Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weather guessers=0 Wiper salesmen=500

Friday night and we finally get to go to VA BBQ, we have missed the cruise for the last two weeks. Once because of rain once because of going to another cruise.. ..Tonight we would try again.. ..We got about 5 miles from Stafford and it started to rain.. ..So we make it 3 weeks missing VA BBQ.. ..Maybe next week!

So the weather guessers say we will have a sunny but hot day for the cruise to Purcellville, VA and their 7th Annual Summer Thunder Cruise In at Franklin Park. Last year they had 750 cars, not bad for a “cruise”! We left Stafford around noon with Dan & Ramona, Ron, the Princess and I and we arrived at the cruise at 2PM. The trip was nice through the back roads of Virginia except for some minor construction near Gilbert’s Corner. We got into a little traffic on Rt. 7 outside Leesburg when a Trooper was assisting a motorist with a flat tire, they were causing a traffic jam and the RedRat was heating up.. doesn’t like slow driving in hot weather! There were also a couple Cobra boys from Maryland and one was trying to get me to run him in the traffic I guess.. ..Silly boy, Mustangs are for Chicks!

We arrived and the parking staff asked me if we wanted to park on asphalt or grass? I guess it’s about choices; spicy or bland, hot or cold, paper or plastic, fast or slow, asphalt or grass! I chose grass and we were directed to a perfect place to park, on a little knoll. The venue is perfect with the rolling grass parking please check out the pictures.
We set up camp and I first noticed Mr. & Mrs. Scottie and their powerful, pretty, purple, pickup.. ..we see them a lot at shows and cruises.. ..if you haven’t yet checked out their truck you need to do that, the attention to detail is impeccable. The blue ’58 Chevy Series 6o truck was very nice and there were a lot of late model Corvettes and Mustangs! I knew there were going to be a lot of cars in attendance so I took more “group” pictures than usual. There were a couple of neat cars with straight 6 cyl motors! The blue ’34 Chevy sedan and the white ’60 Chevy post with scallops. The cruise had a very diverse attendance with race cars, pro streets, stock new & old, antiques.. ..everything! I liked the blacked out ’60-61 Vette, just the right amount of shinny parts. I liked the ‘60’s Chassis Research digger. I’m told it was like a company mule and never raced but just used for display of the company’s products. It is a time warp deal for me! And a black ’32 Chrysler Imperial that was very presumptuous . The yellow Locomobile was a surprise too! And a bug eye Sprite, how many times do you see one of those? Dave brought the Culpeper Cruisers to the cruise and right before we left the Custom Cruisers of NOVA showed up. Scottie found out that there were about 500 registered cruisers.. ..not bad but way short of 750! The restrooms were great and the food was too. There was a live band playing most of the day and they were good too. We will come back next year and hope it doesn’t rain!

So we started to see lightning and hear thunder and many people were leaving.. ..So about 6:30 we packed up and left. It started to rain as we were leaving.. much for sunny and hot! We had a drenching last week and I really didn’t want to get wet again..oh well! The rain started out like a shower but within 15 min it was a full blown storm.. ..with wind stripping leaves off the trees and water blowing was like being in a blizzard. And of course I haven’t fixed the windshield wiper yet! I think it moved up to the top of my "to do" list for next week. As long as it was a little light it was ok but the longer we drove in it the darker it got.. arms were starting to ache because of the death grip I had on the steering wheel. About an hour and a half later we arrived in Stafford and the rain stopped. But as we turned into our driveway it started again and while I was waiting for the Princess to open my side of the garage the rain started to come down like a show drift sliding off the roof onto the RedRat! I couldn’t see into the garage, which was about 2’ from the front of the car! Little flowers from the Crape Myrtles were blowing everywhere, what a mess! I finally got the RedRat up on the Quick Lift and when the Princess chocked the tires I shut down and just sat there.. ..Whew, I survived another one of Mr. Toad’s wild rides! If this keeps up I may have to get a car with two windshield wipers! Let the cleaning begin..

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A lazy Saturday by the beach!

