Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yes it's hot again.

After being rained out Friday and Saturday Ron & Jean met us at Bob Evans for breakfast then we cruised to Bealeton, VA to meet up with Steve & Sally and some other Prince William Cruisers. Then we all cruised to the Culpeper Cruisers yearly show at the Culpeper Skating Rink. Tommy was saving some really good places at the show for us....thanks to Steve. We unpacked and set up canopies because of the heat then watched the day unfold.

This is a yearly show and has always been one of the must attend shows around these parts. The Culpeper Cruisers always run a well oiled show and DJ Ron always does a superb job spinning the tunes and making the announcements.... This show is always well attended and Sunday was no exception as I think I counted 113 cars! There were many very nice cars like Arnold's purple '57 Chevy convertible, Steve's green '51 Ford convertible and the yellow Model A roadster. But the one I liked the best was the white '37 International pickup. It was trimmed in red, white and blue....and had SB Ford power! This is a WV car and was very cool and holiday appropriate! Be sure to check out the pictures.

After the show was over we cruised back home instead of attending the cruise at Bruster's....the heat just took everything out of us so we stayed inside the rest of the day and tried to cool down!

Monday, Memorial Day, we met at Perkins in S. Stafford for breakfast then cruised to Goldvein, VA and the annual VFD show. This show is on grass and is usually hot for some reason. Monday was a little warm, I think it hit 473 degrees under the canopy....nothing us car show junkies couldn't handle. I think there was around 70 cars in the field and I liked the black '59 Chevy pickup with the "real" flames. There also seems to be a flat black '55 Chevy set up with solid front axle like the old gassers at a lot of shows....and they are not the same cars! That would be neat to get a gaggle of them at one venue.... The show ran to the bitter end of 3PM when we broke camp and cruised home....running away from the heat.

I think Goldvein might turn out to be the last show I will drive the RedRat to....you will see it on HotRodHotLine soon. It has been and is a great car but since there is no recovery in sight with this economy I can't afford to keep running two cars.... So we will revert to a one hot rod family again and run around in the Princess mobile....hmmmmm No I will not be wearing the tiara or waving the wand.... Hmmmmm her car has A/C....hmmmm

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Meeting new old friends.

Dan & Ramona and the Princess & I left Stafford, VA at O-Dark thirty to cruise to Williamsburg, VA and the Tidewater Street Rod Association’s 39th annual Rod Run. We had planned to attend this event for a few years now but something always came up that prevented us from going. It had been raining all week but the weather guessers had promised dry weather on the weekend….for once they were right….almost!

There are a few different ways to drive from Stafford to Williamsburg and they all are within 3 miles of the same distance of 118 miles. But we took the “quicker” route on Saturday morning; I-95S>I-295S>I-64E, then into Williamsburg on surface roads. VDOT has been resurfacing the Interstates for a while now and the most of the “roads” were OK. But….the interchange from I-295 to I-64E was horrible! As I approached the transition the holes in the road became very large very quickly….I think I saw alligators swimming in one of them. I had to steer the RedRat around them and the surface was so uneven that the car started bouncing up and down and side to side! It was bouncing so violently that my head was slamming into the cab roof trying to make the little button on the top of my hat become a permanent part of my skull!!!! I was hanging on the steering wheel, squinting my eyes from the pain, downshifting and lane checking for cars….yeah distracted driving came to mind! I missed the turn! Just like that! So now where were we going? The Geepus Creepus (GPS) said I could turn around about 5 miles down the road…. What a bummer! We made the U turn and the rest of the drive was uneventful…. Tell me again why we can’t use the crossovers that the Troopers use?

We arrived at the event a little early so we cruised around the lot checking out the parking. I usually let the Princess pick the parking spot after we arrive at an event, it reduces the whine factor during the day when the sun moves and her delicate self starts heating up and I get blamed for picking out such a stupid parking spot. I am trainable! She picked a primo spot by some trees so we didn’t have to erect the canopies to stay in the shade….always a good thing. And the Princesses chair was up on a little mulch mound….which gave her a little elevation so she could look down on her subjects….she always likes that!

