Cruising down Kearney and memory lane

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - On the second Friday of every month this summer, Kearney Street looked like a blast from the past. The sidewalks and parking lots were filled with families, neighbors, and classic cars.

"Once a north-sider, always a north-sider," said Sharon Smith proudly. "I am a very strong believer in that." Smith is one of those classic car owners, she's also a Kearney Street original. She met her late husband at the Hardy's on Kearney Street 30 years ago. "We met in 1987 and we dated for a year and a half and got married in 1989."

Smith lent KY3 and KSPR News her wedding video that showed the couple cruising down Kearney Street after their reception. "We hit Kearney Street the night of our wedding and cruised around with all of our friends," Smith said with a laugh of the footage showing the decorated 1972 red Chevy truck.

It's been four years since her husband unexpectedly died of a blood clot to his lungs, leaving her and two kids behind. None-the-less, the family still rides the hot rod around the historic stretch of road. She says it feels like home. "The kids and I got together and we were thinking we've got to get the truck back out there and cruise around, dad would be proud." She said the family car will be around for many years to come. "We gave up a lot of stuff, we sold a lot of stuff, we sold several of his vehicles that he had but the one thing we knew we wouldn't sell was the truck," Smith said. "That'll stay in the family... it's mine until one of the kids take it."

City Council unanimously approved a resolution to “support cruising Kearney as a community tradition that brings neighborhoods together while promoting civic engagement and encouraging tourism," per the City of Springfield's website. That resolution allows classic car cruising 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the second Friday of each month from April through October. That would make Friday, October 13 the last official cruise of the season.

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