Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Strawberries anyone?

WOW.. ..I guess everyone got the memo to be at VA BBQ on Friday night! We have been going to VA BBQ for a few years now and I don’t know if an attendance record was broken Friday night or not but it seemed to me to be a record of some sort. All the normal parking spots were full and in addition to that there were cars in the front lot by Rt. 1, there were cars in the Bank lot across the street, there were cars parked on the street and cars were coming through and when they couldn’t find parking space so they just drove through! WOW! It was impossible to put a final number on the cars there but I know it was over 85! WOW! OK Sue.. ..are you planning for more parking next week?

The Colonial Beach club brought some very nice vehicles to share with us that included a white ’54 Packard convertible that reminded us of a more dignified and refined time in the recent history of the automobile. John’s white ’57 Ford convertible with all the “drive inn” accoutrements is a nice touch too. Although the girls that came with it were kind of snobbish.. ..I even offered to take them a ride in the RedRat and they just kept looking past me! John needs to find some friendlier girl friends! grin.. .. Roger brought his blue/purple ‘70’s Chevy PU with the rowdy big block, he says he is going to make some passes with it soon to see just how strong it will run, more later! And Al brought out his stunning orange/cream ’55 Chevy.. ..we missed seeing it since it got hit by a deer last year, it looks like nothing happened! Jerry & Dave were there with some more of the VA Stockers car club and many other local clubs were represented. The blue/white ’61 Ford T-bird was a treat too.. ..it has 2627 original miles! We put more miles than that on our coupes in a couple of months! I really like the black ’60 Ford Starliner, I would park it in my garage anytime! All the usual suspects were there including Wayne & Barbara with their noisy green ’39 Chevy, ask Wayne if he knows anything about drag racing! Be prepared to listen a lot! By some stroke of luck the Princess got the managers pick trophy.. ..The Princess is happy.. ..Life is good in the kingdom.

Saturday a few of us met at Mike’s Diner for breakfast then headed to Delaplane and the Strawberry Festival. Fred & Debie, Ron, Dan & Ramona and the Princess & me. Fred told of an alternate route that would have more “country” roads and less well traveled roads so he led to the Festival. We now have a neat way to get to Rt. 17 near Warrenton from Stafford.. ..It’s about choices! Please check out my pictures of the deal, I took a lot of the journey to help share the total event with all. We arrived and set up near the entrance to the vehicle display.. ..it was on grass, on a knoll and the view was magnificent and the breeze was constant all day.. ..or you could say it was perfect location/weather for the day! The event has a lot of vendors and other activities that compel non-car people to attend each year. The vehicle display is almost incidental in the event, which is ok with me. It is a display so no competition is involved which makes for a nice stress free day. The Bull Run Region AACA is the organizing group for the vehicle part of the event and they were well represented at the event by 17 cars. We like to travel with Fred & Debie because they are neat people and you don’t often see a ’57 Dodge on the road. The AACA group had a ’58 Dodge and many other Mopar’s.. ..I like the blue ’65 Dodge and the white woodie convertible was.. .. ..Special! The early Hudson and the ’57 Packard were very special too.

Being a Strawberry Festival there were a lot of “strawberry” things there, most of which were edible! Strawberry shortcake, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry Sundays and more. They had a strawberry eating contest.. ..the record is 9lbs in 7 ½ min, this weekend the winner consumed 7bls in 7 ½ min.. ..Burp! Funnel cakes, ice cream, cookies, and all kinds of good food. You had to be there. They had tours and entertainment galore but I stayed with the cars to talk to the people as they entered the event. It’s what I like to do, share my hobby with others. The Princess however decided to see how much money she could spend with the vendors.. ..I reminded her of the size of her coupe’s trunk and that might determine how much she bought.. ..It didn’t! She says that’s why we both have our own cars, she can fill up the passenger side with treasure! So we came home with more stuff that will end up on eBay someday, hehehehe I’m doomed! There were less people this year than the last time we went 2 years ago, but it is a two day event so maybe more came out on Sunday. Anyway we like it and will return next year again. We left around 2:30 and headed for Culpeper and the cruise at Arby’s.