So what were you doing in 1972? I was still in SoCal working for Presley Co., servicing new homes with my friend Lee. The Princess and I would move to Virginia about a year later. Going across country with her new ’72 440 4spd Road Runner GTX and my new ‘73 Dodge PU pulling a boat. My weird younger brother, which had the personality of an ADHD chimp on crack, was driving the Ryder truck with all our worldly possessions….getting chased by a tornado in Oklahoma…. but that’s a story for another time. ? But in Williamsburg, 1972 found a bunch of guys/gals having their first Rod Run! 39 years ago….wow.

This event is a “Rod Run”….like a cruise. No judging, no trophies just drive in and share your car with other car people AND some visitors to the Colonial Williamsburg area that day. We had many “spectators” stop by and talk about our hobby, I like to do that. We got to meet another intrepid HotRodHotLine reporter, Bing Gatewood. He brought his new ride, a drop dead gorgeous red Chevelle ….his ’55 was very nice but his Chevelle is over the top! TSRA ran the event like a Swiss watch….yeah they have done it a few time before….grin They had a 50/50 and a really neat, event made quilt they raffled off. They had games for the kids AND the adults….with prizes for game winners at the end of the event. Since they don’t have trophies they have really nice door prizes….like welders, mini vacations and more. The door prizes were nice, the Princess won $100 from ProFinishes Plus ….she said that’s better than a trophy and now I can add some bling to her car? OK….?

As I was walking around taking pictures and talking to people I asked some of the staff people where our motel was in relationship to the event lot. I was told I could see it through the woods! I asked, OK, I see it but how do I drive there….right, left, straight out of the lot or wait for the mother ship to transport us to the motel? No one had the answer! So after the last door prize numbers were drawn and we packed up and left….we began our trek to the motel. We drove for 30 minutes, around in circles, past the event lot, around many buildings. We couldn’t find the entrance to the motel! Dan & I were getting really stressed out….Dan was using some words I hadn’t heard for a long time….it was really stupid to hide the entrance from us….I know it’s eco friendly with all the trees and shrubbery but it was like a treasure hunt gone wrong just to find out where to get into the motel! When we finally found the entrance and registered we found out our rooms were at the extreme opposite end of the motel from the registration desk….and we were on the second floor….and there was no elevator! Poor Dan…. Ramona has to have a lot of “stuff” when she travels….since we rode Harleys for 40 years we are used to traveling light. The gated parking held maybe 20 cars for over 100 rooms! I had to drive the RedRat up to the box to swipe my room card to raise the crossing gate arm so I could access the lot. Of course I couldn’t reach the scan box so I had to unfold myself to get out of the car, not an easy thing for me….scan the card, the gate arm went up and by the time I got back in the car I just knew the gate arm was going to come down on the coupe! The Princess saw my dilemma and jumped out of her coupe and held the gate arm open. Once inside the lot there were no parking places! So I parked illegally as we unloaded all three cars.

After we got unloaded we left to cruise to the main reason Ramona came with us….Capt. Georges Seafood Restaurant! Whenever we get within 50 miles of this place Ramona always lobbies us to go there. When the Princess and I started eating there, many years ago, the buffet was $18, now its $31 each! It’s pricey but very good and you cannot find a restaurant with a better buffet. We all ate too much then waddled back to the motel for the evening. But we had to park in an overflow, gravel parking lot and walk to the motel. The rooms were very nice at $148 a night but access to the place is tedious at best….I don’t think we will go back to that place. There are too many better choices within 5 miles to be subjected to that kind of frustration again.

Sunday morning we had the continental breakfast at the motel, which was ok, then left for home. We took the “back” way home that would take us through very rural parts of Virginia….the roads were practically deserted….much better than the Interstates. We put the hot rods in the garage and while we were unloading them it started to rain….whew. A great weekend driving our hot rods around giving people something to wave at….what’s not to like?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Four Letter Word....

