Monday, August 24, 2009

Over the mountians

New Market, VA…Heritage Days is a three day community event with local crafter and food vendors that also has a hot rod extravaganza for us car people! This is the 21st year it has been managed by the Valley Cruisers of Harrisonburg, VA. The event begins on Friday with a cruise in at the Bar-B-Q Ranch on Rt. 11 in Harrisonburg. There were over 150 cars scattered around the restaurant and anywhere else you could park a car and still walk to the restaurant. We arrived late so we parked on a grassed hill behind the restaurant. We got to meet Buddy and see his new hot rod school bus he was driving, check out the pictures. The food was good but the place was very crowded, this will be a good place to visit when there are a normal amount of customers. It rained while we were eating and I wondered if we were going to get to see the cars sliding down the hill into the restaurant! Right before sundown we wiped off the rain and left. I took some artsy fartsy pictures of the RedRat’s shadow on our way to the motel. But before we shut down for the night we had to sample the ice cream at the little shop on Rt. 211. I took some pictures of the sunset and was reminded of the old adage; Red sky at night, sailors sky in the morning sailor take warning. The red sunset ended our first day and I knew the weather-guessers would be wrong about all the rain they forcasted for tomorrow! On the way back to the Motel I saw a blown open wheel coupe in front of me in traffic, I tried to work up to it but got caught at a light, I saw “I’m your huckleberry” on the trunk lid! I thought about it all night, I knew I would see it again.

Saturday morning began by wiping down the cars from the rain (that’s twice now) during the night then headed for the Southern Kitchen restaurant for breakfast and the all day cruise at the same location. After breakfast we set up camp behind the cars and by noon it started to rain.. ..and it rained for three hours! The parade went on at 1PM regardless of the rain, see the video. I was beginning to get a flavor for the type of cars we were seeing. These are “drivers”, they are meant to be driven in hot, cold, rain and I’m told even snow! The cars are very nice and would do well at most shows but these are primarily used on the road and not in trailers. The variety of vehicles was stunning as was the level of quality and craftsmanship reflected in the vehicles but then if you have to depend on your ride to get you home it has to be good! Right? The stroller for big kids was a nice touch! About 3PM the rain stopped and the show was over? I think the weather manager got that backwards? We went back to the Motel and did what retired people have to do at least once a day.. .. ..take a nap! Hehehe Whenever we are near Luray or New Market and its lunch or dinner time we like to stop at Sonny’s restaurant on Rt. 211 so after our nap we took off for Sonny’s. After dinner we headed back to New Market and checked out the PreShow Party & Dinner in progress at the Rescue Squad building. All the food at the party was part of your registration fee; it was like a free buffet! So.. .. ..When you eat too much and have that stuffed sleepy feeling what do you do? You sing karaoke of course! There were many singers crooning for us from two little sisters singing Gospel to a guy that sang Kenny Roger’s “Lady” like Kenny.. ..Very good. And a lot of others in-between! The sun went down and we wanted to get back to the Motel and put the cars to bed so we left the party.. ..still in progress! I’m told that when the karaoke was over they played bingo most of the night!

Sunday we dried off the cars again (three times now), packed up, checked out of the Motel and filled up the fuel tanks then headed to Rebel Park and the 21st Annual Rod Run to the Park. We were parked in a good location so we set up camp and prepared to enjoy the day. This “show” is very different as there is no judging or awards! No competition! No grumbling over the judging! Just displaying your car and enjoying each other’s company.. ..What a deal! The Princess said she was going to “buy” her award and took a bucket full of tickets for the silent auction, it worked! There will be happiness in Stafford for another week! Dan and the Princess were fighting over a red-white-blue basket but neither one won it, the Princess said that was ok because it had one of those nasty piggies in it and she really didn’t want it but she didn’t want Dan to win it? There were many car clubs represented at the event including VA Stockers, Stafford Classics, Custom Cruisers of NOVA and many more including the host club Valley Cruisers. Good food was available and they had games going on for the kids and adults! Elvis made an appearance and did a respectable karaoke of the King. As is my privilege I always pick one or two cars that light me up. This event had four cars that I would like to park in my garage! The first was Jack’s ’36 Lincoln Zephyr 4dr.. ..This car was unique and as nicely done as any I have seen and you can drive in comfort and elegance knowing when you arrive there will not be another car like yours there. Then Nancy’s red ’34 Studebaker 4dr.. ..This was a unique piece too and reminds me of the ’34 Nash 4dr I had. Then the ’33 Ford 3wc, the Huckleberry car! This is so rowdy looking and the “I’m your huckleberry” sign on the back fits the personality of this car just right.. ..and I bet it IS a huckleberry.. ..hehehehe The last one is the black ’30-31 Ford PU. My cousin, Doug, got me interested in hot rods in the mid 50’s.. ..We were visiting his family in Ohio one summer and he was running a ’30-31 Ford PU in the B/G class. He took me to 3 drag races and that started me on a long downhill slide into hot rods and fast cars in general, thanks a lot Doug! hehe Anyway I know I wouldn’t fit into the little black PU I saw Sunday but it might be just the incentive I need to lose some of my ballast.. ..The Princess says I just need to eat more tofu and bean sprouts and less oatmeal cookies and it will be alright?! It’s not possible to sustain life without oatmeal cookies?
There were 222 registered cars in the show and I took pictures of them all! I shoot at a very high resolution and if you want larger images of them please contact me at Double J Sound was spinning the tunes and doing the announcements at all four events; he provides the backdrop that makes the event’s feel right! We had a great time, the people made us feel welcome, especially Buddy. You have to check out his school bus when you see it. This was a fun event and we will check it out again next year!

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