We arrived at Arby’s early again and got to pick our favorite spot, in front of the big trees. We set up under the trees and soon Tom arrived and joined us. There were not as many cars as last month but some new ones came nevertheless. I think the Memorial Day holiday may have had something to do with the attendance. This cruise feels.. ..comfortable to us, we just seem to fit in well and as usual the Cruisers are gracious hosts. The cruise is the second and fourth Saturday of every month and you have to visit sometime, you won’t be disappointed. We left about 7PM.. ..a long day driving around giving people something to wave at!

Sunday morning we met with Dan & Ramona and headed to the Culpeper Cruisers annual show at the Culpeper skating rink. We arrived a little late and were trying to determine where to park and the Cruisers let us park in front of their club cars.. ..I think it was the most primo spaces on the lot! Thanks Cruisers! We set up and began meeting old friends and checking out the cars. Linda & I had to leave early so I didn’t get to take pictures of all the cars and I don’t know how many cars attended but I think it looked like 120 or so? I liked the green ’34 Chevy coupe and the copper/cream early 50’s Ford PU was very special. Many car clubs were represented at the show to include Custom Cruisers NOVA, PW Cruisers, Culpeper Cruisers, Stafford Classics, Stangs & Fangs and others. I liked the blue ’54 Chevy traditional custom.. ..no worry about reflections when taking pictures of that one! Hehehe We had to leave early due to a family emergency so Dan & Ramona brought the Princesses plaque to her later that evening. What a deal, she wins without being there, what’s up with that? As usual DJ Ron provides the musical atmosphere to be the social lubricant to keep things rolling.. ..HUH? Think about it! I’m told that the rain looked eminent so the Culpeper Cruisers got the show done quicker than advertised so people could get their cars safely home, a good call! As usual this is a well run & fair show that deserves your attendance when you can.. ..Next year??

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Quest continues....

Friday night at VA BBQ and did the cars come out! I think over 60 cars were there during the night. Some came and stayed a couple hours and left.. ..some came and stayed till it closed. There were a lot of cars we usually don’t see at VA BBQ. Like the red ’61 Studebaker Lark TT VIII, convertible? It had 2x4s on the Studebaker V-8 motor and was neat as a pin, where did it come from? The Orange Studebaker with the trick air cleaner.. ..In fact that’s not all that’s trick about that car, you need to look it over real close if it is at a show/cruise with you. I wouldn’t have picked the body style but there is so much attention to detail and expert craftsmanship in the car that it almost overwhelms the body style, check it out! There was a white ’49-’51 Ford custom that was real different.. ..I couldn’t tell if it was a work in progress or a finished traditional hot rod.. ..either way it was kooool! Hoppy’s rowdy yellow ’55 Ford came in too, we don’t see it too often this far away from Orange.. ..if you haven’t looked at the graphics closely you need to do that, especially if you drive a bow tie! There was a black ’60 Ford Starliner with a very big block that was done just right. Everything was tidy and well thought out, the nicest ’60 that I’ve seen. And Claude brought his noisy blue ’34 Chevy.. ..I think every time he brings it he wins people’s choice, way to go Claude! Tony V. brought his gunmetal grey Super Bee to the party.. ..we haven’t seen it for a while, it’s as nice as I remember. And the car-of-the-week guy got rid of the Pro-Street Jeep and is driving a white Vette!? To be continued! A green/blue ’32 5wc came in late, check out the air cleaner! A lot of usual suspects where there too.. ..A very busy cruise, I would expect nothing less at VA BBQ as the year unfolds.

