Jed and Zach Wood of Lenhartsville have their father to thank for the gift of cars.
When they were very young, their father, Vreeland, owned a towing business and was always bringing home stray vehicles.
Seeing an opportunity to keep his four sons busy and out of trouble, Wood encouraged his children to work on the cars.
"At most, we'd keep a car for about a year, then sell them to make some money," explained Zach.
"It taught me a lot as far as life," Zach said as he recalled those days of working on cars with his dad. "We learned responsibility and life lessons like patience and persistence. I have my dad to thank for that."
"Over time, we kept our favorites," said Jed. Although their father warned them not to fall in love with their cars, it's clear they didn't really heed that warning.
They say they get satisfaction from their cars like some people do their pets.
"It's such an enjoyment to just pull them out and wash them," said Jed.
In the early days, their father would bring home cars from the 1940s and '50s. It's the sports cars from the 1960s that catch the brothers' eyes these days.
Zach has a special fondness for a 1963 Thunderbird that he's had since he was nine-years-old. He drove the car when he was a teenager hanging out with his friends. They'd cruise around Kutztown and race at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton.
That's how he met his wife, Chrissy. Eventually the two fell in love and were married. The Thunderbird led the procession line of cars after the wedding.
Jed met his wife Stacey through Hamburg Area School District wrestling. Jed helped coach middle school students and Stacey would be there cheering on her brother.
"She thinks we're nuts," said Jed of his wife. But she grew up around cars too, since her father raced at the Reading Fairgrounds.
The brothers spent their early childhood in Bucks County, but when the neighborhood started getting rough, their father moved the family out to Lenhartsville.
Wood purchased the Blue Rocks Family Campground in 1988. At the time, the campground was in a state of disrepair and the property was about to be subdivided.
In addition to working with their father on cars, the two helped their father with the family business. ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ
"It's like having your own small town," said Zach, explaining that the skills they learned working on cars translated to the work they have to do on the camp's electrical and sewer systems.
The men enjoy the fact that the business keeps them working with their families. Both of their wives help with the paperwork, which keeps the brothers outside where they'd much rather be.
The business has grown, and now they have about 100 seasonal rentals.
The brothers are often too busy running the business to work on their cars these days, especially since their father has retired (he then purchased a campground in Kutztown, but that's another "Neighbor" story).
Their most recent car purchase was a Jeep to use on the rocks that have made the campground famous.
"We used to be a tourist attraction with campsites," said Jed, "now we're a campground with a tourist attraction."
"I can't imagine doing anything else," said Jed. Zach agreed, saying, "We've been given a gift."
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