Sunday, April 22, 2012

Locust Grove Cruise

In our part of Virginia the rain deficit is about 2.5 inches for the year and the weatherguessers said we may fix half of that this weekend….starting about mid-day Saturday! So most outdoor events were cancelled or modified because of that threatening forecast. But we had planned to attend the first cruise of the season at Locust Grove, VA so we left Stafford around 3:30. This cruise is hosted by Locust Grove Town Center and managed by the Orange County Cruisers led by D.J. Ron and his traveling music machine. D.J. Ron’s playlist is always comfortable and suits the car cruise just right….it is a welcome addition to any cruise or show. This night he also had some organized line dancers of all ages demonstrate their skills…I don’t have the requisite amount of eye/ear/feet coordination to survive at that….I think I would make it look like a geriatric tumbling act gone very wrong….so I’ll just watch!

Since the Cruise Missile is apart for repairs….again….and because of the impending rain, we decided to hitch a ride with Dan & Ramona in their Silver Bullet (Chrysler Mini-Van). We arrived about 4:15 and there were about 15 cars parked already! One of the reasons we wanted to attend the cruise was to support them by patronizing the restaurants in the complex. Being an organized person I decided to try the eateries in order, left to right so tonight it was Mama’s Pizza. The food was scrumptious for a pizza place but our waitress made the experience at our table unforgettable. She could give the harassing comments of an old ornery guy right back to me….I love social interaction….the Princess says I’m getting better at playing with others….chuckle

After we finished eating and we came back out to the cruise there were about 37 cars in the lot! The sky was becoming very ominous and the wind was picking up….I decided to take my pictures quickly before people started leaving. The further out in the country an event is, the more pickups that usually attend….not that I have anything against pickups or anything….I really like the black ’55 Ford with the wood stake sides. As I walked around taking pictures I was able to reestablish friendships the winter had put on hold….spring is always a good time to talk. Some cruisers from the Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club were present along with some from the Orange County Cruisers. Even Hoppy and his rowdy yellow ’55 Ford came to see what was going on. About 6:30 the wind picked up to Cat 5 velocity and the black clouds were getting lower, faster and rolling right toward us….we packed up the silver bullet and scooted back home. When you consider all the reasons the people in the 37 cars could have used to rationalize not supporting the cruise it is refreshing that they chose to come out and play. This cruise is very comfortable with parking on asphalt and sitting on grass or mulch, a very vehicle/participant friendly venue. It has the paved space for over 100 cars with a lot of overflow capability. This cruise has the potential to be big when the weather cooperates!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Season Opener

The North Stafford High School, Skills USA show is the first major car event of the year in Stafford, VA and has been a “must attend” deal for six years now. This Saturday’s show did not frustrate that expectation! This show is put on by the students in the SkillsUSA program, The students plan, organize, manage, secure resources, secure awards and most everything else connected with having a successful event. Herlong Associates Inc. has been helpful with the event for the last few years. They are the liaison between the student’s educational environment and real world business reality. It seems to be a symbiotic relationship as Herlong Inc. gives back some of their expertise to the community through the students…. And the students that take advantage of this opportunity will be much better equipped contributors to our Society in the future….works for me!

This was the first ‘Official’ outing for our group, Cruisin For Heroes, and we sponsored the award for the longest miles driven, not trailered, to the event. An ex Navy type won it by traveling 155 miles to the show! We also ran a 50/50 for Fisher House and SkillsUSA. Cindy and the Princess had way too much fun with this thing….the Princess likes anything involving money or shiny things….opps! The winner, an Air Force type, won $196 and we split the remaining dollars evenly to Fisher House and SkillsUSA. A good day for both!

Besides being the first event of the year, the main draw for this show is the trophies they present. They are designed and manufactured by the students and are a coveted item to be sitting in your trophy space. This year’s offerings were no exception….you have to check out the pictures. The show also boasts a good food vendor, a limited menu but what they have is great! Clean restrooms in the HS building were appreciated as was the other vendors.

There were 147 registered vehicles that ran the gamut from 20’s antiques, traditional hot rods, street rods, muscle cars, military vehicles, race cars, modern tuners and new cars that still have that ‘new car’ smell! There was even a blue Toyota Celica that was hot rodded into a electric car!....the wave of the future? We’ll see…. My hands down favorite pick was the black ’66 Chevy crew cab pickup! These pickups are really an oddity but this one was done just right….check the pictures. The quality of the entrants made the judging very difficult I’m sure….but by 3PM the results were in and the award ceremony began. Another NSHS SkillsUSA show was in the record book….well done!

After the show some of us cruised to N. Stafford’s new/old cruise. The old Bruster’s cruise has been replaced by the new Home Depot cruise every Saturday from 4PM to 9PM. This was the first cruise at this location for the year and it was well attended by over 55 vehicles. The two Plymouth Valiants were really special, both convertibles....very nice. This may turn into a very good cruise because of the dining choices available within walking distance….and if ya need a few bags of mulch, the Depot is right there….what is not to like? The Princess was getting cold and wanted to go home….so we fired up the Cruise Missile and motored home. That truck presents a real conundrum for me; one of the things that was always elusive for me in a hot rod is now becoming a reality….the ride! The truck rides like a ’59 Buick, kinda floats around and just laughs at holes or bumps in the road….really different from the coupes. I think it’s something I can learn to like! We’ll see how this unfolds?

Sunday the Colonial Beach Cruisers ran their cruise to the USMC Museum in Quantico, VA….we didn’t have time to attend with them but I wanted to shoot some video of their cruise to share with all. We caught up with them in Fredericksburg, VA and took a short video as they left the parking lot of the FOE. They are a great bunch of cruisers….check out their shows and cruises when you can.