Monday, April 18, 2011

Parts is Parts

Classic Car Center of Fredericksburg, VA has hosted a Swap Meet for car enthuasists for a couple years now but I have never attended. Dan wanted to try to clean out some of his accumulated "car" stuff at home ....I guess so he could get more "stuff"? I had some parts that I didn't want to mess with the shipping on ebay so I thought I'd try the swap meet with Dan. The Princess said that if Dan and I went to sell "junk", she and Ramona would go shopping shopping....never a good thing! I tried to explain to her that we were trying to downsize and save a little here and there. She said that it was her Patriotic duty to stimulate the economy by buying stuff....I'm doomed. My only hope was that I would sell more stuff than she bought! Marty and Garland have graciouslly provided car people a venue to sell and/or swap cars & car parts in the Fredericksburg area. They do not charge for this service and they usually have it on a Saturday. This year it rained on Saturday so they decided to open it up on Sunday too! They also provide meeting space for car clubs and will give tours of their vast collection of very special cars with little notice. They store special cars for people as well as perform restorations and sell consigned cars. If you are in the market for a "special" car you should put their shop on you list to check out. Dan, Jim & Linda and I left the WAWA at 8AM and arrived at the swap meet about 30 min later. We set up and began a day of selling and in the case of JV, buying! The weather was great, the fellowship was solid and the dollars were good. Dan sold a lot of things and I got rid of a couple things that were too large to send in the it was a productive day for us. Some friends came to browse the wares and talk for a while. Bill brought his new aquisition, a '65 Valiant, to see if he could find a new home for it. We had never done anything like this so we know what to expect the next time. When the Princess got home she was whining about she couldn't find just the right thing she was shopping for and that those shops just need to have more stuff and and she said I had to take her out to eat because she was soooo tired having shopped for so long!? So I get to pay if she is succesful shopping and I get to pay if she isn't? I don't remember agreeing to that 46 years ago? Next week we will be attending our grandson's wedding and won't be playing with hot rods....but....the next week we start cruising in earnest.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A little pain....a lot of gain!

Dan & I have been planning the 3rd Annual Country Roads Rally from the day after the last one, July 10, 2010. Dan & I started doing the Rallies to raise awareness of Wounded Warrior Project and help our returning Veterans. I envisioned that people would be tripping over themselves to give us money for the WWP cause…. It didn’t work out that way for the first two years. And this year’s gloomy beginning didn’t raise my hopes that this was not going to be another mediocre Rally. Since both of the previous Rallies have been in mid July, and had been rained out, we decided to try scheduling it for the spring. The weather guessers were forecasting rain on Saturday but it was a rain or shine event so we still had to follow through. We got lucky because the rain stopped Friday evening but the temps & clouds would be very low all day Saturday. We began the day at WAWA to top off the hot rods with fuel and purchase our morning allotment of coffee…. we met Fred & Debie then at 9 AM sharp we leapt off on our adventure of the day! The Princess and I were the stop workers at the first stop, Burger King in Manassas, VA…. by the airport. The owner of this establishment is very “car” friendly and always welcomes us…. the location is also geographically centralized for N. VA so many like to use it as a jumping off point for events. I was focused on managing the event all day so the Princess took most of the pictures. I knew she could do it…. after all her camera is nice and shiny…. she likes shiny things…. chuckle We had 30 vehicles register but most bought multiple rally cards so we sold $680 worth of Rally cards! Not bad for the beginning of a gloomy day? We left the BK at 12:30 and ran to the next stop at Culpeper airport and the Commemorative Air Force, National Capital Squadron’s hanger. The second Saturday is “Open House” for the Squadron and they always have food and other things of interest going on. This Saturday we found the Civil Air Patrol on site having a meeting of some sort. I was in CAP in the late 50’s….we met at Flabob airport in Rubidoux, CA….so I was glad to see them. It’s a neat organization …. something to consider for air minded teenagers. That might be the reason I never found the need to get high on drugs…. I was high on airplanes, hot rods & guns back then and none of those interests would tolerate the fuzzy/hazy inattention that a drug induced attitude would provide. Tommy Madison of Culpeper Cruisers had agreed to be the stop worker at the airport and I think he had a good time while he was there checking in the Rally participants, I’m glad his club helped with the event. The people at the Squadron are always very helpful to us and it’s a pleasure to have them as one of our stops. They have their “Open House” every second Saturday of every month….so you can visit them any one of those Saturday’s. We thanked the Squadron rep and Tommy for their help then at 1:30 we drove to the next stop in Orange, VA.

