Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumnal Consequence

Saturday morning at 7AM, Fred and the Princess & I left the WAWA in N. Stafford, VA to cruise 37 miles to Bowling Green, VA and their 23rd annual Harvest Festival.  Along the way we were joined by JV and his T-Bucket….that is a cool ride….on a couple different levels!  When we pulled up next to JV in the gas station, I rolled down my window while he was saying something to me….I told him “just a second, I have to turn down my heater, it’s making too much noise and I can’t hear you”….I don’t think he was happy with that!  He shot me a look that I thought would set me on fire!  Those guys that drive hot rods with no doors are so touchy.  So we had an uneventful cruise to Bowling Green through the awakening countryside.  It’s so neat to see the fog wafting up from the ground on these nippy mornings.  And the falling leaves giving us a kaleidoscope of color while you think….is that a leaf or a branch or maybe a large seed pod falling on us?  The gentle contact of the leaves on the cruising hot rod answers the question.  Autumn is one of the reasons we stayed in VA years ago instead of going back to CA.  It is a truly remarkable time of year while God reminds us of His handiwork.

When we arrived in Bowling Green we were parked on the street like we prefer and then set up for an intense day.  This event has over 10K spectators that walk past the cars during the day and we look forward to interacting with many of them, it is something the Princess and I enjoy doing.  I usually begin taking my pictures around noon after all the cars are settled in.  This year the crush of the spectators was massive to the point that I couldn’t get any clear shots of the cars when I started my photo cruise.  And at the same time I started feeling a little woozy, it might have been the 43 pound jalapeno burrito I had for breakfast that was reminding me who was really in control here….maybe not.  So after trying unsuccessfully to take a clear picture of the magnificent sea foam green ’59 Caddy next to us for 10 min I decided to sit this event out!  That was only about the 3rd or 4th time in 8 years I have attended an event and not photographed it!  I will have to rethink how I photograph this event or perhaps go somewhere else next year.  The restroom facilities at the event are horrible.  There are way too few porta potties and they are not maintained during the day….with 10K + people milling around it is just not enough. 
We left the event around 3:30 and cruised home….I just wanted the day to end, the burrito and squid poppers were residing at opposite ends of my body while they tried to escape….!  Come on Ice Cream….!
Tomorrow would be another intense day making a birthday delivery to PA and seeing the little people.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Day at the Airport....

Saturday we launched at 5:15 from Stafford, VA and cruised 48 miles to Brandy Station, VA and Culpeper Regional Airport to be part of their 13th Annual AirFest.  Our group, Cruisin For Heroes, has provided a vehicle display for the event since 2008.  Each year is a little more special than the previous so we were all excited for the day to unfold.

Dan, Dom, the Princes and I arrived before sunup and began to organize the lot.  Something was in the middle of the lot but we couldn’t be sure of exactly what it was.  It turned out to be a very large Military tent that was erected in the center of where we were going to be maneuvering trucks pulling long race car trailers.  We didn’t know if it was inhabited or not so we quietly walked around the big olive drab canvas tent looking for some kind of opening and when Dom found one and shined his flashlight inside he said it was empty!  Hmmmmm We would wait and see who claimed it since we were supposed to have the complete lot for vehicle display.  Always something to challenge us, grin.  So Dan and I decided how to bring the trailered vehicles in and park them so they would have reasonably easy egress after the event.  Ya have to be flexible. 
After last year’s event the airport manager, Tanya W., had asked us to have more vehicles….so….we invited about 40 people for this year.  A couple had cancelled two weeks ago and last week another 3 had either cancelled or said to count them as iffy.  On Friday another two cancelled so on the day of the event we really didn’t know how many people would show up!  This year Tanya had set a porta potty close to us for our use but most of the spectators coming in would use it before entering the air show!  Something to think about next year! 
Ron was leading the second group from Stafford that left at 6:30 so they started arriving around 7:30 and the lot began filling up….whew!  At the end of setting the vehicles out in their parking spots we had 29 vehicles to share with the expected 7 thousand people that would attend AirFest 2012.  This is the first year we invited a lot of vehicles that required trailers as we wanted to continue to vary our display.  All the vehicles were well received but I think Bob’s blue race car and Glenn’s group with the three pulling tractors generated the most interest. 
The reason we put this event on is to raise awareness and money for our charity, Fisher House; and this year we raised $276 from individual donations on site.  We are working to make this much better next year.
The air show was as usual superb….Tanya and her group assembles a great flying program and the vendors make the day go quickly too.  Art Nalls and his Harrier is a crowd stopper….and he did two programs this year!  You have to put this event on your calendar next year….you won’t be disappointed.  Please take some time to check out the YouTube clip and the still pictures….it was an amazing day. 


Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Town Day

Friday we cruised to Family Diner in Fredericksburg, VA for dinner then on to VA BBQ and the weekly cruise.  Most of the other cruisers were regulars with one exception, the maroon 30 Ford sedan.  This car was recently completed by its owner and is something to behold….a cool ride indeed.  The evenings are getting colder so the cruises are getting shorter….we left around 8PM.

Saturday, Fred & Debie and the Princess & I cruised 62 miles to Montross, VA and the annual Fall Festival and car show.  This is the first time we have attended this event and it worked out to be a fun day.  I don’t browse the “crafts” much so the car show was it for me.  The show was well attended for the venue….with quite a few cars from Colonial Beach Cruisers and the four from Stafford in attendance.  Yeah four, Denny showed up around 9AM and Ron overslept (he is newly retired so that’s ok) and didn’t arrive till around 10AM!  It’s refreshing to know Ron has been reading the “Retired Guys Handbook”….on page 43 we are to respond to questions like….”And just what do you do now?”  response>  Not much of anything and I usually don’t start that till Noon!  I think he will assimilate just fine….now Lou on the other hand is still struggling with that concept….hang in there Lou!
By the time everyone was in place there were 43 vehicles….which is a good showing for a small show.  I really liked the maroon ’60 Pontiac Tri-Power, 4 Spd.  That car was a real mean street machine back in the day.  Few people would expect a big heavy Tin Indian run like they did!  I also liked the black ’57 Chevy post with the 283, 2 4bbl….another fine representative from days gone by.  I think the center of the show was the blue ’70 VW with the trick paint and the many custom modifications.  The sound system would vibrate the ground and the engine sounded like it had been cleverly massaged too.  
But….the show ended at noon and at 2PM the parade began.  Now I have never been to a small town parade like this….it was something you might read about in an old ‘Life’ magazine.  I actually thought about that while we watched the parade from our chairs on the top of the berm in the show lot.  There were marching bands representing communities around Montross as well as Fire & Rescue squads across the area.  In fact we could hear the Fire trucks coming about a ¼ mile away and they were loud then.  But when they passed in front of us they were cranking out about a million decibels of ear bleeding sound!  My ears rang the rest of the day.  I have a lot of experience with that, years ago when I was a competitive pistol shooter few people used ear protection.  After the first few shots my ears would go mostly deaf and would ring the rest of the day….it’s how we did it!  That and loud engine noise is probably why I have to say “huh” a lot now….ya think?  They had floats and walking groups for various community organizations.  When the American Legion passed by with the colors most people didn’t stand up and show respect for our flag….that was sad.  The old people did but the young ones kept talking…. 
Since Debie was one of the crafty vendors we were going to wait till her day was done to leave….but around 3:30 the rain clouds started rolling in so the event coordinators were allowing the vendors to call it a day early.
The cruise back was uneventful and dry after we were about 20 miles from Montross….  Another day driving around the countryside of Virginia giving people something to wave at….I love this hobby.