Colonial Beach, VA Volunteer Rescue Squad’s 3rd Annual show. This show was not advertised well, we found out about it from a flyer a couple months ago but it was never put up on the net! Even so they had 80 cars, bikes and 6 Big Rig Trucks.. ..Not bad for an out of the way small town show! If they advertise on the net next year it will be better.

This show was held on the “Town Hill” in Colonial Beach, VA which is a hill area in the middle of town adjacent to the Potomac River beach. The venue is great with rolling grass topography to park on, pine trees around the perimeter for shade and one of the main streets in town runs right by the event. It gets a lot of walk through spectators, which I like, and the people running the event make me feel comfortable just being there. The music is only interrupted by important announcements so we got to hear a lot of good music. The restroom facilities were adequate and very clean but if there is a fault other than the advertising it was more restroom facilities need to be provided. This is difficult because you never know how many people you will have attending but I think they should plan for more people next time, if they advertise better. The food was OK for “car shows” but the little bags of condiments with a napkin in the bag that could be used for a trash bag, that was given with the food was a real hit! And the price was very reasonable, $1 hot dogs!

The cars were varied but I remembered that this is the place where the car owners like to decorate with mannequins’! A lot of mannequins’. It does add a certain interest that might not be there otherwise and it does lend a nostalgia ambiance to the cars so I guess its ok..... Check out the pictures and you decide!? I really liked the green ‘57 Caddy that was towing the period correct fiberglass boat, with fins on the boat! There was a ’57 Ford with a finned glass boat too.....that was a real hoot! The boats were made/sold by Herters.. ..My dad and I used to order fishing and hunting stuff from them in the 50’s-60’s. I still have some reloading tools that came from Herters! I saw a water bag like the ones we used in the 50’s when we went from coast to coast traveling especially in the west. There was a very nice silver ’73 Challenger that looked like it was all business, stage 3 Hemi and tubbed.. ..Looks like a wicked ride! Southern Truck and Custom was showing a cool Ford crew cab and a Jeep 4dr. They brought some really meaningful door prizes.. ..Like radios, black lights, tool kits and other expensive/usable things.. ..Not just a pen from a local bank, grin.

Then there were the big rig trucks. I don’t know much about those trucks except they are big! They have inline motors that have enough torque to change the spin on the planet and really big wheels. I also know that when I ask my 3 year old granddaughter what kind of truck does her daddy drive she says very matter-of-factly.. ..A Kenworth! So I guess the KW’s are a good thing!? I liked the yellow Peterbuilt with the graphics. Since my ankle is better I now have time to take more artsy fartsy pictures once in a while so I took advantage of the large, shinny hubcaps on the big rigs to try some reflection shots…take a look.

We must have been enjoying the company under the canopy because before I knew it, I heard the announcer say to start walking up for the awards! It really snuck up on us! Dan & Ramona got a top 30 and the Town Mayor’s pick! Tony & Janice got a top 30 and the Princess got a top 30 too.. ..There will be happiness in the kingdom this week! Hehehehe We were going to run to Orange and the cruise at the BK but I was just too tired (our grandson was helping us paint the homestead this week.. ..almost wore me out!) so we folded up our tents and headed for home. A nice easy show that we will return to next year.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who's afraid of a little rain?

The Prince William Cruisers, Friday evening cruise near Glory Days Restaurant in Woodbridge, VA had been neglected by us this year so we decided to rectify that shortcoming this week. This cruise is tough for us to get to on Friday night with all the traffic on I95 & Rt. 1. Usually the traffic is going South but tonight it was going North too, so it took us over an hour to go 16 miles! Fun fun fun! We went to the Glory Days parking lot and waited.. ..No one was showing up? So I called someone with PWC and was told the cruise was by Arby’s? So we found Arby’s and there were a bunch of cruisers there! There were about 30 or so cars by the time we left and some we haven’t seen before. The blue GTO was very nice and the yellow ’35 Chevy 5w coupe was new to us. The ’65 Buick brought back some memories for me, I used to be a mechanic in a Buick dealership from ’63-’66 in Riverside, CA. I had worked on quite a few of those little Buicks. There were a lot of Buicks at the cruise, what’s up with that? But the neatest vehicle that came through was the LaFrance fire truck. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the owner but check out the motor! Three cylinders, two pistons per cyl, six spark plugs per cyl, one distributor with twelve plug wires and a magneto with six plug wires! I got to hear the thing run the next day at a show, check out my u-tube page at 502SizeMatters. We talked to Papa John about the show the next day and listened to Steve talk about his busy day that culminated in recovering the club's music trailer that had been towed from the cruise lot by an overzealous towing company, grin. The PW Cruisers always treat us like they are truly glad to see us, it’s a nice cruise with nice people but I don’t think we will fight the traffic every Friday night to go there. Once in a while is ok though and if you are near Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, VA on Friday night and you want to see some cool cars and meet some nice people check out their cruise.. ..Remember it’s real close to Arby’s. hehehe

