Sunday, November 2, 2008

Opps....another show!

During the cruise at Orange BK in September I was approached by a teacher, Rick Schaffer, from Locust Grove Middle School, about a project he was working on. He teaches 7-8 grade Social Studies and he asked if I would be interested in bringing my hot rod to the school and share it with the kids in his class….I thought about it, for about ½ a second and said yes! Huh? I like to talk about my car but kids can ask the darnedest questions sometimes, I wasn’t sure I was the right person to represent the hot rod culture to kids that probably had never seen a hot rod. Rick said he would email me with an exact date and time so I waited…. I thought I would seek another person that could take a car and go with me. Safety in numbers and all. It had to be someone that liked to talk about his car, someone that could take off Friday in the middle of the day and go to Locust Grove, about 35 miles one way. I first thought of Ron Cournia….he is always talking to people about his car and his car is a great representation of the hot rod culture. He can also schedule his day to be there with me I thought! I called him and without hesitation he said yes!

Friday at noon, Ron and I left Stafford for Locust Grove. We didn’t know what kind of traffic was before us so we allowed enough time for delays….as soon as we got on I-95 the traffic began to slow….hmmmm We had 34 miles to go and we were creeping along at 5 mph! Luckily it was just some paint chipping gravel that a truck had dropped on the road and as soon as we passed it we were up to speed. No more traffic glitches all the way to the school, but we were about an hour early when we arrived! Ron and I got instructions on where to park the cars so we did and then waited for the kids to come out.

My wife, the Princess, has driven a school bus for over 24 years and she said that Middle Schoolers could be the worst behaved of all! That she would rather have a root canal performed on her than transport Middle Schoolers! To say I was apprehensive was an understatement! I had thought about the ‘introduction speech’ I was going to start with for a couple of weeks. It began with ‘how many of you have seen the movie, American Graffiti? When the kids came out and circled around us and I said that….no one raised their hand….no one….deer in the headlights came to mind….I knew I was in trouble! So I gave the kids a Readers Digest version of what cruising in Southern California was like in the 60’s. I don’t know if I was effective on telling the story? Then I started talking about my car and the questions started coming….great, I can answer questions! Then it was Ron’s turn, he held the kid’s interest much better than I did and then it was a question and answer session for both of us. The kid’s questions were great….one of them asked me what size fuel line I had in the car?….HUH? No one ever asked me that! I said 3/8” aluminum and he said he & his dad used ½” with big motors?! These kids aren’t supposed to know stuff like that! I think that kid is just a 35 yr old that looks young and they just tried to trick the old guy with those questions….hehehe The rest of the questions were pretty normal till the other teacher asked me what my fuel mileage was….I said around 14 mpg unless I pressed the right pedal too much, then it could drop to 7-8 mpg! She also asked how much the tires cost and something about where the spare tire was? The conversation felt like it was going down the Volvo road and I was beginning to regret not bringing the air bag I made for the car! Then one of the kids told me she liked my shoes! I hope my youngest daughter, Melissa, reads this….she is a charter member of the fashion police, she would be happy that her dad is wearing socially acceptable shoes….for 8th graders! grin I had to wear cowboy boots for 8 years while she was in school so she wouldn’t bug me about the color socks I was wearing when I went to work! The questions wound down and it was time for the kids to go back to class. They thanked us for coming out and we thanked them for their interest. They were a great bunch of kids, very respectful of us and the cars (except for the ‘trick’ questions), Rick can be proud of the way they behaved. Next time I will be much better prepared to share the essence of the hot rod culture….I won’t miss another opportunity like that! Ron and I cruised back to Stafford, it was a perfect day to be driving hot rods!

