PFLUGERVILLE, Texas - If you live in Pflugerville, chances are you've seen it or maybe even snapped a photo with it: a green vintage Chevy driven by Dale Lambert.
Lambert, a beloved husband, father and grandfather, suddenly passed away at the age of 67 but his family is determined to ensure his legacy and that green truck live on.
Lambert, was known in Pflugerville for driving his 1937 green Chevy, affectionately named “Beula.”
Lambert, would decorate “Beula” for holidays. Each Christmas he would tote his children, and grandchildren around in the back of the truck. They would sip hot cocoa, and view neighborhood Christmas lights sitting in the truck bed.
Lambert, a lifelong California resident moved to Texas 3.5 years ago, after his daughter, son-in-law and grandson moved to the area.
“Dale was just like ‘why are we gonna stay here? That’s our only daughter. That’s our only grandson. And, that’s what he was about -- was his family. And, he’d do anything for them and be there no matter what.” said Lamberts son-in-law, Bryan Van Cleave.
Eleven months ago, Lambert’s daughter Kendell Van Cleave had another child Jordan “Dale.”. Lambert helped care for his elder grandson, Collin, 3, nearly every day.
Each day, at 8 a.m. he would pull into the family’s driveway -- located just around the block from his own house -- and pick up Collin in “Beula.”
“Whenever he got a chance he was driving this truck, whenever he got a chance.” Bryan Van Cleave said.
Lambert, would set out for the day with Collin -- his dog Stella, and two other family dogs in tow.
“...whatever errands he had to run he took them with him ...they had so many inside jokes, his life, his heaven was living two minutes from us literally right around the corner.” said Kendell Van Cleave. The group would go on all sorts of adventures -- trips to Torchy’s tacos, and the nearby park, were favorites.
The truck, became such a hit around town, Kendell Van Cleave started a hashtag on social media #thatgreentruck -- prompting hundreds of posts.
“When you see that truck it brings you a lot of joy, especially with those dogs in the back.” smiled Lambert’s neighbor, Kristine Bowker.
Lambert, always joked that no one else would drive the car -- because no one else could start it. But this Thursday, “Buela” had a new driver, Bryan Van Cleave.
After Lambert passed away suddenly earlier this month, Van Cleave, has vowed to continue Lambert’s legacy in the green truck.
“The first time [my son Collin] saw me get in the drivers seat 1 of the truck, and I get in there and he laughed he goes ‘you’re papa now’ I’m like ‘no buddy I’m dada. There’s not gonna be another papa like papa’ -- and it was really hard.” Bryan Van Cleave said.
Since Lambert passed, Pflugerville residents have shared their photos of #thatgreentruck and kind words with the family. Lamberts neighborhood, is now lined with green ribbon.
“Everytime Collin my 3-year-old sees a ribbon we tell him that’s pappa waving -- that’s pappa telling us which way to go.” said Kendell Van Cleave.
A memorial will be held for Lambert on Feburary 1, at Lake Pflugerville.