The Ebenezer Baptist Church in Woodbridge, VA has put on a show every year for seven years and we had a good time when we attended last year so we decided to go back this year. We met at Mike’s Diner in Stafford, VA for breakfast then cruised to the show in Woodbridge. We arrived right on time and was able to get the same parking place as last year and we set up camp and settled in for a day of looking at and talking about cars. The day was hot but not like last year and there was always a breeze which helped. The restrooms are inside the Church activity section. Some of the Church members were having a product sale going on inside and some of the stuff for sale was food.. ..To be precise-----COOKIES! Now most of our friends know how I feel about cookies, especially since they are one of the 7 major food groups. I like to be mindful of my daily consumption of cookies.. ..Just to stay healthy! Grin Anyway the Princess knows that Ron also likes to make sure he has his RDA of cookies too, so she bought all the oatmeal cookies they had for sale! I’m glad Ron doesn’t like spotted owl or something; I bet that would get real expensive! The Princess also bought me some cookies so I wouldn’t get anemic or anything. Hehehee

The Prince William Cruisers assists the members of the church with this show so they were there in force. Many of the people we had seen the night before, we got to see again! There was a very high percentage of Corvettes in mix of the 96 registered entrants. The blue one with much customizing is really cool and the red ‘60 was special to me. The rat rod tub that brought touch up paint looked like fun. There was a new Camaro, Challenger and Mustang.. ..Fun isn’t dead in Detroit yet! The LaFrance fire truck I saw the night before came in and I have a video of it on u-tube. The vehicle is amazing, the noisy engine has to be heard. The Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club was well represented as was Stafford Classics. DJ Ron was there with his orange roadster. It’s his “road car” since he can’t drive his Camaro on the street anymore! Something about low bridge clearance? Richard brought his beautiful ’60 Chevy out and the green ’55 of his friend was very cool too, I have never seen a ’55 painted that color. We also found a T-Bucket with more brass than JV has on his, looks like fun to take care of? Dan proved once again that he needs further door prize selection training, The Princess and Ramona will work on that at the next show. And Dan was also reminded about the condition of his ’55.. ..something about a Speedo and seat belts? You have to ask him! About 3:00 the awards were given out; Ron, Dan and the Princess won a Top award. I have decided to not participate in award competition anymore. I will register to support the charity but I don’t want my car to be judged. I just want to enjoy the day and take my pictures and leave the competition for awards to others. The Princess, however, has made it quite clear that she expects something for rubbing on them cars all week (not) and for just showing up! I think she is getting a little crazy but hey, she is the Princess! And we only have four more months in the season to hear ME ME ME ME! We packed up and left for the Foster’s cruise in S. Stafford.

We arrived at Foster’s early and Dave was still setting up some of the deal but he had the cones out to sequester the parking lot. We parked and went inside to eat; it’s always good to eat at Foster’s.. ..and I can make sure I have my RDA of cookies too, grin After we ate we set up chairs to wait for more people to come in, there were already ten cars but more came as the night progressed. They were all the usual suspects and as we sat it started to rain! It rained for about ½ hour then the sun came out again! We needed to wipe down the cars anyway, at least that’s what the Princess said. Paul shared some French Baguettes with us, they were verified French baguettes? I don’t know about all that but they smelled and tasted real good! We stayed till about 8PM but decided to leave early because of the long day we had. The fellowship is always good at Foster’s and the food seldom disappoints so if you are near I95 & Rt.17 the second Saturday of the month you need to stop in and say HI.. ..You will meet some nice people and see some cool cars too!