RAIN.... The rain has been falling for three days now and the weather guessers say we should expect another four days of the wet stuff....that's all I'm going to say about that....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lofty Times

Saturday morning at 6:30 sharp six cars left the WAWA in Stafford, VA and cruised 31 miles to the Burger King in Manassas, VA. We met three other cars at the BK and then at 8:15 we cruised to the airport which is right around the corner from the BK. We had been invited to participate in the first Wings, Wheels and Warriors event benefiting the Wounded Warrior Aviation group. The event was held at the Manassas Regional Airport and promised to be a very special day.

Since we arrived as a group we were easy to guide to our parking area by the ramp master. We were to share that corner of the ramp with some “exotic” cars, a few of which were already parked. We all set up our cars and prepared for the day to unfold. The exotic cars kept arriving in single units. All nine of them very nice cars and all of Italian manufacture, except for one Cobra roadster. Our rowdy American made hot rods did look a little unsophisticated in comparison but I think all of the “car” people enjoyed sharing their personal automotive passion with the great masses that were to walk by during the day. One of the things that made it a little difficult for us was that some of the exotic car owners allowed and sometime encouraged the spectators to climb into their cars and to handle them. Then when they came to our cars with the very custom paint that included painted running boards, and the non replaceable parts used on some of the cars they didn’t understand why we asked them to not step on the running boards and not to climb inside the hot rods. I guess the door props that some of us use when we display our cars were understood as us holding the door open so they could get inside!? So the laid back, enjoyable day that all of us were anticipating didn’t work out for some. The Princess started to lose her voice by the end of the day! While we did enjoy the day some of us had a very stressful time and I’m sure they will not attend another event like that, we will be back though! We were also parked near the pickup and drop off area for the helicopter rides….so there was always an engine noise in the background while we were near the cars.

The event coordinators went to great length to provide something to keep the spectators engaged all day….and they succeeded. There were many static airplanes and other vehicles to see and great food vendors. There was a motorcycle stunt group that put on 3 shows during the day. Watching them made me feel really old….sometimes I have trouble just walking around and they were doing things that defied the laws of physics. There were also airplanes available that offered rides around the area for a small charge. Also a band was playing swing music most of the day and when the air display began everyone was watching the Mustang fly. Since my Dad was a fighter pilot and flew the Mustang in WWII, every time I have the privilege to see one, especially in the air, I always take the time to watch it’s graceful, powerful and purposeful flight and it always reminds me of the “High Flight” poem.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

My Dad lived to fly….he was at home and where he belonged when he was in a cockpit. He loved his Mustang and often told me how it would do anything he would ask it to do but that it was also an evil mistress and would not tolerate any laziness or inattention. Kinda reminds me of the RedRat! It will do anything you want but you must manage the beast in the machine. The big difference is when the RedRat misbehaves I can get out, stand on the ground and talk to it in an uncomplimentary way…. but airplanes are very different as then never left one up there…. they always come back ….one way or another!

Around 2:30 the sky started getting black and Ron’s really smart phone said the red & yellow rain (?) was coming our way….so we packed up and left. It was a great day for us and I hope Wounded Warrior Aviation raised a pile of money for their cause. I know they raised the awareness of some of our Warriors needs. Thanks for putting on this event.

We were going to BK and the cruise that afternoon but because the rain was eminent and some of us were tired from guarding the cars all day, we decided to run on home….we had to drive in light rain about half way home and got to dry the hot rods off before we could rest!

Sunday the weather guessers said rain later in the day….so….we arrived at the WAWA in Stafford, VA at 6:15. I filled up the hot rods with fuel (I feel so good providing the Saudi’s with more of my money so they can thumb their noses at me while I fuel up my cars….NOT! Please tell me again why we can’t drill for oil here at home….hmmmm….louder please, I can’t hear you very good while I’m eating my spotted owl sandwich….) Anyway….while we were waiting for the others to arrive I noticed the gorgeous red sunrise and told the Princess about the Sailor’s limerick that goes; Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning….red sky at night, sailor’s delight. She commented with some Princess term like….that’s stupid….then it started raining! We were going to meet at the WAWA and go to Cracker Barrel in Fredericksburg for breakfast then on to the Fredericksburg Street Rods show at Walker Grant MS. But while we were droving the hot rods home in the rain we met Dan & Ramona coming to meet us at WAWA. We all decided to take the hot rods home, dry them off and ride the silver bullet (Dan & Ramona’s silver mini-van) to Cracker Barrel and see how the morning unfolded. The rain stopped before we were finished with breakfast and the roads were dry….we mobilized again and cruised 18 miles to the show.

We have attended this show many times and always enjoy the day. It is unfortunate in that about half the events we have attended there have had rain at some point during the day! The show had 110 cars registered and the quality of the cars was very high. The restrooms are inside the school so that is never a problem. The food vendors were kept busy selling their great food and there were other vendors to visit too. The music is the best….very good play list and great announcements. The club always has some fun games for all to participate in, both old and young! This show is this club’s only event all year and the preparation they do for it shows. It always runs like a machine and they have all the winners drive their cars up to the front to receive their trophy. This is a cool deal and would work at other shows too….nice touch. The judging is by participant ballot….the contestants pick the winners. My favorites were the green ’58 Chevy post and the orange ’68 Mustang. There were nicer cars but these two woke me up!

Susan & Larry Rao acknowledged that the Princess & I were celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary with them at the show and Larry made a really neat miniature love seat with stuffed bears for us. He made it out of horseshoes from his Uncle’s farm…. it’s a really neat deal! The Princess said it’s like getting a trophy so she is happy! Thanks again.

After the show a few of us ended up at Carlos O’Kelly’s in Stafford to end the day’s festivities and to keep celebrating our Anniversary. The Princess and I exchanged gifts, I got her a magnificent cosmic reusable bag for her vaccuume cleaner….I thought it was just what she was hinting about when she kept saying the carpet needs vacuuming? That women code talk is very confusing. I also got her a Sudoku book and neat mechanical pencil….I told her it would help keep her mind sharp….I thought it would be helpful! She told me that she enrolled me in a refresher course for sensitivity training for retired people at URINBIGTROUBLE University. I hope I pass this time….

This is the Youtube link to the movie I shot at the show….enjoy!

This is one on the net that Fred found for us;

Monday, May 2, 2011

If you don't cruise you lose....

Friday afternoon and the Princess and I met Fred at WAWA to leave for the cruise at Ashland, VA. The cruise officially begins at 6PM but as I have written before the traffic around here is really hateful and Friday night….forget about it! So to make sure we made the 55 mile run without being late we gave ourselves plenty of time, we left at 2:30. Naturally we encountered very little traffic on the trip? We got there at 4PM! Chick-fil-a had roped off the parking lot but no one else was there including Fayraysounds, the manager of the cruise! So much for anticipating the traffic…. At least we got to pick our parking spot. After a few lame attempts by me of choosing the “best” parking place I decided it would be much better to let the Princess choose….hmm You think I would have learned my lesson about letting her pick the parking place, I guess I’m not very trainable?

