Thursday, April 25, 2013


I have contracted a severe case of shingles....I am about through with the worst part and have a couple weeks left to recover....I will start posting again soon, check back in a couple weeks.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Here we go again!

Friday we cruised to VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA again….it will be our “default” location on Friday evenings…..maybe.  As I have said before there is about 30-40 core people that attend almost every week….but there is always something special at the Q.

The first attraction was a trailered “Mater” tow truck!  It’s used for advertising by a local towing company….it’s way cool and kicked off the evening in a grand way.  The weather was as perfect as you could ask for and the people kept coming out.  The yellow ’33 Plymouth with the Hemi was different and the beautiful black ’35 Ford coupe with flathead power was perfect.  The two tone green ’50 Chevy coupe with the 6 cyl and period speed equipment….just too gnarly.  The local bad boys car club brought their ’59 Ford with the ‘special’ paint….you decide?  Hoppy’s yellow hoodless ’56 Ford, Stuart’s immaculate blue Cobra, the blue/silver ’64 Pontiac GP and more.  But my favorite was the yellow Dodge, mid 60’s A100 Super Bee….with 440 power and very large Mickey’s….and a sound to match the visual attitude!  What a variety for the nights cruise….ya gotta be there every Friday….or you just might miss something neat!
Our grandson and his wife visited us….he was on crutches, a chain saw accident….don’t ask….  The Princess and Ron were practicing their sign language but about 9PM she started to whine about, it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s getting late, we have a lot of stuff to do tomorrow, we have to get up early tomorrow, she needs her rest….there is so much Princess stuff she has to do….you have no idea.  So we started to head out on our cruise home when a few immature people decided to peel out of the parking lot….this is unfortunate as it will rightly draw the attention of the local PD.  This is a dangerous practice and it’s the wrong thing to do to the owner of the business and the car club….it can be the thing that will shut down the cruise.  About 10 min after the peelers left, one of Fredericksburg’s finest cruised in….it doesn’t take much.  Non-car people think we are knuckle dragging Neanderthals anyway….we don’t need to prove them right! 
Saturday we cruised, 2 miles, to the 7th Annual Skills USA show at North Stafford High School in Stafford, VA.  This show is the season kick off for our area and is usually attended by most of the local cruisers.  It was held a later this year so the weather would be a little warmer….it worked!  The day was a chamber of commerce post card day….just perfect.  I had hoped the later start would help the diminishing yearly attendance numbers…it didn’t….there were only 108 cars that I took a picture of….and I take all the cars.
Of the 113 cars, 20 were Ford Mustangs and the mix from under 1972 of 55 and over 1972 of 58 was a good balance of age groups.  I liked George’s ’29 Willys and Gary’s ’31 Chevy coupe but my favorite was the red ’64 Chevy C10 pickup….very nice and tidy….we might have called it “Boss” or “Far Out” or ‘Grooooovy”….dig?

There were representatives from the Stafford Sheriff’s department with a very large, flat black, intimidating vehicle….I don’t think they chase speeders with that.  The soap box racers were there to share their vehicles and answer questions about their hobby.  There was a food vendor and a jail.  Bob was arrested for having a car that was too short, his ’33 Chevy flat tracker.  I quizzed him to make sure he understood the error of his way and would try to mend his ways in the future….I had a Deputy acknowledge his plea so I bailed him out…..I hope he doesn’t run away…..grin
Around 3PM the announcer from Herlong Associates called the participants to the front to begin the award ceremony.  This event is considered one of the ‘must attend’ events partly because of the awards.  Most of the special awards are hand crafted to fit the specialty of the award.  There was some confusion during the ceremony because some of the awards were not done!  Which meant people came up to receive their award and didn’t get anything!  The kids from the Skills program that were doing the presenting were embarrassed but soldiered on….I guess that taught them to adapt?  Except for the announcing, the majority of the show is administered by students….it’s a really good thing.  It’s one of the reasons we support the event. 
But….I hate this….but at the end of the event some immature folks decided it would be ok to do burn outs in the parking lot among the show cars….that was stupid.  A couple years ago they did that at the top road where there were no cars or milling spectators present….but Saturday some decided to run through the active parking lot….that kind of behavior should not be tolerated.  I had a car that would turn the biggest Mickey’s you can buy with ease….but not at shows, parking lots or places where people are.  Like the night before at VA BBQ, I hope this isn’t a portent of things to come this year.
Saturday after the show some of us cruised to the Family Diner in Fredericksburg, VA.  There is a weekly cruise hosted by the restaurant and managed by Virginia Stockers Car Club.  We didn’t know it but the cruise didn’t begin till next week!  Bummer….  There were a couple other hot rodders that didn’t get the massage either and that had gathered in the lot too….oh well….next week is the opener for the cruise. 
We stayed and had dinner at the diner….the food is always good and when you are with friends it can’t get any better.  Fred ordered a hamburger that the chef brought out on a fork lift….I mean it was so big there was a machete through the thing from top to bottom, holding it together….like some sandwiches have the fancy toothpicks through them.  I mean this thing would feed a Boy Scout Troop…but Fred just sat and watched them put it in front of him….his eyes got bigger….I think he started to drool.  Then it was like a Tasmanian devil….  Elbows and blurred hands moved to the tempo of the growling coming from the fog of what Fred was doing to the hamburger!  I think it was about 15 pounds of cow flesh that was once on what was now a smoldering empty plate!  I was going to call 911 to have an ambulance waiting outside….but….Fred….finished it….burp.  Then….his partner in crime started ordering us to Carl’s for ice cream….and Fred went too.  I had to go home and take my industrial strength anti-acid pills just because I witnessed this gastronomical extravaganza….what is seen cannot be unseen.  So….we staggered back home to recuperate enough to go on a cruise the next day!
Sunday everyone else was busy or working on their car so the Princess and I cruised south about 52 miles to Lake Anna for lunch at Ally’s then another 31 miles to downtown Culpeper, VA to cruise Main St. then another 40 miles home.  We had a great day on the Virginia highways giving people something to wave at while the Princess and I enjoyed each other’s company.  I love this hobby.