Sunday we met at the WAWA and waited for the thundering herds of people going with us to Sonny’s restaurant near Luray, VA. Jim & Linda and their beautiful blue Corvette came by so we left at 10:05. Then on our way out of Stafford we picked up Dan & Ramona as we passed their road on the west end of Stafford. We traveled to the Sheetz station in Opal to pick up Les & Peggy then on to Culpeper to meet Lou & Arlene. Lou called me to say his car just broke, he was waiting for AAA to take it home! I offered assistance but he said he was good so we continued on toward Sonny’s near Luray, VA. The Princess and I had eaten there during our 44th Anniversary retreat in May and found the service and food to be very good and we wanted to share the experience with our friends. It’s about 97 miles one way, up and over the mountains near Sperryville and Skyline Drive. We had made the trip many times on the Harley but had never taken the hot rods. Today was the day! The sky was cloudy but the weather guessers said no rain so off we went. So when we got near Culpeper it started to rain and we had to stop so Les could put up his top on his Olds, then after we traveled another 3 miles the rain quit and we stopped again for Les to put the top down this time! I’m glad I don’t have to make those kind of decisions, top up or top down or back up then down, I guess it’s the kind of thing you have to deal with when you have a topless car, hehehe I think the on again off again rain was to be a portent of things to come later in the day. We ran up over the mountain and near Luray we stopped at the Liberty station for fuel and potty break then on to Sonny’s. I didn’t know how busy they were so I called ahead and told them eight people and five hot rods were on the way. When we arrived they were set up for us, planning is everything!

The food and service at Sonny’s is as we remembered.. ..Perfect! The menu is diverse and the portions are more than ample. The potatoe beer soup was great as was the loaded nachos. If you are looking for little finger in the air yuppie food you might want to take a look at the salad. But if you are looking for enough man’s food to make you feel like a tick that has been hanging on someone for a week, then order the brisket platter with the potatoe beer soup.. ..Bon App├ętit! Peggy needs to work with Les on his lack of appreciation of food presentation.. ..the little trees and green leaves are to make it look pretty Les.. ..I thought you had a little more culture than that since you drive a car that doesn’t have a metal top!.. ..grin So with our bellies full we decided to start the return adventure to Stafford. But Peggy wanted to take some pictures of all our cars together in front of Sonny’s.. ..since Dan didn’t want to park with us earlier. She had to organize us so she could get “the picture” she wanted? HUH So she organized us like a pile up of crashing cars! I so don’t understand artsy fartsy photographers? With the picture taken we ventured back down the mountain. I took a 6 min video of the trip down the mountian, check it out on my u-tube 502SizeMatters. You can get an idea what it's like riding in the RedRat! Just remember I still have to drive with one hand so the camera shakes a little, hehe When we arrived in Sperryville, Les & Peggy peeled off on Rt. 211 and headed home a shorter way for them. On the way to Culpeper Dan decided we needed to go by Carl’s for ice cream so we pressed on through Culpeper and Rt. 3 towards Fredericksburg. We got to the place on Rt. 3 where it opens up to four lanes and it started to rain! It rained a little but the road spray was too much, the cars were turning into a mess! I decided to take the shorter way to Carl’s on River Rd. but it was messed up with rain and spray too. Oh well that gives us retired people something to do during the week..hehehehe The rain quit and we were just dealing with puddles and run off when we arrived at Carl’s but I think the humidity changed to about 200% when we got out of the cars, I think it would be drier if it was raining. After as suitable amount of frozen milk fat was consumed we left for Stafford.

A fun filled day of 225 miles, running the roads in Virginia, giving people something to wave/honk/yell at while we just knowingly smiled and waved back.. ..I guess it's just me but I really don’t understand why people would rather stay home and mow their lawn? And now the anticipation of next weekend starts.. ..