Saturday we all gathered at WAWA and headed to the Masaponax Cracker Barrel for breakfast. After the obligatory lard load up we left for the North Anna Power Plant’s annual show at Louisa school. The proceeds for this event help the power plant’s charity, Habitat for Humanity.. ..a very worthwhile endeavor! We have been trying to make this show for a few years but weather kept us away a couple times and other commitments did us in twice too.. ..so this year we were determined to attend the event no matter if it rained or not! The rain was forecasted all day but we didn’t get any rain all day. In fact it was windy and sunny, how wrong do you have to be as a weather guesser before you get fired? Inquiring minds want to know. I’m unemployed (happily) and those guys/gals get to keep their jobs.. ..what’s up with that?

The venue is a school parking lot so it has plenty of room, we got to choose where we wanted to park which was nice.. ..the Queen & Princess told me I should have parked up the hill a little farther so we could have been near a tree.. ..silly me.. ..that’s why they are the Royalty and I’m the minion! The lot is on a hill but I don’t think there was a ‘bad’ parking place in the lot. The Princess also brought more “healthy” food.. ..do you know you can hide those little carrots inside the tubing of the fold up chairs? And that ants are attracted to squished grapes! ..Don’t ask me how I know.. The restrooms were permanent and well cleaned although the Princess had to use her trusty maglite when the time controlled lights went out, you have to ask her. The onsite food was typical and good. There were a couple vendors but not much else to do except look at the cars and meet new old friends!

The Shriners brought their Beverly Hillbillies car and wheeled it around the event all day, what a hoot.. ..you have to check out the pictures and a short movie clip I shot. Of the 60 or so cars in the event we had seen only three at other shows. Please check the pictures to see variety of the cars/trucks at the show and see why the Princess is so ornery, check out the “curl in the middle of her forehead” and remember that old nursery rhyme.. ..hehehehe Our youngest daughter and her youngest daughter has “the curl” too! The first vehicle that caught my attention was the black/green ’31 Ford Pick Up. That is the nicest ’31 Ford I have seen and Jim the owner will talk about it as long as you want to listen.. ..you have to check it out. The yellow S-10 custom was very trick as was the black Chevy PU rat rod. The brown & teal Chevy delivery was very different and the mural on the side was special. The blue ’32 Chevy sedan very nice and Ernie’s silver Charger was as neat as I remember it. DJ Ron cranked out the tunes and kept things rolling along.. ..like he always does. Someone had the Princess arrested for having a pink sign in front of her car but before she got put in jail the Queen bailed her out, the Princess says she has friends in high places.. .. grin The show ran like a watch showing what so many years putting on this show will do for planning and executing.. ..then it promptly ended at 2:30 when the awards were given out. I like the shows ending early, around 2 pm.. If the judging is done by then the show should end. Most people get all their socializing done in 5 hours so leaving around 2 is usually welcome, something to think about. Ernie won a top 25 and best Mopar, Dan & Ramona won a top 25 and best GM.. .. .. ..the Princess won an event T-shirt! The orange & white Z28 Camaro won a top 25 and Best of Show, it was a very nice Camaro. It was a nice show that deserves more participation from cars farther away from Louisa.. ..next year put this one on your calendar.

We followed DJ Ron to the cruise at the Orange BK but when I got out of my car I realized how much my ankle was messed up. I could hardly walk! I set up the car and we walked to the food place but I couldn’t get ahead of the pain. We decided to leave for home early so I could get some pain relief and maybe beat the rain that was coming. I only took a couple pictures at BK, of the two Broncos doing a dance!? We drove about 150 miles and had a great time at the North Anna show and the Orange BK is always a time to remember, I’m sorry we had to leave early. It started to rain about an hour after we got home! And the show at Kate Waller Barrett MS was rained out on Sunday.. ..

