Monday, December 13, 2010


Saturday at high noon 15 ‘special’ cars, one minivan, one blazer and two motorcycles met at County Fare restaurant in Stafford, VA to begin our first Toys For Tots run. Dan came up with the idea a few months ago then he and I put something together that should be fun and meaningful for the participants AND the recipients. Little did we know that a local car club, Stangs and Fangs of Fredericksburg, had a Toys For Tots run planned for the same time. Their run was a little different than ours but the net result of more toys for kids and an opportunity to enjoy our cars was the same. I understand they had 87+ Mustangs come out to support their run…. very impressive! It’s no surprise to me that the Ford guys lead the way in things like this….hehehehe No Camaro or Mopar runs? Hmmmmmm Oh well us Ford guys are glad to lead the way! HO HO HO

Eric, the owner of County Fare, had agreed to let us gather in his restaurant to form up for the run while we had lunch. It was a no brainer for us because the food at County Fare is the best and the service can't be beat ….you have to try it sometime. Promptly at 1PM we all started our beasts and headed north to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, VA. The cruise is only about 12 miles long on Rt. 1 with a few traffic lights but we didn’t want to tie up a lot of time by having a longer run with just two shopping Saturday’s left before Christmas. At about 8 miles up the road I had pre-arranged to leave the group to get to the museum before the rest of the group….so I could shoot a video of the procession arriving. I knew that would leave the Princess leading the group which is never a good thing. I hoped she would not get lost or confused and keep going till she reached Washington D. C.! Since we pre-drove the route the day before I had a high confidence level that she could do it….and she did….whew. We also had Dom and his Model T which has special driving parameters which we are glad to accommodate so we could have his icon of the American automobile represented in our group. Some of us brought our children or grandchildren to experience the deal with us which was special in many ways. The Princess led the group into the parking lot like we planned and it was awesome. I shot the video from the wrong sun angle so some of the clip is very dark….I’m still learning to make the sun my friend when I take pictures! I’ll do better next time….I promise.

After everyone was parked the group moseyed into the museum and placed the gifts we brought near the Jeep that was the Toys For Tots drop off area. We took pictures around the toy drop area then we wandered through the museum. The museum can have a very visceral impact on people so some wandered individually and some in small groups. The museum helps you understand what the Marines are all about….their history, their honor and their sacrifice to a grateful Nation. If you haven’t visited the museum lately you need to do that….it will be an experience you will not forget. Whatever your views on war are doesn’t matter when you consider what our Military does for us. They do what the civilian leadership directs them to do. It’s about Duty, Honor and Selflessness….they are our warriors….they do what we cannot or will not do to protect our Country. We need to honor them and respect them always. It has always struck me odd that our most fierce warriors, The Marines, are the ones that are responsible for the most compassionate task of bringing some hope and cheer to those children that would otherwise have a bleak Christmas season?

Around 3PM Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus arrived for the children, of all ages, and the day was complete. Some stayed to absorb the ambiance and message of the museum and others left for their previous commitments, Dom left so he could get home before dark. grin It was a great day for many kids and the people that ventured out with their special cars.
Please check out the pictures at;

You can also view my less than stellar video here.

This will be the close of the season for us but you may still see us driving around Stafford on a warm day….giving old people a bad name! Our first scheduled show in 2011 is the North Stafford High School Skills show on March 26, 2011. We are planning next year’s schedule now and it will include fewer shows and more cruises. We are evolving to more driving and less sitting! We hope to see you on the road next year. Merry Christmas and a noisy New Year!