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July

The Heritage Festival, in Fredericksburg Virginia, is an all day gathering of activities, food and crafts that begins with a 5 mile run then a parade and ends in a fireworks display on the Rappahannock River. The Festival began in 1972 by the Rotary Club in Fredericksburg and has grown to over 150 vendors in attendance during the day. There are over 10,000 people that walk through Fredericksburg on that day and view the vendors and displays. We are one of the displays and this year we decided to have American pickups as the theme. We started planning this year’s event during the event last year. We call our part of the event the American Automobile Heritage Invitational. We start inviting people as soon as the current year’s event is over! This year we overbooked a little in anticipation of people having to cancel at the last minute because of sickness or vehicle trouble and we had a couple do just that.. ..But this year we had 16 people that said they would attend but then decided to just not show up! That makes it tough to fill an event and it’s a waste of awards and other support items we purchased that will have to be thrown away.

Anyway the people that did attend had a great time. You can hear some of their comments and hear their neat trucks running on.. .. “”. You can also see how many Chevy guys it takes to fold up one table! Hehehehe The weather was perfect, the spectators were plentiful, and the vendors were in abundance, the event manager, Roberta, knows how to run a show! The Princess and our daughter Michelle tried to wear the numbers off one of our credit cards so I know the vendors were happy. I pretty much stayed at our event to assist our staff and the attendees if needed. We provided Gatorade & water to all the attendees for free. And we presented appreciation awards to all the attendees. Our sponsor, VA Paving, provided the funds to put on a first class event and they picked out one of the trucks that they liked and presented them with a special trophy! It was Larry’s green ’37 Chevy! VA Paving is a great company that contributes back to the communities they work in. If you are in a position to need a first rate paving vendor you may want to consider them. This year we partnered with Susan Caldwell and Skills USA for our awards. We saved a few $’s on the awards by doing that and supported a local High School in the process, a real win/win deal! And we had the support of our car club, Stafford Classics, in the form of Brent, Andrew, Dan and the Princess. Andrew’s friend, Jose`, and Dan’s brother, Byron, were drafted to help too! That will teach Byron to not try to visit his brother and expect a relaxing weekend..grin. One of Brent’s duties was to provide the background music for the event but with the music from Mike’s Harley truck, then Steve’s calliope music from his stake body truck, Brent turned off his music. He couldn’t compete with the “battle of the bands” deal going on between those two! grin Because of our partnership with Skills USA we were able to give our Charity, Wounded Warrior Project, more money this year.. ..In fact we were able to give them a check for $1000. This coupled with the $751 donations that were deposited in the jar near Ray & Terry’s WWP race car brought the total to $1751 for the day! This will go a long way in helping our wounded men & women coming back from the war zone. It matters not what your view on the war is.. ..These men & women answered the call of duty and paid a price none of us would have paid in civilian life to do a “job”. Our military personnel are special.. ..They deserve special treatment.. ..Please consider them when you give.

In an effort to help you better appreciate the pictures we posted, the Princess collected some information on the participants and what truck they brought. Bob and his yellow ’04 Chevy SSR, Claude & Paula and their blue & silver ’88 Chevy, Richard and his red ’60 Chevy, Pete and his green/white ‘72 Chevy, John and his yellow ’05 Dodge Rumble Bee, Stuart and his blue ‘’63 Ford, Skip & Barbara and their red/white ’86 Ford, Tony and his red ‘61 Ford Econoline, Bobby & Nina and their purple ’79 Ford, Bill and his tangelo ’70 Chevy, Steve and his black/green ’30 Ford Stake body, Bill & Julie and their black ’46 Chevy, Jim and his peach ’46 Ford, Don and his red ’51 Ford, Scott and his purple ’32 Ford, Jim & Suzan and their black/green ’31 Ford, John and his black ’23 Ford, Dallas & Carol’s brown ’31 “ALL FORD”, Ford, Larry and his green ’37 Chevy and last but not even close to least is Mike’s Darth Vader Black ’04 Harley Davidson Ford with all the body/chassis/electronic modifications. All these pickups are winners in their own right but together they made the event memorable for thousands of spectators this Fourth of July! Thank you all!