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day....Out

Friday morning I was stressing over the weather guessers premonitions about rain and didn’t make my decision till 10Am on if I would go to Locust Grove MS to share my “hot rod” heritage and the RedRat with Rick Schafer’s students. I had been dodging rain for a few weeks now and had been lucky I thought I could make it between rain cells so I called Rick and told him I would be there at 1:30. After I parked and set up the RedRat like I was at a show or cruise I waited for the students to come out. I had been working on a script to make sure I didn’t forget anything this time. I was glad when I saw the students coming out and one of them had a stool for me to use, I have my “Chester” imitation down pretty good by now! grin! Before I got to go into my rehearsed presentation Rick started by telling them how hot rodding got started and more. I was ticking off the things on my list that I was going to say and figuring how/when I was going to jump into my deal.. .. Soooo I think I got everything said that I wanted to but I’m not sure. Next time I’ll go over my script with Rick first. We also need to pick a different place to hold the event as there is a generator for the whole school right next to where I parked, and given my poor hearing and some of the students soft voices I was having trouble hearing the questions. Kaizen, always improving.. ..next time will be better. The students seemed to enjoy our time together and they liked the RedRat. As before the students were very respectful of the car and of me. At least I could answer all the questions.. ..I felt good! A few of the students wanted me to do some burnouts.. ..I declined. Then one said how about the sign inside my trunk? He would buy me a hamburger if I did a burn out.. ..it was tempting! But since I wanted to be invited back I thought it was better if I declined and besides my clutch ankle is not healed yet and I really don’t have the clutch control I need to be safe. The weather was cooperating but the sky was beginning to look blacker so I left around 2:30 and just knew I was going to get wet before I got home.. ..I didn’t though! Next time I need to get more people to go with me.. ..it is a neat experience for the students AND me. I know other hot rodders would like to assist too.. ..I’ll have to work on that.

Friday evening The Princess and I braved the ominous clouds and got to VA BBQ in time to get our “preferred” parking spot! The Princess so likes “her” parking spot. And since it was our 44th wedding anniversary on that day I thought I would treat her to a gastronomicalextravaganza with dinner at VA BBQ! I know I know whatta guy, it’s just who I am! There was a nice 55/56 red T-bird that left early and Jim brought the Rotten Peach out to share. I don’t know what the Princess did to Pete and his orange Camaro but those two were jabbing each other all night. While we were dinning, Jim with the black/blue Malibu caught up with us and he shared how the guys at A1 had been helping him with the bling improvements to his Chevy.. ..He doesn’t even have to use a hood stick now! hehehehe Check out the electronics in his car as well as the new Underwood interior.. ..it’s first class! Jim wants to start a cruise on Sunday afternoon, more about this next time. Special Ed and Carolyn showed up with their orange ’39 and as usual the folks were wowed with it! They won peoples choice but they had left early so they didn’t get it, too bad, grin Most of the usual suspects were there too but as the sky started to look bad Ron called the evening before everyone left. A good evening cruise.

Saturday morning and the weather looked good so we drove to Bob Evans for breakfast and met Andrew and Dan & Ramona who were going to the Falls Church show with us. We left around 8:15 and made the trek to Falls Church.. ..I really don’t like to go up north for anything.. ..I worked up there for over 30 years and I can’t seem to go anywhere there without remembering some bad customers or something else negative.. ..it’s like going back to prison! Yeah I’ll take some more beatings.. ..Oh yeah!
We arrive at the Falls Church HS show and parked under the trees.. ..so we would be in the shade all day and wouldn’t have to put up the canopies. Andrew parked in the wrong place and the Princess & the Queen scutched him about it till he agreed that he could have parked in a different place.. ..but he didn’t move.. ..Way to go Andrew!
There were about 50 cars in total and this year the “tuners” parked up front with the rest of the cars.. ..which I liked. I never liked the two different generations separated.. ..they are the new “hot rods” and we should all be displayed together.. ..heck even the jeeps were displayed with the rest of the normal cars.. ..grin! The orange Lotus was a unique piece and the dual turbo Z car was special too. I liked the Ford Econoline PU, you don’t see many of them anymore. There were four Vettes there but I liked the black 60’s on the best. The old motorcycle, a BSA I think, was chopped and looked like fun. Pete brought his 428 Mustang to represent the blue oval and the Stangs and Fangs Car Club. The Cosworth Vega is a very unusual piece, check out the pictures. And the Jeeps could never quite get up on the roll back; they always almost fell of the right side.. ..what’s up with that? The Princess got a plaque.. ..first place in hot rod class.. ..and she won’t let me forget that I got second place in hot rod.. ..she is going to very hard to live with for a while I think.. .. .. Les & Peggy, Pete and Andrew got plaques too with Dan & Ramona getting best of show, what a deal! The show is usually supported by a local car club but 50 cars isn’t bad without their support! And the show proceeds go to augment the HS auto shop, a very worthwhile cause.

