 1 of 13 Buick Apollos sold at Boulevard Buick.
7 months since Greg has left us. My good friend’s photo is not only on my cork board in my office but I have framed the one I got at his memorial party when he had his long hair from the late ’60s. The picture I am sending is one from my birthday parties. Greg was always there for my birthday celebration and a few of my friends that ran around with our group. I say our group because our group liked to dance. Swing and country-western. We’d called each other and made arrangements to meet somewhere to dance.
We used to always go to Santa Monica Pier for the Summer Dance Series on Thursdays. Greg had went to one of these the day before he had his heart attack. I was not there but was at his house and he called me twice that night to meet him and his date there. He took me to the airport on Friday and then went to the movies that night and he was gone.
I missed his funeral but celebrated his celebration at his house as soon as I arrived from my vacation.
It felt funny being at a party at Greg’s house without him being there in person. He was there in spirit though as I could feel him there. He wouldn’t have missed it for the world. All his friends were there. I thought he was going to walk right in on us and say, “Suprise!”
The Memorial at the Buick Gallery and Research Center at the Sloan Museum
An email from Mike Jordan December 19, 2006
I am in tears at the moment because I just googled Greg Field and found out about his death in 2002. I was going to drive my new 1951 Buick Super over the Greg’s to show him. My story with Greg begins in 1993 when I purchased a great maroon 1949 Buick Super from Greg. During the 1990s, he helped me spruce it up at bit, as he would say. He found original 1949 plates for me, he helped me put authentic seat covers, and became a great friend. In 1998, my wife and I adopted a beautiful baby and I sold my 1949 (checking with Greg first to make sure he was okay with it) to pay the adoption bill. In 2000, I ran for school board of Santa Monica and Greg drove his 42 Buick convertible with me in the back in a parade as part of my campaign. Fantastic! Ironically, in August 2002 I almost died because of a heart defect, and after open heart surgery, I began a long recovery. It makes me sad that at the exact same time Greg and I had similar heart problems. I survived and he didn’t. After my heart surgery, I just lost touch with my friend but at the same time I saved a bit of money every month to buy another classic Buick. Last week I bought a mint 1951 Buick Super Model 56R two-door hardtop. I couldn’t wait to take it over and share it with Greg, who I knew would be so proud of me. About 15 minutes ago, on a whim I just googled Greg’s name and the BCA memorial came up. I’m reallly sad. What a great guy. I will never forget him! Please pass along this to anybody who might want to share my memory.
On December 20, 2006, I sent Mike’s email to several BCA members and got these back!
From Ken and Paula
I wish I could find the photos of Greg and that night in Danvers. What a hoot! Everything kept closing as soon as we got there. I think we were all in the Caddy that Ken & I rented. Great memories. What a loss, not only to the BCA, but to all of us who knew him personally.
From Mac Blair
Hi, Roberta, My memories of Greg go back a tad further to when I had just purchased my first 1932 Buick in 1972. Greg, who called himself Fallowfield then, was an active parts hawk, and I bought some stuff from him by mail. Some time in the mid 1970’s I met Greg for the first time. It was at Hershey, and I was as usual mining the place for ’32 parts, and came across a guy in a corner spot in the old blue field. He had mostly Buick parts, and some old stuff in the back of a UHaul trailer behind his truck. He had on some pretty religious jeans, t-shirt, and an ancient leather vest, and a vintage hat with badges all over it. He was clearly living in the truck, keeping watch over his loot. Particularly catching my eye were a water return tube, water jacket cover, and spark plug cover, but he had other neat and unusual stuff, too. I asked him where he had found the stuff, and he replied that he had gotten it at Fleming Buick in Indiana, PA on his way to Hershey.
Well, Damn! I live in Indiana, and I and innumerable people had tried for years to buy stuff out of Flemings, and were always stonewalled by Bob Houck, the parts manager, and even a member of our church! He’d always maintained that he had nothing old, and would allow nobody to look–heck, I even saw 6 cylinder headgaskets hanging from pegs on the walls! It had been an agency since 1915, and there were stories of the 50’s when they junked truckloads of prewar parts. Everyone and his brother knew there was stuff there, but nobody could get near it until Greg waltzed in and skimmed the cream with everything he could stuff in a trailer he rented in town. And nobody after that got in there.
We discussed his coup for a while, until we each realized who the other was. He asked if I belonged to the Buick Club, and I replied that I was–but he meant the California club, and I meant the Pittsburgh club, which at the time was nearing the end. Not long thereafter, I joined the California club as the only game in town. Greg and I continued our parts relationship, but getting stuff from him was always a bit of a game–I knew he had the stuff, but he was always comforting to him to keep it on the shelf until you really-really needed it. Later, when he became Greg Field, he became less interested in the parts business and more nattily dressed. He also became more accessable, and we met on many occasions at BCA functions.
Remarkably, some 20 years later when Fleming Buick closed its doors, they had a heck of a sale. I bought truckloads of old stuff, and did not get it all by a damnedsight. I missed the Marquette cloisone’ sign which had been painted over with “parts Department”, but I got a stock of Marvel carburetor parts, a roomfull of training films with the projectors and fiche readers, 2 trailer loads of parts manuals from the 1950’s to 1990, showroom displays, The oak drawer parts bins and racks, and I even bought for $5 “everything on the floor” in the parts room, which was about 2″deep with all manner of “stuff” treasures. The parts bin turned to have a number of stuck drawers. Turned out they were bulged out from the weight of the parts inside. Two were filled with NOS heat risers, and one with NOS door handles for ’29-34 Buick and Pontiac.
Here’s to you, Greg! And thanks for leaving me some neat stuff, and an awful lot of neat friends!
Mac Blair BCA2702