Monday, August 11, 2014

The wheels keep turning....


Friday we had planned to visit the cruise in Louisa, VA….about 60 miles one way….but about two hours before we were to leave our friend Fred called me to say the cruise had been cancelled!  So I emailed and Facebooked everyone I knew so they wouldn’t go either….whew!  I don’t think we will schedule a return trip to that cruise.

So now we are mentally fired up to go somewhere with the hot rod….so since the next day would be a long road trip we decided to stay close to home.  We hadn’t visited the Fredericksburg DQ for a while so that would be on the agenda tonight!  About 22 miles later we cruised into the empty lot….way early.  That was ok because we could eat at the DQ….they have ice cream ya know….   I picked out the parking spot I wanted for an artsy photo shot later then we stumbled into the eatery to consume massive amounts of triglyceride laden comfort food.  While we were eating the crowd started filling up the lot and by the time we returned to the truck and started to set up our camp there were over 30 cars sitting….and by the time we left later in the evening there were over 60 vehicles that had rumbled to the DQ! 

This cruise attracts all kinds of interests in vehicles….from antique, hot rod, motorcycles, new classics, trucks, rat rods, traditional old school hot rods….pretty much everything.  Jeannette & Sue, the cruise managers, play cool hot rod music, give out some trophies, sell cruise T-shirts and run auctions and 50/50s for local needy families….they both work very hard to make the cruise experience a pleasant one for all and I think it shows.  The cruise is more transient than most.  By that I mean more people come in for a little while then leave to cruise somewhere else while other people come in to take their place.  Also one of the access by customers to the Dairy Queen drives through part of the cruise lot which adds some ‘busyness’ to the mix….everyone plays nice though and it’s all good.  Around 8:30 we decided to cruise home….tomorrow would be a very long day.

Saturday we would attend an event we have been planning on since last winter.  Dave & Raymond from Valley Mustangs Unlimited out of Harrisonburg, VA told me that they wanted to donate the proceeds from their 20th Annual All Ford Powered Show to Fisher House Foundation through our group, Cruisin For Heroes…!    They wanted us there to accept the donation and share about what Fisher House Foundation does for our Veterans.  One of our group members drives a red ’53 Ford Sunliner….so he decided to enter his ride too.  This is the same club that donated $1000 last year to Fisher House Foundation through our group.  It is curious that a club so far away from us understands the importance of supporting our Veterans through Fisher House but local clubs not so much….oh well. 

Lou & Arlene and the Princess & I were stressing for a week about the weather for this show date.  A week prior the weatherguessers were prognosticating massive amounts of rain for Saturday….flooding, tornados, hurricanes, sea water rising, apocalyptic end of the world stuff….typical for weatherguessers in our part of the world.  Lou & I kept close watch on four different weather sites and the Friday before made the decision, based on the aforementioned weather sites, that we would take our daily drivers because the forecast was 60% rain and rising!  Ok….we’re set.  After the Princess & I got home from the Friday cruise at DQ I checked the weather sites….the rain % was down to 20% or below!  I tried to call Lou but you know how early those retired guys go to bed so at 11PM I left him the message that we would take the hot rods tomorrow.  Early Saturday morning we connected by phone and got our trip underway.  We met Lou near Culpeper, VA on the way to Harrisonburg, VA.  Since the trip would be 105 miles for us we made a pit stop at the Sheets on Rt. 20 & Rt. 230….whew.  The route to Harrisonburg is one of the most pleasant rides we do….it is so typical of the rolling Virginia countryside….the ride is worth the effort in itself.

We rolled into the show about 10:30 and the fun began!  It was an all Ford show….we drive a Chebby truck….I see confrontation written all over this scenario.  So since I write a blog, take pictures and am published on HotRodHotLine I consider myself as a “Press” guy.  I made up a cool “PRESS” sign just in case there was trouble.  I pay the entry fee to support the charity but clearly didn’t have a horse in the race….  So, when the parking guy said “that’s not a Ford”, I announced to him, in my most authoritative voice, that I was a “Press” guy, see my sign?  He looked bewildered and asked his partner who shrugged his shoulders and grinned….  Then I bellowed “OK where do you want me to park?”  He shuffled me to another guy further into the lot….then one of the club members that know me said it’s ok….whew!  So since we were driving one of “Those” cars they put us way off in the corner….away from the real cars….grin  I felt like that kids story with the rabbit saying “whatever you do don’t send me to the briar patch”  Yeah, don’t make us park over in the corner, under a big shade tree, on the cool grass….no don’t send us there….chuckling….  The Princess quickly setup her chair and stuff to stake out this primo parking spot, giggling all the time!

This WAS a Ford show….it WAS put on by a Mustang club….it WAS hosted by a Ford dealership….so I would expect a few Mustangs would be present.  YUP….a lot of Lee Iacocca’s vision of what an American sporty car should be, were present.  I must confess that even though the Princess drives a red ’94 Mustang GT, that I bought her for our 30th wedding anniversary, I don’t know a lot about the newer ones.  All the different engines, superchargers and other mods that they can make to their rides give me confidence that the performance spirit is alive and well.  I think there was an example of every Mustang at the event except for maybe a T5.  Of the 120 cars that were registered, 94 were Mustangs.  The rest were very nice examples of the Ford marque ….except for one bow tie that snuck in! 

The judging process is a points based system….a strict go-no go deal, very objective and not subjective.  It is the only way such a diverse group of entrants could be fairly compared and judged.  It is a tedious way to judge but in the end most of the participants should feel it was a fair process.  Lou had slaved for weeks to get his ’53 show ready….it really looked pristine to me….and he got a “gold” award….cool stuff.  I thought we would get the dumb butt award for bringing a Chevy to a Ford show….I guess the chrome on the engine blinded the judges so they couldn’t mark the ballot….oh well, next time….grin

The event had a few vendors that included a Triumph motorcycle display….still running after all these years….they began in 1902!  The food vendor, Still Porkin, served up their restaurant quality fare….it really was that good.  The dealership provided restrooms were a welcome feature of the show as was the large amount of door prizes.  Not normal door prizes either….some really nice stuff! The club made another significant donation to Fisher House Foundation and on behalf of the Fisher House Foundation and Cruisin For Heroes; we sincerely thank them for their continued support of our Veterans.

 The club runs the event like a German railroad….everything happens when it should and how it should.  They all work together to make the participants experience a very positive one.  Something the participants will remember….and come back again next year!  What a concept!  If you drive a blue oval you need to put this event on your calendar for next year….you will not be disappointed.  If you don’t drive a blue oval….you have a year to fix that! 

After the awards were given out we said our thank yous to the club members and cruised to Ciro’s Italian Eatery near Elkton, VA.  Lou & Arlene and the Princess & I have visited this restaurant before and always try to stop in when we are in the neighborhood.  The food is superb, the wait staff is impeccable and we get to dine on the veranda overlooking the beautiful Virginia countryside.   Too soon the day was ending as we cruised 85 miles back to Stafford.  What a day….I love this hobby.


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