We saddled up and drove south, hooray, and headed for the Foster’s Grille on Rt. 17 with the VA Stockers cruise that was in progress. Jerry’s very special green/black Willys was there along with Ed’s special orange ’39. Ed showed us his new trunk prop, nice Ed.. ..very special !!!! JV came in his car with no doors and Jim & Linda finally came out to play with their blue ’08 Vette. Bad-to-the-bone Bill was there along with Dave and the rest of the VA Stockers. I really like the black ’57 Ford, in fact some pictures I took last year have been viewed literally all over the world, and I have received favorable comments about it from Sweden and other countries in Europe and Asia! We ate dinner at Foster’s and went back outside to visit a while till the pollen overcame some of us and we headed for home and a two hour shower! It was a long day but friends make it fun! Memories!

Sunday we met at Bob Evans again and after some saturated fat encrusted food we left for the Fredericksburg Street Rods annual Mothers Day show at Walker Grant MS. This event benefits the Special Needs department at that school. In this time of budget cuts all the additional assistance any school can get will be much appreciated and needed! Help when you can. Some of the past shows here have been plagued with bad weather.. .. Not today! The weather was as perfect as anyone could ask for. Sunny, breezy and temps in the 70’s.. ..perfect!
There were over 170 cars entered this year and they ran from Jerry’s black/green Willys to some traditional machines and everything in between. Please review the pictures I posted on the Webshots site; http://rides.webshots.com/album/571958663UCFCla
I liked the orange ’57 Ford, the red ’32 Ford Vicky, Tooties white ’57 Olds, the red ’59 Impala and, and, and.. ..It’s a good thing I don’t have J. Leno’s money.. ..hmmmmmmm He does own a Shotwell car.. ..maybe.. .. There are always cars that I don’t see anywhere else so it’s a show that I like to attend. Chuck and Cindy came up from Mechanicsville with some of their friends to attend, yeah the red car looked lonely Chuck. Tom and his ’55 Vicky won a trophy along with fellow Culpeper Cruisers, Tony and Beth in their Vettes. Dan & Ramona won with the Piggy Express, again! Ed won again again again again..hehehehe. Dave with his red Ford PU won a trophy and fellow VA Stocker, Jerry won best of show with his green/black Willys. Mark won a trophy with his orange ’73 Camaro.. ..now if he could just find someone to help with his paint.. ..grin DJ Ron won a trophy with his Camaro and I thought he might lift the front wheels during his victory lap, watch the video. The Princess says she doesn’t understand why she can’t win every year.. ..she is THE Princess after all? Stafford Classics won the club participation award, I think we had 12 club members.. ..out of 160 registered members, at a local show? What’s up with that? The show had adult games, kids games, Flowers for Mothers and really good BBQ. There were other vendors too like funnel cones! yum

This show is one of the best organized and executed shows that the Princess and I attend during the year. The Fredericksburg Street Rodders work all year to make this show what it has become in 19 years and their efforts culminate in this show. If you had the misfortune of missing it this year you need to fix that for next year. Bring MOM to the show! Buy MOM a hot rod to drive too! grin Memories are made of this!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

And the rains came

Rain? Friday it looked like rain most of the day, in fact it did rain in places around here. We really wanted to visit Colonial Beach and the CB Cruisers cruise so we watched the weather closely. Around 4:30pm I called my son-in-law that lives in King George and talked about the rain I saw on the radar. He said the storm was bad but moved through quickly. I watched the storm cell moving just south of the Rappahannock River in an easterly direction. When the Princess came home we decided to make a run for Colonial Beach. I called Dale and he and his son Caleb met us at the WAWA a little after 5PM. I guess we chased the storm cell all the way to the Potomac River because when we arrived at Colonial Beach we were told that a storm had just passed through….but the roads were dry by the time we got there.