Around 5PM the regulars started cruising in….this cruise always has a high percentage of traditional hot rods, it’s really cool to see them rumbling in one after another. There must be something in the water down there that ignites the imagination of those guys/gals. The first to come in was a rat rod tow truck….maybe he knew something? Jim showed up with his Rotten Peach ’46 Ford PU, this hot rod is always a source of interest….and Jim loves to talk about his ride to anyone, especially if the questioner is a girl, a nice looking girl, a single nice looking girl….I’m just saying. Some of the couples have discovered what fun it is to have two hot rods in the family….it was really cool to see the lady cruising in driving her T-Bucket….goggles and all! We experienced the same evolution of lady drivers while we rode motorcycles. When we started riding in the 60’s women never rode their own bikes but about 15 years ago we started seeing more and more lady bikers. And now we are seeing a similar evolution with the hot rods…. I like it when the Princess and I ride in the same car but when she drives her hot rod and I’m alone in the RedRat it’s somehow quieter …. I didn’t say that! Be sure to check out the “Studebaker” hot rod and the ’51 Mercury pick up. The black ’63 Chevy was flawless, like something out of a time capsule. And then….the white Citroen 2CV….I’m not saying anything else about that. The host of the cruise is Chick-fil-A and they give free sandwiches, drinks and refills to all the drivers which keeps us eating healthy….love those french fries….grin Around 8:30 it started getting cooler so the Princess said it was time to head home so we cruised north to Stafford and put the hot rods away for the day.

Saturday we decided to do some things around the house and just attend the local cruise at Bruster’s for the evening. We arrived around 4PM and the Princess got to have the pick of the lot again!
This cruise usually has a high percentage of post 1960 cars and Saturday was no exception. There were only about 8 old cars to represent traditional hot rodding. We visited with some friends and at 8PM we decided to go home.

Sunday the weather guessers were all over the place with their forecasts but at 7AM we left Stafford and cruised 31 miles to Manassas, VA and the 30th annual Bull Run Street Rods hot rod show. The rain was supposed to begin in the afternoon and be cloudy all day….and a little cool around 65-70. But it would be a great day for me to take pictures and the Princess wanted to win something, anything….so we started winding our way to Manassas.

This show always runs like a watch and Sunday was no exception. I think this show only allowed pre something cars at one time but has recently opened it up to anything, I think that reflects the reality of the times. This show always has a lot of primo cars and some not seen before. The “Best of Show” winner was a black, flamed Model A 2dr Sedan with the blown, zoomied, 540 Rat motored noise maker! A really cool looking and sounding ride. Notice….no radiator in front! And the radiator hoses go to the frame rails! Very cool…. Henry’s green ’55 Handyman wagon was just perfect and the nicest shoebox Ford I’ve seen in a while is Steve’s very dark green drop top. One of the advantages of opening up a show to all, is that it will eventually attract the young people….and their “tuners”. I like to see their cars at shows with us old folk….one day we won’t be here and they will be carrying on the “hot rod” tradition….I just hope they change their taste in music! Hot rodding is hot rodding whether it’s a ’34 Willys or a ’96 S-10 or Neon. They are all an expression of the owner’s idea of a better ride. It’s all good.

I have been enduring a personal problem at home….we have a flock of robins that have taken to using my daily drivers for target practice….every morning I come out to a river of poop on my Sport Trac and the Princess’s Mustang. We have tried a few things to keep them away but to no avail. So I was trolling the net for “bird repellent” and came across balloons with big bird eyes on them and pictures of owls and since it was on the internet it must be true! So Saturday I visited the local party store and picked up a couple Elmo balloons (big eyes) and some party tinsel (bling bling) to hang on the cars. That seems to be working for now except the neighbors keep knocking on our door asking about the party! But at the show I was the only one out of 140 cars to be bombed by birds! Why me! Maybe I’m on the bird Facebook or something….I think it’s the result of global warming? So when the Princess wasn’t flitting around picking up her door prizes and winning her Chinese auction stuff or doing other Princess things, she would keep an eye out for birds for me while I roamed around taking pictures….

The show had a few vendors, a Chinese auction, and the DJ played the GREATEST song list I’ve heard in a long time. There were too many very nice cars to pick out more….you have to look at the pictures. And maybe next year why don’t you attend the event and see for yourself!? The host club, Bull Run Street Rods always puts on a great show and the host, Burger King, is always gracious in allowing the show on their lot….a great symbiotic relationship.