Monday, April 8, 2013

On the road again....and again....

Friday evening at the Q, in Fredericksburg, VA is always fun and an opportunity to meet new ‘car people’.  Friday I met Gary with the ’31 ALL Chevy coupe.  Gary is not a new rodder but was new to this event…..and Gary needs to bring a chair, hee hee  We talked till my feet hurt….this was a “problem” that evening.  I could take a couple pics and then would get into a conversation with a friend….and stop….till my feet hurt then go again….repeat!  It’s all good.  So….if your vehicle isn’t in the album….I just didn’t get to it….that’s all!  Maybe next week….

There were some “young” hot rodders in the mix….driving their gen 4 Camaro’s and Trans Ams.  One of the Trans Am drivers is the son of the guy that had the turquoise T bucket at the 5N Diners years ago….cool deal.  We need to dialog with the young people about their cars, it’s what they like and can afford….and their Trans Am’s and Camaro’s are not too shabby of a ride!  We got to see Fred & Debie’s ’57 Dodge with the new paint….like Carl says “It’s all Mopar, two tone paint….what’s not to like?”  It was a nice warm evening….till the sun went down then the chill came back and most of us ran for warmer environs….like rats leaving a sinking ship!  Coach’s audience was vanishing right before his eyes as he was playing the tunes….bizarre.
Saturday we cruised 55 miles to Ashland, VA to check out the River City Diner….it is a meeting place and cruise for some of the “southern” folks.  It was OK….the food was very good but the service was marginal.  We left the diner and cruised a couple miles to O’Banks restaurant and the Memorial cruise for Ray Beach of Fre-Ray Sounds.  I spoke to Ray a couple times over the years and found him to be a friendly and helpful person….he will be sorely missed by the people that he lifted their spirits through the music he played and the friendship he extended.  At 5 PM everyone at the cruise started their engines and revved them up in remembrance of Ray.  I think the electric Prius near us drowned out my trucks exhaust noise!  I have to fix that someday.  The Princess says not to worry….she can tell when the motor is running because the radio antenna shakes….I feel better….not. 
The cruise was attended by about 40 cars….all very nice but I liked the Dk. Green ’37 Chevy sedan….very menacing. One of the neat things about the cruise was the welcoming behavior some of the people extended to us.  There was a blonde lady that visited us twice, once to welcome us to the cruise and once bidding us farewell and a safe trip home….then invited us back!  Another white haired gentleman talked with us like a long lost cousin….made us feel comfortable and relaxed.  We left about 7PM and cruised uneventfully home….a great day!
Sunday we met up with Jim & Linda and left Stafford for the day’s adventure.  Along the way we hooked up with Bob & Benda right outside of Midland and now we were three!  We like car shows and drive in cruises but we really like to drive the hot rod….so we are always in a discovery mode to see where we can explore next.  Fortunately we have always been this way so when we cruised all those years with the Harley we didn’t know we were forging routes that we would later use with the hot rod.
When we first moved to VA in 1973, Interstate 66 was incomplete to I-81; it just ended in Gainesville, VA.  We drove to Front Royal and Skyline Drive via Rt. 55 almost exclusively.  But when I-66 was completed it made running Rt. 55 very tedious.  So….Sunday we would run Rt. 55 from Marshall, VA to Front Royal, VA and end up at South Street Grill on Rt. 55…..a cruise that should be about 75 miles out.  Except for a couple spots of intersection indecision when my navigator was arguing with the GPS….it rolled very well.  And the countryside was magnificent.
South Street Grill is a neat little restaurant with a diner like attitude.  They always have been motorcycle and hot rod friendly and Sunday they did not disappoint.  From the tables & chairs, the floor and wall decorations to the napkin dispensers with pictures of hot rods that have visited….it’s all there.  And the food was really good too; Burgers, fries, salads, melts and the Princess had a to die for cherry coke that was larger than 16oz!  It’s not cloth table coverings and little finger up in the air while you eat/drink kind of place but rather nice old time food and atmosphere….comfortable and fun.
We told enough stories to and about each other that should last a while so we thanked the staff and mounted up for the return trip.  We would take a different route back that would be about 112 miles. Bob and Benda left us in Culpeper but we pressed on towards Fredericksburg.  The closer we got there the truck just started guiding on it’s own….right to Carl’s Ice Cream.   The Princess must visit Carl’s whenever we are within 50 miles of it….it’s then considered “on the way”….silly me.  Princess rules and maps are so confusing.
After running about 190 miles in the Virginia countryside with friends we decided to call it a day.  With our tummy’s full of ice cream we headed home again and all ended well!  I love this hobby.