In addition, Rodney organized many car shows and swap meets in the Joliet area over the years and attended local cruise nights. If Rodney didn’t organize them, he still attended them.
“Just about every show and meet, he was there,” Keith said.
Before the internet, attending swap meets was a great way for car enthusiasts to pick up knowledge, Keith said.
And Rodney had plenty of knowledge to share.
“He dealt in automobile literature and shop manuals to repair the cars,” Keith said. “If anybody wasn’t interested in buying something, they’d talk to somebody about the car. [And people would say] ‘Go ask Rodney Brockman’ because he knew so much and liked to help…I learned all my car knowledge from him. He was an all-around great guy.
“And if someone had bought a car and he needed this or that, he [Rodney] would give it to them or sell it them at a discounted price. Because he had a lot of merchandise as well: shop manuals, owners manuals, sales literature, chrome parts, trim parts…a lot of people like to have the original owner’s manual and sales literature to display with the old cars.”
Wayne said Rodney attended events all over the U.S. His knowledge of automobiles was so vast, even celebrities occasionally called him with questions.
"There isn't anybody who had more knowledge," Wayne said.
Keith would like to keep some of his father’s swap meets going. But he said swap meets aren’t as poplar today as they were 15 years ago.
“In the first three months of the year you’d go to three swap meets. Now there’s one,” Keith said. “The internet took a lot of that away. You just sit at your keyboard, type in what you’re looking for and 30 pop up. They’re shipped right to your house; you never have to leave.”
But the convenience of online shopping can’t replace the main benefit of swap meets.
“It’s where you’d come with all your friends,” Keith said. “After being cooped up all winter, you could enjoy the outside and see all your friends.”
Rodney was 77 when he died Feb. 8.
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