Waugh Harley Davidson is an icon in the Motorcycle world. His store is truly known Nationwide. If fact the last Harley we rode we bought from Palmer Waugh. It was a ’98 Wide Glide, Violet Pearl. It was during a time when you could wait months for “special” colors…. Palmer called me a couple weeks into my wait and told me that he had my bike! We also rode with Waugh HOG for a couple years and attended many poker runs with them…. they are a great bunch of people. If you are in the market for a Harley you need to see them first. The owner, Don Waugh, is very civic minded and a friend of Veterans so I knew he would embrace the Rally we were running for WWP. He and his group are the cause of many dollars being raised during the year for needy families in the area. They set up our stop workers in the showroom and they provided everything we needed to do our job, thanks. The dealership also has a lot of transportation memorabilia as well as the motorcycles, a lot to look at. The stop workers were Vince and Billy & Millie, all of Orange County Cruisers…. another well respected car club in the area. When I first contacted Vince and asked if they would cover the Waugh stop he said YES…. and would we need any more people for the other stops! Great attitude…. but then they are hot rodders…. I’m beginning to expect that from most of our fraternity of hot rodders. We visited with Vince and Billy till the stop was closed at 3PM then we ran to our next stop in Louisa, VA.

We arrived at American Classic Auto Restoration and Collision Center where Tony was the stop worker. Tony was representing the Rappahannock Region Mopar Club and since this shop was very Mopar friendly it was a natural fit. This shop is one of the nicest restoration shops I’ve seen. The owners, Bo & Karen, made the stop very comfortable for us and their hospitality was much appreciated. Karen ensures that everything is in its place and ready to be used. She provided tours and a history of their enterprise. I would not hesitate to use this shop for work on my vehicles…. and you all know what a nitpicker I am. One of the neat vehicles they are working on is the Powell pickup. Yes…. a Powell. What!, you never heard of a Powell? They are a very unique vehicle made between 1955-1957. They were built using used 1941 Plymouth chassis and running gear. For me, they redefine what an ugly truck should look like….I owned one when I lived in SoCal! It was the March AFB aero club’s mechanic’s truck. When he transferred out I bought it from him….it must have been the dry heat that made me do that….it was U-gly….but dependable. After visiting with Bo & Karen for a few minutes a beautiful red Ford monster truck drove in and we decided it was time to leave! Our little hot rods looked so small…. At 4:30 we thanked Bo & Karen and Tony then the Princess and I left for Culpeper. Dan and I had driven the route prior to the event day…. just to check on the condition of the roads. Everything was ok a couple weeks before…. until the week before the event. The County had decided that the road between Louisa and Rt. 522 was to be resurfaced, milling, paving…. the whole deal….bummer. We had to drive real slowly so the gravel wouldn’t be thrown up under the cars too hard….whew!

We arrived at Buffalo Wild Wings in Culpeper, VA and the ongoing cruise hosted by Culpeper Cruisers. Steve S. from Prince William Cruisers & Tommy put together the sound system so we had tunes and Aaron stepped in as the DJ for the deal. Ray & Terry had their race car and trailer set up as the representatives of WWP. We had a vendor, Garage Hero, set up and display their wares. We may see more of this vendor in the future. I think there were around 35 cars at the cruise and then the Rally vehicles in addition to that…. remember some of the Rally cars were daily drivers, a rain or shine event! At 6PM we got down to what the whole deal was about….money! The Rally is like a poker run with half the sold card money being given out to the person with the highest poker hand. Since we had collected $680 at the beginning that meant the winner would win $340! Not too bad of a payoff for coming out on a cool, dreary day and playing with cars. This events winner was Sally who won with a straight; you can see her in the pictures….she so hates publicity…. hehhehehe In the spirit of the event Sally gave back $200 to WWP! What-a-gal!!!! So next was the real real reason for the Rally….raising awareness and money for Wounded Warrior Project. So we had the $340 check from the Rally, Sally’s $200, Prince William Cruisers made a donation of $200, an undisclosed family donation of $500, proceeds from the donation jar on site of $31, which meant WWP received $1271 for the day! A good start to our goal of 20K for the year. This added 4-14-2011....I received another donation in the mail was for $ our total for the excercise was $1771. I don't care who you are, that's a good day for WWP!

We were able to make this event happen because of the assistance of people representing car clubs and businesses that believed in our cause…. we thank you! WE….the WE is Dan & me….Dan is my sounding board, complaint department, priest and cheerleader….he made the sign we used for the Rally, he helps me work through the process, he helps with the execution of the event. Dan was at the airport around 9AM….to help set up that stop and drove to each subsequent stop to make sure everything was set up correctly and that everyone knew what to do. He set up the display at the last stop for WWP & Garage Hero. As you know I’m a retired slacker so I have a lot of time to do that kind of thing!? But Dan is still working every day as an automobile mechanic and yet he continues to come through on anything we agree to do…. He isn’t out in front much but when you see him please thank him for what he does….he will probably say something like “ I didn’t do anything” or something like that….don’t believe it….I couldn’t do what I do without his assistance. Thanks Dan….

So it was another great day playing with hot rods and the Princess had fun playing with shiny things all day….