I think because of the bad weather a few of the Stafford Classics that wanted to come with us like Special Ed and JV stayed home.. ..could have been a smart move! I think the rain kept a lot of CB Cruisers home too. There were about 15 cars when we arrived but after we ate and came out of the restaurant some had left! Most of the cars were new to us.... except the red Charger, we saw that at VA BBQ last year and my favorite, the black ’65 Dodge, looked familiar. The black Chevy convertible with the 396 was very nice as was the red ’70 El Camino. The food at Fat Freda’s was very good and the service was prompt too. I had something that I can’t remember what is was called but it looked like French toast wrapped around turkey with Swiss cheese melted on it…I thought it was superb, I have to find out what it was called! We talked with Mrs. Pearson about blue crabs at length and I found out that there is always something to learn. The CB Cruisers were friendly and thanked us for visiting them, we will return another time. It was getting dark so we saddled up and headed for home and a nice evening drive.

The Saturday event was looking iffy, rain all around. While we met at the WAWA it started to sprinkle a little, oh nooooo! Steve Shifflet of PW Cruisers had invited Dan & Ramona and the Princess & I to their event highlighting the Riverfront Condominium in Occoquan, VA. The staff from Rivergate was very helpful and accommodating of our noisy cars and we got to park in the front of their sales center. If you are interested in exploring this lifestyle just call Carlo Baietti at 703-499-8460 and he can assist you. We do 2-3 of these kinds of events a year where the builders use the cars to piqué interest in their communities. I don’t know if it helps but it is always a very low stress deal and usually a lot of fun, sometimes they even feed us!

We got rained on twice during the show but we finally had sunshine for 3-4 hours. Since it was an “Invitational” deal most of the cars were primo cars. I like the green & black 4dr Willys with the V-6, I saw it at Richmond a couple years ago and at a few shows around since.. ..Check it out, the V-6 just works in that car! The red ’34 Ford in a Ford is always pleasant to look at as is the ’40 Ford convertible. The purple ’32 5w was way noisy as was the blue Chevelle of Billy Blanton. We met the Blantons at the restaurant; we had not seen them since the early 80’s.. ..that was a nice time catching up. I also liked the Cobra Coupe and the 30’s purple Dodge/Plymouth sedan.. ..you just don’t see many of them around either.
The PW Cruisers gave very nice plaques to some, the Princess got one so I don’t have to listen to; it’s all about the companionship and blah blah blah blah.. ..it’s always better if she wins something! grin She also won the drawing at the restaurant, I hope we don’t have to buy a boat or something? The food at the restaurant was very good and they had a live band! Arnold got best of show for his ’64 red Chevy. The car is very nice and what a “driver” should be like in my mind.. .. It is not as over the top as some of Arnold’s cars and that is what makes this car so nice to me. It is just a plain car, simple but perfect.. ..he even said he blacked it out underneath so he didn’t have to clean it underneath like his other cars. Less time spent cleaning, more time spent driving.. ...works for me!

We gathered up our stuff and headed for A1 and the valve cover races. On the way home the clouds began looking blacker and more ominous so we decided to not push our luck and just go home. We drove through Bruster’s and it looked like the threat of rain was keeping the people away there too. There were only four cars in the lot and there is usually many more on a rain free night.

We got up at 4:30 Sunday morning and it was raining.. ..so back to bed and we passed on the Bull Run show. I know the event is a “rain or shine” event but we just don’t bring out the coupes in the rain. If we are at a show or cruise and it starts raining then that’s different, that’s part of the deal. But we just don’t like to begin in the rain.. ..The Princess so hates to clean the cars when they get road film/slime all over them. And I really don’t like to crawl under them doing the same thing. Maybe one day we will have a “road” car….we’ll see.