Friday evening….Halloween! We arrived at VA BBQ early to save a bunch of parking spaces for some who still work! hehehe Ron C. arrived then Jim & Linda then T-Bucket John…. John had a passenger and John was in costume! I always thought about what kind of person would drive a T-Bucket….now I know, a crash dummy! Check out John’s costume, it was perfect. Sue was Michael Jackson….or Boy George! Paul came as Stephen Stills, Gary was Count Cruisela, Westly was a joker, Evelyn was a ghost then turned into a pumpkin later? Other adults and kids were in costume….see the pictures. John’s passenger was activated by a remote mic. ….which the Princess made use of most of the evening! She startled both young and old….she was having too much fun! Ed was assaulting John’s passenger whenever he thought he could get away with it, Carolyn needs to do something with him! Kim, Sue & Pop and Company decorated the place and kept the spirit of the event going. Count Cruisela was the MC/DJ and things rolled along just fine, thanks Count! It was getting cold so the awards were given out around 8:30, I think! The crash dummy won two awards….both well deserved, he will have to get a trailer for his bucket if this keeps up! It was an evening of treats and not to many tricks!

Saturday a small group of drivers met at Bob Evans for breakfast and left for the show at Zoan Baptist Church. Jim & Linda, Dan & Ramona, Andrew (Happy Birthday Andrew), the Princess & Me. We cruised to the show and arrived right on time, there were about 15 cars already parked when we got there. Frank and his silver Z06, Sue, Kim, Paul & Evelyn, Jim & Maria were there, Jon & Marla came in and Dom brought his Model T later and Brent came about 11:30…. There were about 75 cars total with a great mix of types from 1915 to 2008! The yellow ’53 Plymouth was very unique….the yellow convert in front by the church sign was very nice as was the very red blown Camaro….very trick, check out the hood hinges! The blue Nova post with the Clifford 6 cyl, a very different way to go fast! I got some time to look over the ’60 T-Bird pretty good, it’s what I want to end up with at some point….I think a 427 Cammer or a 429 Shotgun motor should fit just fine, I can’t believe the room under the hood. I got a lousy picture of the black Torino but it was special too, I used to have a ’71 429CJ Ranchero! Dom had a good time sharing his Model T with anyone that would listen….he is such a good representative of the car culture around here. There were many outstanding cars, please look at the pictures to get a flavor for the quality of the cars. The church had a variety of activities going on during the show that kept the ladies busy…. The Princess purchased more items for a yard sale, I know she had $50 but she said don’t worry she was using the checkbook, ouch! Lets see, she pays $50 for an item, we sell it for $5 or give it away, she told me not to worry because that’s trickle down economics! There was some horseshoe pits that were being used most of the day by the event participants….nice touch….horseshoes near the Mustangs….

Kenny, the owner of Big Foot Speed & Custom, was the sponsor of the event. He did a great job of making sure everyone was enjoying the show and probably talked to a few potential new customers too! He has a great selection of go fast thingies for your hot rod....I wonder if he has something to keep the tires on the RedRat from spinning so much? I caught him skulking around on top of his trailer….see the pics. Please patronize the businesses that sponsor our local car events, it pays to support local sponsors! The awards were given promptly at 4PM…. The Best of trophy was won by the ’60 T-Bird….coincidence? I think I voted at least two times for it! The trophy was as tall as the kid that came up for it….too funny! Andrew, Brent, Dom, Jim & Maria, Dan & Ramona, Jon & Marla, Pop & Sue, Paul & Evelyn and I got a very nice ‘Top’ award….the Princess forgot to open her hood….the Princess didn’t get anything….the Princess said I should have opened her hood for her since she cleaned both cars….and she can’t think of EVERYTHING….and she has been sick….and she had to keep checking on the stuff she was bidding on….and it was hot….and she forgot her sunglasses… the Princess says it’s not her fault she didn’t win anything….she is such a poor looooooser….I didn’t say that….see the last pic in the album! I must have hit some tire shine on my way out, the red rat’s tires kept spinning around, I hate it when that happens, it gets so noisy inside that little coupe! Hehehehe A perfect sunny fall day in the 70’s, driving hot rods around…. what’s not to like?

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