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;

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