Monday, June 30, 2014

There once was a man in Hood, VA....

Friday the Princess and I took part in a very special event….  One of America’s Sons, Marine SSGT David H. Stewart, was killed in Afghanistan on June 20, 2014 and he was being returned to us….  He was escorted from Dover, DE to Stafford, VA by over 100 motorcycle riders.  All along the 200 mile route people came out to pay their last respects to a HERO, a Father, a Husband….  He will be missed but never forgotten.  These men & women have chosen to put on the uniform of America and keep the wolf outside the door.  They do this every day, 24/7….some come back whole….some do not.  They all come back changed.  Please take the opportunity to thank a Veteran for their service every chance you get….they deserve our respect and support.

As some of you know there are two cruises in Fredericksburg this year. Both cruises are run by friends and we have been trying to support both of them.   Last Friday we visited the DQ cruise and I was overtired from working in the yard all day.  I just walked around like a zombie and don’t remember anything about the visit.  This Friday I wanted to have a meaningful visit, take some pictures….just enjoy ourselves with friends.  We arrived around 5PM and moseyed inside the DQ to get a reprieve from the heat and sample some of the food.  When we came back out we set up the chairs & umbrellas.  We visited with friends for about 15 min….and it started to rain!  Just a random sprinkle at first but within a few minutes it was like standing on the deck of the Maid of the Mist under Niagara Falls.  We packed up our sopping wet chairs and umbrellas into what was rapidly becoming a flooded pick up bed.  I put on the wipers and we began our trek home in the deluge.  At least we had a roof over our heads….Bill & Debbie drove their Model T race car….no top, no wipers….hmmmmm  We stopped for fuel at the WAWA on Rt.1 near Harrison Road, then continue going North in the rain.  But before we passed VA BBQ, about 4 ½ miles from DQ, the rain had stopped!  It was dry the rest of the way home!  Amazing times! 

Since the truck had received copious amounts of road spray/slime and then dried on the surface, we had to wash it as soon as we made it to our driveway.  Then take everything out of the bed and put on the fans….because someone….forgot to lock the bed cover down to make it seal watertight!  And the Princess reminded me who that “someone” was….she said she could make a checklist for me of what to do if it rains….if that would help….you have no idea.

Over the last few years when we cruise South we have been passing a little museum tucked away in the rolling hills of Virginia a few miles North of Standardsville, but we never stopped.  Sunday we were going to rectify that as we began our adventure from the WAWA in Stafford at 7:30.  We picked up Dan & Ramona along the way to our start point in Opal, VA, about 27 miles away.  We launched from there at 9AM with 3 more cruisers and stopped in Brandy Station, about 10 miles away, to pick up Lou & Arlene.  We cruised 27 miles to the Sheets gas station in Madison, VA and picked up one more car.  We had been alerted that the restroom facilities at the museum may not accommodate a lot of people so we made more pit stops than usual on the way there. 

As I said before, we have passed the Roaring Twenties Car Museum many times but to be honest I never noticed it till late last year when we attended the Crosswalk cruise in Harrisonburg.  Actually the Princess noticed it….one of those “Hey, look at that!” while I was negotiating a narrow double curve road, trying to keep all the parts of the truck together and on my side of the road.  Then it’s “that looks like a cute little museum, why aren’t’ there cars in the parking lot, is it closed, I wonder if they have special hours, should we call them or go back and look at it, I wonder if they have a website, how far is it from Standardsville, have you ever heard of it”….my ears started to bleed about then….  Over the winter Lou mentioned that it might be a good cruise destination and Andrew said their Camaro Club had visited it too and enjoyed it.  So in the spring Lou & I made an onsite visit to check it out and see if it would be suitable for a Cruisin For Heroes cruise.  It was!  We explained to Martha, the owner, that one of the reasons we cruise is to raise awareness of Fisher House Foundation.  So since we were doing the cruise for charity she agreed to waive the customary fee of $10 per person.  Shortly after that visit, I made arrangements with Martha to visit with a small group of car enthusiasts’ in the summer. 

The museum is a showplace for a lifetime of collecting things by John Dudly.  Sewing machines, chain saws, mowers, tractors, gas pumps, all sorts of little knick knacks….and….of course cars and most anything connected with cars.  The display is a little cramped but the items are well preserved and in great condition.  The collection of stationary engines and old outboard boat motors is impressive.  But the cars….An air cooled 1925 Franklin, the Grey Dort from Canada, a 20’s Cleveland, A Surlesmobile of 1945, Nash, Dodge, Whippet, Reo, Ford and too many more to write about….just be sure to check out the pictures.  One cannot see everything in one short visit….you must spend some time immersing yourself in these artifacts.  Say hello to Martha and tell her you read about it here.

When the group was ready to move on we all saddled up and cruised 24 miles to the Wood Grille Buffet in Charlottesville, VA.  Even though we arrived at a busy time, the restaurant arranged some tables to ensure we could all sit together.  Planning is everything!  We have dined here before and if you go away hungry it’s your fault….they have everything you can imagine and it’s a cut above normal “buffet” food.

Too soon we were all ready to cruise home.  We had made some new friends and seen & experienced things that we would park in our memories for a long time.  We began our 80 mile cruise back home with the others; they all ran with us till “their” road turned off.  For the Princess & I, this is what we want to do with the remaining time God lets us have our hot rod.  Shows and cruises have their place but cruising over the road on day trips, experiencing something new, meeting new old friends, sharing our passion with others….that’s what it’s all about for us.  I love this hobby.

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