Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The long and winding road....

Friday evening we cruised to Family Diner in Fredericksburg, VA for dinner then cruised another mile to VA BBQ and the weekly cruise in progress.  It was a normal night with about 55 cars cruising through the lot.  This time I remembered my camera and documented the evening.  Kim had one of the little people helping her with the 50/50….boy you don’t want to mess with him…just buy some tickets and no one gets hurt!  Grin Most of the cruisers were regulars and I liked the flat black early Chevy PU, Midnight Speed Shop….very Kool.  And Joe brought his bronze GTO out again to embarrass us chrome polishers…..chuckle  And a very nice black/purple ’55 Chevy….  It was still hot in the evening as we cruised home to the comfort of our air conditioned hovel.

Saturday we were supposed to begin getting the remnants of Hurricane Isaac.  There was severe weather coming in all around us.  We left for the Family Diner and the cruise there at 4PM….no rain yet.  The weatherguessers were saying 70% chance of rain….not for us?!  Ron has a theory that we have a ‘cone of dryness’ around us most of the time that keeps up from getting the rain where we are.  After we parked and ate the rain was going around us in the North and South!  Really weird.  This cruise is new to us and they had about 12 cars for the evening and I think the attendance was hurt by the forecasted rain storms….that didn’t materialize for us.  Stuart brought out his Cobra and Frank was driving his old school, Suburban.  A couple VW’s and a nice blue ’32 Ford Highboy parked in the lot too.  The cruise is like the one a couple years ago at Foster’s.  No music to have to talk over and move away from….just talking about things and enjoying each other’s company.  And with Carl’s Ice Cream so close there is really nothing else the cruise needs!  If it gets bigger then lighting may be an issue….maybe not?  We cruised home on dry pavement to the sounds of War’s song, Low Rider, assaulting my ears….too cool!
Sunday and the weatherguessers said 70% rain most anytime of the day!  But when we got up the driveway was dry so off we went!  We met some friends at WAWA so we had a little convoy going to Colonial Beach, VA and the 4th annual picnic at Jim Still’s 1954 Ford Museum.  We were not able to attend last year’s event but the preceding two years were a hoot, and this year was no exception!  Ron’s ‘Cone of Dryness’ came into play most of the day again….bad weather all around us but it was like the parting of the Red Sea as the storm cells moved away from us. 
The main draw of this event is the games JV and Jim dream up.  This year the lifter toss, the piston throw, pushrod drop, flywheel spin, nut pileup are all fun…. but…. the blind driving contest is the best.  Think about it; you begin at the start line and idle about 100 feet to the finish line….blindfolded!  It sounds easy but it really isn’t.  You can watch the video and see how some did with this deal….especially the guy on the bike!  When you balance on something most of us need a real good visual cue to stay upright.  So on the bike you were judging time and distance AND balance!  I would not try that.  And check out Jim when he used his ’54 Ford golf cart, he was going so fast I didn’t think he could stop till he got to the Chesapeake Bay!  The Princess didn’t want to make her debut driving the truck at this event which was probably a good decision given her penchant of running over the cones with her car.  With the big steel bumpers on the truck she could just mow down anything in her way!  Most people had a go at the blind driving and seemed to enjoy it. 
The event is held at Jim Still’s 1954 Ford Museum….you have to walk around and take in all the artifacts of that bygone time.  The wall murals, the gas pumps, the engines and all the little memorabilia that is everywhere….you just have to spend some time thinking about what you are seeing.  Jim has 15 or so Fords restored with another 30 to do!  The club always feeds everyone well and just asks for a donation to keep the event going.  It was a hot day and those that didn’t know  Ron’s ‘Cone of Dryness’ was in Colonial Beach that day probably stayed away because of the rain.  The rain was literally all around us again but we were dry.  About 3PM after the awards were given out for the games most of the out-of-towners started to leave.  It started to sprinkle, just a little, hardly getting the ground wet, not enough to use the wipers on the truck.  As we left, Ron’s Cone of Dryness followed us all the way back home….whew
Monday, Labor Day 2012, we assembled at the WAWA around 5AM to cruise 35 miles to Clifton, VA and the 13th Annual Clifton car show that is managed by Custom Cruisers of Northern Virginia and co-hosted by the Lions Club.  This event raises a lot of dollars for their charities and they usually have 250-300 vehicles.  This year they had 182 entrants, no doubt due to the weather.  
We belonged to the club years ago and had worked the show a couple times but never participated in it.  It was always conflicting with another show we would support….but this year our calendar cleared up and so off to Clifton we would cruise.  As soon as Fred arrived at the WAWA, so did the rain!  Since the vehicles were wet, we decided to go ahead and make the run north.  It had been so long since I traveled ‘up there’ I asked Fred to lead us through the back roads of Prince William County.   It rained lightly off and on almost all the way to the event, in the dark, in the fog.  But we finally arrived at 6AM which is when Steve said we needed to be there to get a good parking spot.  It was good advice because not many other people were there when we arrived….except Steve.  As we came down the hill into Clifton the rain stopped, Ron must have turned on the Cone of Dryness again!  And we didn’t have any more rain all day….in fact the sun came out and it was a great car show day after all.  The weatherguessers had said another 70% chance of precipitation day….not here!  The Cone of Dryness had failed us in Stafford but was in play all day in Clifton!
This show has a very diverse group of vehicles that attend and the rock climber/desert runner was a cool thing to see.  The owner was very enthusiastic about his sport too.  The black Ford Model A sedan with the two, two barrel carbs was period correct and the neat thing about it was that it was built in Canada!  They used the Robertson screws, they have a square recess instead of the common one used in the USA….I didn’t know that.  When we lived in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the mid 50’s I remember my day bought a set of screwdrivers that were for square headed fasteners….cool connection.  Paul’s yellow ’32 5w coupe is always easy to look at and its sound has the proper attitude!  This event also brings out some very nice vehicles….too nice to adequately judge fairly.  This may be why the club has gone to a participant judging process….it really is easier for the club and most of the time it’s the only fair way to go. 
I also liked the red ’71 Ford Torino with the Boss 429 transplanted into it!  The candy red way low Merc with enough bling bling to be seen from the space station was just too kool.  But my favorite was the orange ’65 Cobra Daytona; it was the best example of that car I have seen. 
The Custom Cruisers work like a Swiss watch and the show just clicked off as planned.  Jim was also cruising throughout the crowd in a golf cart to make sure everything was unfolding the way they wanted.  Like other mature car clubs in the area they make a difficult and complicated event look easy!  They gave $25 Sunoco gas gift cards for the top 20 awards….a nice deal.  They also had some specialty trophies like best back seat and Ladies choice? 
As this event usually does, it got very crowded as the day wound down, see the pictures.  It took me a long time to get a clear shot of some of the vehicles, the people just wouldn’t move on….grin  And Fred & Ron enjoyed the show under the shade of a Crape Myrtle in the church’s front yard….no doubt getting some relief from the sun.  Yes….sun….the Cone of Dryness was at work again….I was getting phone calls from Stafford telling me how much rain they were getting and the sun was shining where we were!  And so ended a very busy weekend for us….  But we found out that a good friend’s Mom passed away Sunday….it seems that the longer in the tooth I get the more visits we are making to say our last good buys to someone.  But Mom’s are special….I remember my Mom’s passing a couple years ago….they are so special.

No comments: